Retail Analytics: The Key to Fueling Business Growth and Improving Market Success
The retail industry is transforming by leaps and bounds, and their biggest concern is that buyers are changing too fast, and their attitude towards buying a product is hard to pin down. However, the truth is the other way around. If look deep into it, you’ll notice that actually the buyers are not changing by themselves, it is the buying trends that are changing the buyers.
The buying trends existed ten years ago does not exist today, even if it did, it might not work. The methods implemented by businesses to predict outcomes in the past does not hold good in the present.
In an effort to understand the psychology of the buyers, the retail industry has moved into a new world, a world where advanced product analytics tools are deployed to decode the buyer persona and collect accurate and valuable insights on the products. What was once a herculean task is now reduced to a small (yet powerful) business tool that helps them gain incredible product insights while considerably reducing human error.
With this type of a solution at their disposal, businesses have an upper hand in gathering useful information of both the products and the buyers.
If you are a business who’ve decided to build a product analytics solution, the following important factors will help you identify and build the right tool for your business.
How retail analytics is fueling business growth
The retail analytics solution is not just a piece of software that sits in your device. Instead, it’s a tool that has a direct effect on your marketing efforts. Today’s analytics tools deploy advanced features to extract information and create simulations that help retailers reap more benefits from their marketing spends.
A lot of retailers are armed with solid data, but they are not sure how to turn them into a growth prospect. This where retail analytics steps in. It lets businesses identify growth and gaps, and then predict future performance of their product or service. For example, knowing your next 100 customers who are likely to provide you business; which customers are your biggest influencers; which products are most likely to go out of business; which products are resonating with buyers and which isn’t. These are very important business metrics and figures that – as a retailer – you need to be armed with.
An efficient retail analytics tool can provide you with holistic insights on these and even more. Retail analytics is a road map that can help you prepare for the worst, and sketch a plan for the best. Predictive analysis is a proactive approach that every retailer should take in order to survive the fiercely competitive retail world.
How to identify the right analytics tool that would work for you
In order to find out the right analytics tool, you need to first identify the areas that play a crucial role in empowering your business. You might be having a single business or multiple businesses, but bear in mind that no two business’s needs are the same. So, you need to build a fully customized product that fulfils and addresses all your specific business needs.
However, on a broader perspective, a powerful analytics solution is the one which enables you to achieve the following:
It should allow you to fully integrate it with your existing programs
You may have your existing business software, like a sales force management software or a tracking software from which you are already tracking some important metrics. Now, when you build a product analytics software, make sure that it can be fully integrated with your existing programs.
It should be customized
As mentioned earlier – that no two business’s needs are the same – your retail product analytics tool should be fully customized to address your key business needs. Do not heavily customize the tool as they could cause a problem when you upgrade it.
It should be scalable
Businesses grow. That’s the goal of every business, isn’t it? The analytics tools should be planned and built in such a way that it organically grows as your business grows.
The software should be modular
Software Modularity is one of the important aspects to be considered, especially when you prefer to pick and choose analytics features that you really need. By having software modularity, you can customize and use only features that matters to the business goal, and omit the rest.
Using these insights, retailers can now accurately pinpoint products, services, or offers that are most attractive to the users. This ability, of knowing the likes of the customers, is one of the most important and valuable capacities retailers can ever have.
“According to the survey of nearly 350 retailers, 81% of them said they gather shopper insights, 73% said buyer insights are very important or highly essential for their department’s success, and 76% reported that insights are critical to their organizational performance.”Alteryx and RetailWire
Advanced capabilities to capture and harness customer insights
Despite being in a tough world with tougher challenges, retailers are still lucky as new technologies are coming to the fore with advanced analytics capabilities like Artificial Intelligence, Deep Learning, Machine Learning, and robotic automation.
These new age tools don’t just help retailers extract retail insights, but also help them harness them in efficient ways. They equip retailers with powerful predictive capabilities, which leads to produce better, to take timely (actionable) decisions, collaborate efficiently, and achieve greater ROI.
“Collecting customer insights is not just enough, harnessing them and utilizing them toward the benefit of a company is the real deal.”
For example, we recently built a retail analytics solution for a multinational consumer giant to be used in their Chinese market. In China, they had multiple retail manufacturing plants, distribution centres, and thousands of employees. With such an expansive set up, they had to track product performance metrics, operational insights and overall business performance KPIs for its top-level managers. As it happened, their biggest challenge was to track these information from three different data sources, which, consequently, was becoming extremely difficult and time-consuming.
Thanks to the advanced analytics technology. Using the most advanced technology available, we built a Business Intelligence (BI) application that could sync data from three different sources, crunch them, and extract valuable insights. The tool we built was capable of generating reports on the basis of Channel, Location and Product hierarchies. It went beyond by providing consolidated, yet detailed reports on KPIs, such as Oftake, Task, PSKU, Star products, Display, and product Shelf metrics. The application also offered location-wise details, data visualization, master data management, store level data – drilling down to the minutest level.
Our retail client was able to gain a 360 degree view of their entire business operation across China – all under a single roof.
Armed with powerful retail analytics solution up their sleeves, backed by technological advancements, modern retailers can go a long way fueling business growth. With the help of contemporary analytics solutions, retailers are better understanding the buyer habits, wants and their needs, and are ahead in time in offering the products and services they might just want.