Aggregating, calculating, and reporting on all your marketing data from every omnichannel campaign in one place and at scale is a challenge faced by agencies with tens or even hundreds of retail clients.
There are many different reporting tools that claim, in some capacity, to be able to help with omnichannel or multi-channel reporting. But we think that an omnichannel reporting tool should have 3 essential characteristics.
A good tool should:
- Pull data from all your different sources (including in-store POS systems, branded websites, and eCommerce marketplaces, along with any custom or home built systems).
- Automate data calculations and transformations so you don’t have to aggregate, blend, or do repetitive calculations manually.
- Report on your omnichannel campaigns automatically and at scale, either via a live dashboard, PowerPoint style presentations, or exporting to a third party tool like Google Sheets or Tableau.
In this piece, we define the categories of omnichannel reporting, then discuss in depth how our tool, TapClicks, approaches each of these factors and can serve as a powerful omnichannel reporting tool.
Want to see how easy it is to use the TapClicks omnichannel reporting features? Try our free 14-day trial.
What is Omnichannel Reporting?
Commonly, the term 'omnichannel' is used to describe sales and marketing activities centered around the touchpoints of the customer journey, most commonly, letting customers buy online, in-store, and/or in third party marketplaces like eBay or Amazon.
To help brands deliver an “omnichannel customer experience”, there are tools that monitor customer data on all these channels, track a single customer through these different channels, and even collect feedback on customer experience, customer satisfaction, and customer needs.
However, from a reporting perspective, the omnichannel approach requires that brands have the tools to gather sales, marketing, and any other important data from all the channels they use. Then, they need to transform, calculate, standardize, or manipulate that data, so they can visualize or export that to wherever they need it.
The problem is, most reporting tools don’t easily extract data from all channels and platforms and don’t let you easily store, transform, or standardize all the data in one place.
Why Most Reporting Tools Struggle with Omnichannel Reporting
Many retail businesses and marketers who have retail clients use a multitude of different tools to view, analyze, and report on their omnichannel retail data.
These disparate tools include native dashboards (e.g. Shopify), Business Intelligence (BI) tools (e.g. Tableau), and Extract Transform Load (ETL) tools (e.g. Supermetrics).
Some of these tools may work as one element of your omnichannel reporting. But they are all inadequate as stand-alone omnichannel reporting tools. This is because they don't have all the key characteristics we outlined above.
For example, a native dashboard — like the one in Shopify — has standard charts and data on eCommerce sales and website analytics, but you only have access to Shopify data. Even if you have several Shopify stores, you can’t aggregate the data from the different Shopify accounts. It's not possible to integrate with marketing platforms (e.g Facebook Ads, Twitter), let alone your other sales data sources (e.g. in-store, Amazon, eBay).
General purpose BI tools, like Tableau, provide sophisticated analytics and visualizations but are complex to use and do not have the ability to connect with all the marketing and sales data sources you need. You would need data staff to pull your data from all your data sources for you on a periodical and ongoing basis which is tedious and time-consuming.
ETL tools connect and pull your data from your different platforms but won’t usually offer dashboards or reporting, so your omnichannel capabilities stop there. You would have to connect to another tool — such as a BI tool or a dashboard like Google Data Studio — to create your omnichannel reports, so ETL tools only do part of the job.
In contrast, TapClicks was built to solve the shortcomings of these other tool categories and be a complete omnichannel reporting tool.
TapClicks fulfills the 3 characteristics we’ve identified. We’ll explain why next.
Factor #1: TapClicks Can Connect to All Your Data Sources, Including In-Store POS Systems and eCommerce Platforms
Pulling data from all your different sales channels can be a time suck when you have to go into each platform individually or use several different tools (such as BI or ETL tools) to help you.
Brands delivering omnichannel experiences to customers likely have data in several different platforms such as in-store POS systems, in-store concessions, your website, various marketplaces (e.g. eBay) and possibly different eCommerce platforms (e.g. Shopify, WooCommerce). They also typically have several different marketing campaigns running in various channels, for example, social media and/or radio and TV campaigns.
That’s a lot of different data sources to manage. So, to do true omnichannel reporting, your tool needs to be able to integrate with every single one of them and pull data from them automatically.
Instantly Connect to Over 250+ Omnichannel Data Sources with TapClicks
We designed TapClicks so that it can pull data from over 250+ data sources (called “instant-on” connectors) — including eCommerce platforms such as Shopify and Amazon.
Once connected, your data will be pulled automatically in near real-time.
Our instant-on connectors include all the main marketing platforms, and some lesser known ones, too, so you can pull data from all your marketing campaigns and all sales sources into one place. And, once connected, you can even pull 12 months of historical data, so you can immediately have the option of incorporating that into your omnichannel reports.
Here is a video showing how easy it is to connect to one of the 250+ platforms for which we have instant-on connectors:
TapClicks Can Create “Smart” Connections to Any Other Omnichannel Data Source You Might Have
In addition to our 250+ instant-on connectors, the TapClicks team can set up a “smart connector” for any platform or set of data you want, as long as it comes in a format we can integrate with (e.g. Google Drive, S3, Snowflake, GBQ, a public API). We can even incorporate an offline file sent to us as an email attachment.
