How the Analytics Professional can help the Retailer unleash the power of Retail Analytics

To unleash the power of Retail Analytics, a retailer needs to face the challenge of too many analytic options – store footfall analytics, supply chain analytics, customer analytics, demand shaping analytics, pricing analytics, and much more.

This calls for the need to be selective while investing in analytics and technologies. Which means a business needs to adopt those analytical applications that save money or generate more profits based on the business strategies, industry/ market scenario and problem to be solved.

For instance, a new business needs to analyse its customer base, for new customer acquisition and building customer loyalty. A mega retail chain with high competition will look at Clienteling analytics or Demand shaping analytics to capture the maximum market share. Some large retail stores may need to invest in pricing and supply chain analytics to address their problem of high inventory costs per sq ft because of low inventory turnaround.

So at the very outset, an analytics professional will ask these six critical questions:

  1. What are the primary issues the business needs to address?      
  2. What are the problems faced?
  3. What processes are involved and/or may be affected?
  4. What information from existing and new data sources needs to be gathered to        resolve the above?
  5. For new data, what technology is to be used for process and insights? For             instance, So Mo Lo (Social media, Mobile, Location), or optimised smartphoneapp    or mobile site.  
  6. How to integrate the new data with existing/ historical data to develop deeper insights?

Based on the above, a suitable plan is drawn up for the optimal data and analytics technology.

For, ‘You don’t always need big data. You just need the right data.’

Analytics has become a powerful tool for retailers, applied to a broad range of functions and gain tremendous results.

With these analytical tools, the retailers can improve business operations such as:

  • scout locations for new stores, franchisee or distribution sites
  • motivate new buyers
  • develop customers relations based on insights into their behaviors and requirements
  • determine optimal pricing strategies based on customer profiling, buying habits, seasonal trends and so on
  • deliver targeted advertising, promotions and product offers
  • determine and improvise marketing and advertising campaigns
  • forecast demands and stock requirements from historical and real-time data
  • balance inventory with demand to prevent problems of out-of-stock or excess inventory
  • analyse buying patterns to identify items likely to require restocking
  • examine potentials to partner with consumer goods manufacturers in accord with consumer needs to improve sales

And the smart analytics professional can help the retailer achieve the above objectives, for both survival and growth.

Bottomline: A suitable plan of data and analytics technology goes a long way towards solving longstanding operational problems and regrouping strategies for increased sales, profitability and growth – thus unleashing the power of retail analytics to remain ahead of competition.

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