In the retail industry, the right data at the right time can help you make more informed, data-driven decisions. With stronger data, you can gain a better understanding of customer behaviors, attitudes, needs, and pain points, which is essential for the success of your retail organization. With increasing consumer demands and dynamic market conditions, it is vital for the players in the retail industry to understand customer preferences and identify their needs. Customers seek instant gratification, unmatched service experience, and the latest products from the companies in the retail industry.
Adopting a business intelligence solution is a powerful way to work towards your retail goals. With the worldwide business intelligence and analytics market expected to reach $22.8 billion by 2022, it goes without saying that BI can certainly benefit the retail industry specifically. Leveraging the features of business intelligence and data management services – paired with the expertise of analytics and data integration – a retail business intelligence solution may be just the answer you need. Business intelligence and customer analytics help retail companies to address customer needs and enhance the shopping experience. In the retail industry, the vendors must not only assess the market landscape but also the customer potential and the competitive landscape to gain a strong foothold in the market.
Lotus Analytics provides the retail organizations with multidimensional data gathered from unrelated or distinct data sources (with the exception of transactional data). The technology cleanses, stores, and transforms those complex data in a logical sequence to prepare them for further on-demand analysis: whenever and wherever is needed. The benefits, which this technology provides the organizations with, are mainly related to enhanced management processes. It enables the companies to view business data from multiple points of view, evaluate “IF” cases, and contribute to smarter processes of planning, purchasing of assembly or raw materials, and project costs.
Let’s look at some major benefits of utilizing a business intelligence solution in your retail processes:
• Identify where customers are coming from: Businesses can not only see the physical locations of customers (states, cities, etc.) but also how they are finding their products and websites, such as through referrals or email campaigns.
• Reporting: BI reporting is not the same as the old school reporting we know about. In the past, the reports were structured to show us the progress status of projects and operations, as well as to give us information about the current store, stock, and sales situation. Nonetheless, business intelligence reporting provides us not only with such basic information, but also why things happen, what is the relationship between different variable factors, and how to improve current performance. And all those insights are fully data-driven and based on past evidence. Retail organizations take advantage of such automated, timely reports, to track tailored KPIs and receive time-bound insights about sales margins, rate of web sales to in-store purchases, cost fluctuations, depleted resourced, depreciation of assets, etc.
• Track customer spending patterns and behaviors: Customer loyalty programs, for example, are an effective way for retailers to track spending patterns and behavior. Research shows that 52% of loyal customers will join a loyalty program if one is offered to them, and members of customer loyalty programs typically spend up to 18% more than other customers. This is an important way to retain customers and create user-generated content and product reviews.
• Integrated Business Intelligence
• Deliver personalized shopping experiences: Providing a personalized experience for consumers will increase loyalty and, hopefully, revenue. According to Forbes, “44% of consumers say they will likely repeat about a personalized shopping experience.”
• Gain visibility into business operations from a supply-chain perspective: Retail business intelligence equips businesses with insight in to every part of the purchasing experience, from organizing and packaging to final delivery of the products.
• Target marketing campaigns and measure their effectiveness: Retailers can see if marketing campaigns are working and whether consumers are clicking on links, opening emails, etc.
• Dashboards: Data dashboards are the perfect tools to gather all the organizational BI data in one place and understand it. Those tools track tailored KPIs, metrics, and objectives’ progress rates and visualize the results in a comprehensible, accessible, and simple manner. Built-in dashboards give detailed, yet not-overwhelming information about the business’s focal points. Therefore, the retailers are enabled to see key performance data at a glance, such as CTR, conversion, and customer retention rates, inventory turnover, year-over-year growth, and others. Besides, implementing real-time data tracking and visualization provides us with up-to-the-minute business intelligence and gives us the opportunity to achieve better control of the operations and capabilities within our reach.
• Understand the needs, wants, and desires of customers: Businesses can develop relationships with their customers and better understand the connected customer. Many industries now see that customer interactions and personalized engagement are important for customer retention and growth.
• Drive profitability through customer retention: Why are loyal customers important? According to HubSpot, a 5% increase in customer retention can translate to a profit of at least 25%.
• Monitor social media behavior: Retail business intelligence allows companies to assess social media sentiment to track metrics and see how products are scoring. Merchandisers can also use this information to analyze sales and the performance of particular products, stores, and brands. Social media can also be an important customer service resource. According to HubSpot, 71% of customers who had a positive interaction with a brand on social media are likely to pass along a recommendation.
Retail Industry is evolving and beginning to leverage the tools and techniques e-commerce has benefited from in recent years. By leveraging BI, organizations can make their retail experience highly personalized, data-driven, customer friendly, and engaging while also improving efficiency in operations. As BI continues to mature in the retail space, we will see continued growth and adaptation in the market, likely bringing the level of intelligence in brick and mortar retail on par with, or exceeding that found online. In the years to come, wearables for sales staff may enable them to react to and engage with customers based on data inputs from nearby beacons and sensors. Whatever the future may hold, it is clear that retailers that embrace a data-driven, BI powered approach to retail are well positioned to compete moving forward.