Interactions between an organization and its customers are no longer restricted to one channel. Instead, today's customers are omni-channel and are using different touchpoints to communicate with the brands they do business with.

While some organizations might find it challenging to merge the different touchpoints to ensure a seamless customer experience, integration provides a great opportunity to get more in-depth customer data that can help deliver a relevant and improved experience across the various channels.

This is a very familiar challenge for tactical and military gear retailer Patriot Outfitters. When the company started selling online in 1999, it was leveraging a custom-developed Web portal and an internally developed CRM solution, notes Pete Iserman, one of Patriot Outfitters' owners. But years later when it opened its first retail store outside Kansas' Fort Riley in 2006 and started using a POS system, the company realized that it needed to integrate its in-store and online data. "We had a hodgepodge, including a Web system, an entry-level POS system, and a finance system," Iserman says.