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W3C introduces CRM data standard

By Retail Technology | Wednesday November 6 2013

New digital standard could enable savings of £3 billion every year worldwide for companies like e-retailers who need to acquire customer information

The new Customer Experience Digital Data Acquisition standard developed by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) could generate costs savings of $3 billion (£1.9bn) each year for the global web industry, according to new figures from customer experience management platform Qubit

This savings, which the provider calculated was equivalent to 0.1% of the global internet economy, will come from increased efficiency in data handling as a result of the standard’s implementation.

The standard is expected to have the most impact in territories with higher labour costs. The US market would save just over $1.4bn (£870 million), while in the UK savings could reach $263m (£169m). By comparison China, which has almost 1.5 times more e-commerce businesses than the UK, is only estimated to save $99m (£61.5m). 

These figures also represent significant potential savings for individual companies, with the average web business in the US saving $32,000 (£19,890) a year; $23,000 (£14,300) in the UK; and $6,000 (£3,730) in China.

Eliminating inefficient data management

Graham Cooke, Qubit chief executive, said: “The W3C’s new standard has been developed by a consortium of technology vendors and website owners in order to streamline the inefficient way in which customer experience data is currently managed. 

"By creating a single, unified standard for this data, the industry as a whole can generate significant efficiency savings when it comes to developing and deploying new technologies. Implementation of the standard is a one-time effort and, once its in place, the savings can be significant.”

The savings will be made by standardising the multitude of different formats that web technologies use to ingest and output information about website visitors. Every time a site owner wants to deploy a new customer experience technology such as web analytics, retargeting or web apps, Qubit pointed out that overstretched development teams have to build a bespoke set of data interfaces to make it work, meaning site owners can’t focus on what’s important. 

The new standard will remove this unnecessary complexity. And, by unifying the language that marketing, analytics and personalisation tools all use, the deployment of new technologies should offer more plug-and-play interoperability. The new data layer will save on time and effort currently spent doing manual and laborious tasks, like editing of scraps of Javascript. 

Redeploying web development efforts

Instead of spending a great deal of time creating custom solutions, the standard has been designed to offer site owners the opportunity to redeploy developer time on optimising conversion rates and improving the customer experience.

"Standards play a key role in how we can manage the balance between privacy and personalisation,” said Ray Wang, chairman and founder of Constellation Research. “The W3C standards are a great first step towards setting the foundation."

W3C is global governing web standards body. Having been instrumental in the adoption of standards such as HTML and CSS, its latest project is a new data standard aimed at massively simplifying the process of rolling out new marketing, analytics and personalisation technologies across websites worldwide.

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