Behind digital commerce is an ocean of data. Are you ready to navigate it?

Behind digital commerce is an ocean of data. Are you ready to navigate it?

Manuela Tchoe
Manuela Tchoe
Senior Content Writer, commercetools
Published 06 January 2023
Estimated reading time minutes

There is an urgency to connect and personalize every touchpoint in the retail customer journey, but how can you make it happen? Embrace data-centric commerce with commercetools and MongoDB under the hood, and get ready for the age of omnichannel and personalization. 

Behind digital commerce is an ocean of data. Are you ready to navigate it?

The once-in-a-generation growth in digital commerce since the pandemic has amplified the demand for omnichannel offerings, and that includes a blend of online and brick-and-mortar shopping. In this hybrid offline/online commerce landscape, shoppers can, for instance, start a purchase online and inspect the product in-store, comparing pricing and finishing the transaction on a mobile device. Now, add social apps, shoppable TV and even in-car commerce to the mix, and retailers have a real opportunity — as well as a challenge — on their hands. 

There is a clear urgency to connect and personalize every touchpoint in the retail customer journey, but how can you make it happen? 

Achieving this omnichannel vision is intrinsically connected with personalization and data management. By unlocking real-time information, you have the foundation to create personalized and unique shopping experiences and, as a result, catapult brand differentiation and long-term growth forward. With commercetools Composable Commerce and MongoDB Atlas, you can personalize customer experiences in the omnichannel world — at scale.   

Drowning in data with outdated and inflexible models

We’re surrounded by data coming in many forms and from multiple touchpoints. While capturing this data is relatively easy, using data to upsell and cross-sell throughout the customer journey is a different ball game. 

Still today, leveraging data in every commerce interaction remains challenging; similarly to monolithic commerce platforms, most retailers and brands still rely on data paradigms of yesteryear, namely the relational database model. In this approach, data used together is not always stored together, making queries lag and slowing real-time responses. Also, relational data models aren’t ideal for handling large quantities of unstructured data, and if data changes fast, they have a hard time keeping up. This is the reality of using data in monolithic commerce platforms, as they are directly tied to relational databases. 

That said, this legacy infrastructure combo is bad news for leveraging data in every interaction of the customer journey. If you’re drowning in inaccurate and siloed data, it’s time for a more modern approach to data-centric commerce. 

Surfing the high waves of data with modern database management

Unlocking the value of data starts by understanding the modern principles of data-centric commerce:

  • Real-time analytics and personalization: Provide instant responses to customer behaviors, including customer on-site behavior tracking, relevant product recommendations and personalized discounts. 

  • A single view of customer data: Enable the collection, viewing and analysis of data from disparate sources, such as apps, purchase history and story inventory, in one place. 

  • Dynamic product catalog: Vast catalogs should be displayed, searchable, managed, updated and dynamically enriched with discounts and offerings — instantly. 

  • Inventory verification and order management: Ensure real-time fulfillment steps are accounted for.

  • Scalability: Manage sudden spikes in demand, including seasonal upticks and those caused by viral or social trends, without sacrificing performance. 

  • Flexible data modeling: Because of the diverse data sets ingested from payment systems, IoT devices, etc., the ability to consume and store relevant data together is essential to achieve real-time reactions, as well as avoid data duplication and silos. 

The American retailer Ulta Beauty encapsulates these principles perfectly: By managing an incredible amount of data — such as member preferences and purchases — with ultra-low latency data processing even during volume upticks, the company can leverage data across channels and customer moments successfully. 

With a scalable infrastructure behind the scenes, Ulta Beauty can recommend products and categories that fit individual tastes, dynamically price goods based on market conditions, and even reduce product catalog updates from hours to minutes. In addition, the beauty retailer can scale its omnichannel strategy with Ulta Beauty’s Virtual Beauty Advisor for personalized recommendations and GLAMLab for virtual makeup try-ons.  

Smooth sailing in data-centric commerce with commercetools and MongoDB

Leveraging real-time analytics into your commerce one platform is a no-brainer with the flexible data management solution by commercetools Composable Commerce and MongoDB Atlas, MongoDB’s cloud-native developer data platform. 

With MongoDB Atlas under the hood, commercetools can scale data to match the speed of your commerce experiences, plus offering a flexible model database. That way, you can: 

  • Personalize in real-time: Leverage real-time analytics into your commerce platform with “cold” historical customer data, and instantly combine it with real-time customer interaction data for fully personalized and omnichannel interactions.

  • A single view of data: Sync what your customers see — on the web or in-store — across channels and with your backend systems to create seamless online shopping. 

  • Orchestrate data without limits: By managing new types of data (structured and unstructured) flexibly and in real time, you can eliminate data silos and use data effectively throughout the customer journey. 

Sharing the vision of MACH™ (Microservices-based, API-first, Cloud-native, Headless)-based architecture as the technology foundation, commercetools and MongoDB are 100% aligned to provide cloud-native, distributed and flexible architectures at their core, instead of legacy infrastructure based on outdated data models. 

In a nutshell, businesses can easily combine data types on multiple touchpoints and run them smoothly with commercetools and MongoDB, capitalizing on dynamic scaling and integrations without increasing total costs of ownership (TCO) or disrupting your infrastructure. With this combined solution, your brand can reach new heights — and always be ready for whatever’s next. 

Explore all the benefits of using commercetools Composable Commerce with MongoDB Atlas in The Data-Centric Commerce Guide.

Manuela Tchoe
Manuela Tchoe
Senior Content Writer, commercetools

Manuela Marques Tchoe is a Content Writer at commercetools. She was a Content and Product Marketing Director at conversational commerce provider tyntec. She has written content in partnership with Facebook, Rakuten Viber and other social media platforms.

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