This gives you the best of both worlds — the advantage of quickly and easily connecting to as many of our 250+ instant-on connectors that you need as well as connecting to any custom data sources (such as your POS system), with minimum fuss.
And the advantage of using the TapClicks platform is that our team manages the APIs for you, saving you time and resources. We have relationships with all these companies, so if there’s an update to an API or a break in a connection, we’ll ensure that it’s taken care of right away.
Factor #2: With TapClicks, You Can Calculate and Define All Your Omnichannel Metrics in One Place
Once you’ve set up which sources you want to be pulling data from for your omnichannel reporting, you need to define which metrics you want to include, what you want to call them, and set up any calculations you may need.
If you don’t have a solution like TapClicks, this is part of the process which is often overlooked.
Retail businesses and agencies spend a great deal of time downloading all their data from different sources and then spend tens or hundreds of hours copying and pasting that data (or even typing it directly) into an Excel spreadsheet over and over again.
And then, once the data is captured in a spreadsheet, even more time has to be spent inputting formulas and manipulating that data so that it gives you the information you (or your client) need. This needs to be done every single week, or month, whenever your clients or stakeholders want to see the most up-to-date marketing results.
Some companies have whole departments dedicated to doing these tasks, when most of it, if not all of it, can be automated.
TapClicks helps you automate this whole process.
Because the same tasks are repeated over and over (e.g. adding up sales of a product), you can set up your product metrics just once, and the calculations you need are automatically done for you, whenever you need them (e.g. weekly or monthly).
So, What Do We Mean by a Product Metric?
To illustrate what we mean by a product metric, let’s say you simply want to add up the sales of each product from different sales sources, like a retail POS system or an eCommerce site (e.g. Shopify, Amazon, etc.). Say you need to do this every month for an executive report. Normally, you'd have to use a spreadsheet and each month you’d have to manually add up all the data, something like this:
- All product A sales on all those channels.
- All product B sales on all those channels.
Plus, the different channels (Shopify and Amazon, vs. a retail POS) may format the data in different ways, perhaps using different units, and that has to be dealt with and cleaned up every month.
But with TapClicks, this can be automated. You can create a metric called "Total product A sales" and define the formula by telling it what to include and from which source(s). Then, you do the same for “Total product B sales”, and so on. If the data from any of these channels needs to be formatted differently or cleaned up, you can create an automated calculation to do that every time.
As a result, with TapClicks, you never have to manually add this up again. The new metric you created, "Total product A sales" will always do the calculation for you across all your channels. You can use this metric wherever you want within the TapClicks platform — in a dashboard that always shows that number, or in a graph, or in a PowerPoint slide.
Create it once and it can be used forever across all omnichannel sources and clients.
And, with TapClicks, you can combine cross-channel metrics, too. So, not only can you add up and combine sales at a product level, you can view and combine the data from entire retail channels (e.g. your POS system or your in-store sales) and break it down whichever way you want.
Defining Campaign Metrics with TapClicks That You Can Use Across All Your Omnichannel Reporting
Following on from how to define and combine product metrics, with TapClicks, you can also define marketing campaign metrics.
Let’s say you’ve been running Facebook Ads campaigns in some regions where there are stores, a Twitter Ad campaign nationally, and a nationwide radio ad campaign. You want to see how those campaigns perform individually, by region and together. Firstly, you want to know what kind of engagement you’ve had as a result of those campaigns and you also want to find out how sales have been impacted by those campaigns. But how do you define engagement?
With TapClicks, it’s easy. You simply create a new metric called “total engagement” and then click on each metric that you want to include in your new aggregate term (e.g. “likes”, “views”, “clicks”) across the various marketing platforms (e.g. Facebook Ads, Twitter), and it’s done.
You now have a new metric called “total engagement” which can be used forever across as many aspects of TapClicks you want, whether that’s in a graph, a campaign, a client, a dashboard, or a report.
You’ll never have to configure the metric “total engagement” again and you’ll never have to add up the engagement metrics manually again, either.
Easily View Omnichannel Results by Location, Region, and More
For retail businesses operating in many locations, you’ll likely need to report on campaign performance at multiple geographic levels: single location, regional, state, national, and perhaps even global. Add into the mix the different marketing campaigns you’re running for some or all of those locations, as well as the hundreds or thousands of product lines you offer, and quickly the task of omnichannel reporting becomes complex. And if you’re an agency with dozens of retail clients that fit this model, or even anything close to it, omnichannel reporting becomes a major headache.
As we’ve described already, TapClicks makes it easy for you to pull data from all the sources you need and also define your metrics as you want (e.g. “Total product A sales” or “total engagement”) so you can visualize and report on your results in whatever segments you choose. But with TapClicks, not only can you view the data via channel (e.g. eCommerce platform) but you can break it down by individual location. As with the metric definitions above, you simply configure your location metrics at the start and they are there for you to use forever after.
The bubble chart below allows you to hover over each location bubble where it will give you detailed information on the total sales for that particular country or city.
