Business Intelligence Posts

The Hitchhiker's Guide to Big Data

There are millions upon millions of dollars being spent today on data analysis in retail and in most every industry that you could think of. 

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The Struggle is Real-Time Data 

We all know metrics are important, they are the compass that guides the business. With all this data available, it can be a struggle for retailers to properly collect and interpret the data they have available to them.

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Multi-Channel, One Experience

Modern, smart and connected are a few words that describe today’s consumer and should be used to describe your omnichannel strategy as well.

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Boeing 737 Big Data Blunder!

I was travelling recently and booked a long travel day with limited time in between flights. There I was…hanging out in economy seating…for my 5 hour flight…directly over lunch hour…and I was getting hangry!

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Retail is in the Details: Using Your Data to Drive Better Decisions

Data is either loved or data is hated. To some, it is a world of meaningless numbers that are scanned to produce a gut feeling, and to others, it is meticulously combed through and scrubbed and cut up to produce a reasoning in the decision making process. But when comparing the investment of proper data analysis, versus the substantially less investment of an industry veteran’s gut feeling, one may wonder about the ROI.

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Coming Full Circle, Amazon Opens Physical Bookstore in Seattle

Guardian reported today that Amzaon has just opened a bookstore in Seattle's University Village stocked with 6,000 books at the same price as Amazon sells them online.

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Uniqlo Tests Neuroscience to Match Clothing to Customer Moods

Appliance Retailer reported (Oct. 7) that Japanese clothing retailer Uniqlo is trialling neuroscience technology at its stores in Sydney's central business district, in hopes of matching outfits to customers' moods.

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Peeking Inside Macy's 'Millennial Floor'

Last week (Sept. 28), Business Insider's Marina Nazario visited Macy's brand new, 53,000-square-foot basement in its New York City flagship store. The floor is called "One Below" and targets younger shoppers.

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Racked on HSN's Success, Its Numbers, and Its Core Audience

Yesterday (Oct. 5), Racked published a fascinating exposé on the retail sales machine known to many as HSN, previously called the Home Shopping Network.

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Project Retail (video embebbed)

Throughout the past decade, by working with various retailers, the iQmetrix team has accumulated a wealth of industry knowledge and hands-on software expertise that made us comfortable to push our professional service offering to the next level. Rather that offering software tips, we wanted to completely integrate our team with a retailer and work together on improvements on all sides of the business operations and customer experience.

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How Security Can Grow Your Business (Flipbook attached)

Bank of America Merchant Services Now Available in RQ!

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Why Traditional Retail and E-commerce Are Not (Always) Competing Strategies

In Harvard Business Review's (HBR) article titled “E-Commerce is Not Eating Retail”, Darrell Ridby defends retail stores and outlines why they’re here to stay despite the growth of eCommerce.
The HBR article points out two examples of retail segments that are on either end of the physical stores vs. purchased online spectrum - - “e-commerce sales will increase from 11% of Forrester’s top 30 categories to about 18% by 2030—higher in some (such as music) and lower in others (such as food).”

It really comes down to the types of goods that would determine the success of retailers who mix online and in-store.

It’s interesting to note what types of retailers would fall somewhere in the middle and would benefit from a strong blend of in-store and online strategies. It really comes down to the types of goods that would determine the success of retailers who mix online and in-store. My thoughts on the kinds of goods that would be great for the mix are:

  • Goods that are not commodities. If there are physical differentiators for a product set, then it becomes more important to have a physical store channel for consumers to validate a choice that they might make online.
  • Goods that are actually physical. Music is essentially a virtual ‘product’. The distribution lends itself to a strictly electronic form. Books are another example of this class of virtual product.
  • Fashion is a prime industry for an online and in-store mix. The goods are differentiated physically in terms of cut, material, and colors.
  • Technical physical products are another category that benefit from an online and in-store presence - gear that requires good maneuverability or feels good in the hand.

Perhaps another way to think about it is - what kinds of products carry a higher risk of disappointing the customer if they only ever had exposure to it online?

The article points out that “so many companies that began as pure e-commerce plays have added physical stores, including Warby Parker, Athleta, BaubleBar, and Bonobos.” But there are examples of where the reverse is true as well. Physical stores converting to entirely online shops such as old music stores, for instance. A&B Sound and Sam the Record Man were two massive music stores that have since disappeared from the Canadian retail landscape. That being said, moves to purely online aren’t as common.

Physical stores can offer consumers experiences that are difficult to replicate online.

Physical stores allow customers to make decisions based on important physical differentiators between products - feel, fit, smell, color/texture, and noise. Some might argue that a physical presence allows people to better establish the brand. I think this is true, but I think that the nature of the product you’re selling has more to do with it.
So knowing that the physical retail store isn’t disappearing, I’m not arguing that it can stay the same either. Retailers need to work towards bringing online experience and conveniences in-store.

Here are my top 3 tips for how retailers can remain competitive within the growing trends of E-commerce:
1.) Manage your online content to ensure its accuracy and quality. This includes not only product descriptions, but also the most recent availability and pricing information.
2.) Have a consistent brand experience between online and offline so that people feel the continuity across all your marketing channels.
3.) Seamlessly point back and forth from one channel to another. Get your eCommerce site to drive traffic to your store (and show accurate store location information such as hours of operation and directions.) Leverage the higher data density available online to your customers that are in your store – perhaps using mobile calls to action or using in-store kiosks that show online information.

The future of retail is not deciding between physical or online but finding a way to bring the best of both experiences together.
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Multichannel Inventory (Foot Locker case study)

In a recent article published by Retail Touch Points, Foot Locker’s growing success has been attributed to their multichannel strategy that has focused on inventory visibility.

Foot Locker has implemented endless aisle and drop ship concepts to pull together their omnichannel efforts. The article covered a lot of interesting trends that we’ve seen popping up all over the retail landscape.

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