A fragmented view of the customer is challenging the retail sector's ability to fully address customer needs, says a survey commissioned by BEA.
The survey was conducted at this month's Retail Business event in London, which was attended by more than 4,800 delegates.
Whilst the survey found that 96% of retailers believe investment in customer service is critical to future business success, 52% of respondents said their firms were unable to provide a unified, 360-degree view of their customers.
The survey said 33% of respondents believed that the alignment of IT, business processes, and people to deliver innovative customer services will offer the greatest advantage to their business in the next 12 months.
BEA said a full view of the customer was needed to support unique customer preferences and design loyalty programmes, customer support processes, merchandise selection, and the in-store experience around those preferences.
Service-oriented architecture systems had a big part to play in addressing these needs, said BEA.