TapClicks is the only out-of-the-box software tool that lets you easily and automatically zoom in and out and report on omnichannel performance metrics from individual location level, to the overall level, and every other segment in between.
Check out our full article on the benefits of TapClicks for multi-location businesses here.
Create Omnichannel Dashboards Once to Use as Templates
Most omnichannel reporting tools will feature some kind of dashboard for you to visualize your data. With TapClicks, the advantage is that our dashboards can be used as templates. Any updates made to one dashboard can be updated across all dashboards. The data and metrics that you define can also be pulled from the live dashboards into PowerPoint or PDF-style reports (more on that later).
Most of our users choose our readymade templates as a starting point. We have templates for Google Ads, Facebook Ads, and more, and they can be configured to include whichever metrics (‘widgets’) you want. You can then visualize your data how you wish (e.g. graph, pie chart, bar chart).
Customization options are limited with other tools (e.g. BI and ETL) but our dashboards can be white-labeled, so you can customize metrics for each media platform, sales source, or retail location, if you wish. You can also add custom branding.
For example, below, we can see data for Facebook Ads for one particular location. Here we’ve branded the dashboard with their logo and colors for a hypothetical agency we created called Lucid.
Here, we’ve zoomed out to look at spend for three California locations.
As we explained above, this is possible because it was all configured at the start, so the data is pulled in automatically. You can view omnichannel data from as many retail locations as you wish by simply clicking to add the locations you want to include.
Apply Changes to Dashboard Templates Once Only
Once you’ve set up your dashboards to include whichever metrics and calculations you want, it’s really easy to make changes and have those changes apply to all your dashboards.
For example, say you have 25 retail clients who use Shopify. You want to add a new metric to your Shopify dashboard. Instead of going into each of the 25 clients’ individual Shopify dashboards and adding that metric manually, you can add it once to your Shopify template and the change will automatically be applied to all your Shopify dashboards. This is a huge time saver and optimization of efficiency.
It’s worth noting that you can make a change to just one dashboard, if you prefer.
Factor #3: With TapClicks, You Can Create Omnichannel PowerPoint Reports That are Automatically Populated with Your Data
As well as being able to view your omnichannel reporting via dashboard, users also like to view their data via PowerPoint or PDF files and have these emailed to them at specific times — weekly, monthly, quarterly, etc.
If you’re creating omnichannel reports manually and/or using different tools, this is going to take several hours each month — pulling in data from all the different channels, number crunching, and plotting the numbers and graphs into each slide of your presentation. And you will need to do this for each omnichannel client, every reporting period — and for ad hoc reports, too.
This is where ReportStudio comes in. We've designed it to combine all the advantages of our dashboard tool with the power of a flexible and scalable report builder.
Note: With TapClicks, it’s also possible to use the platform as a data warehouse which gathers and stores your data and then exports it to another reporting tool such as Google Sheets, or a BI tool, like Tableau.
TapClicks ReportStudio Auto-Updates Your Reports Just Like a Live Dashboard
With ReportStudio, you can create omnichannel presentation report templates with whatever plots and graphs you want and schedule the report to be emailed out whenever you wish.
And when the report is sent out, all the numbers and graphs will automatically update with the most current data. It’s the equivalent of having a PowerPoint presentation builder that’s connected to all your omnichannel data.
Because you’ve already defined your metrics within your dashboards (and you can view these via your dashboards whenever you want), these will be pulled across automatically into ReportStudio, so you don’t need to repeat the set-up you’ve already done.
The beauty of ReportStudio, as with so many other features of TapClicks, is that you can set up and create client reports for all your omnichannel campaigns and channels once only and it’s done forever, until you decide to change it.
For example, if you wanted to report on your Shopify data specifically, this can be set up so that it populates your slide deck report directly from your Shopify dashboard. There’s no manual work necessary — it’s all done for you.
And, if you want to report on all your sales channels, simply select those channels and your clients or stakeholders will receive a full omnichannel report. This is because all your metrics and calculations that you set up will be carried through to your reports automatically.
As with the dashboards, you can customize your omnichannel reports with our white label templates and set permissions so that each audience sees the information that’s relevant to them, when you want them to see it. You can set up reports to run to whatever schedule you want — monthly, weekly, or whenever the reporting period falls.
The report will be sent via email or PDF (whatever you’ve requested) to the people you’ve set it up to go to at whatever frequency and schedule you want. You can be rest assured that the software will always pull the latest data into your reports, automatically, without you needing to do a thing.
Want to Try TapClicks for Your Omnichannel Reporting?
Omnichannel reporting is a challenge if you’re using a basic reporting tool or even several different tools. And, if you have many clients you need to produce omnichannel reporting for, it’s extremely time consuming and complex.
Using a tool like TapClicks means you can pull all the data you need from every sales and marketing source and consolidate it into one place.
And from there, you can define and calculate all your metrics just once — saving a huge amount of time and allowing you to scale up significantly. By having all this set up, it’s simple to create the necessary omnichannel reports you need for your clients and stakeholders, and schedule them to run automatically, so you can spend time on other business needs.
Want to see how easy it is to use the TapClicks omnichannel reporting features? Try our free 14-day trial.