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

2019-11-14 15_56_11-red and white floppy disk on white surface photo – Free Chengannur Image on Unsp

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. To others, it is meticulously combed through and scrubbed and cut up to produce a reasoning in the decision-making process.

Whether you agree that the investment of proper data analysis is better than an industry veteran’s gut feeling, we can all agree that metrics are what guides a business.

But with all this data available, it can be a struggle for retailers to properly collect and interpret the data they have available to them; unless you know what metrics to use.

Read on explore the ways in-store metrics can help further your business.

A seamless retail experience depends on data

Consider the perfect retail environment.

The shelves are stocked with the perfect amounts and mix of product. The desired customers file in, browse, and select the products based on their needs and desires. There is an adequate amount of staff to service all the customers and fulfill their shopping experience with whatever they may need to aid their decision-making process. Prices are reflected at the point where no customer is swayed to non-purchase. All customers are delighted with their in-store experience.

At the end of the day, the last customer picks the last product and pays the perfectly appropriate price for it and leaves the store with a smile and thoughts of coming back for their next purchase, confident it will be just as pleasant and enjoyable. The store is then shuttered for the day to have the shelves restocked for the next. 

Not one more customer could be serviced and not one more product could be sold. Satisfaction levels are the highest and profit is maximized.

It sounds a bit robotic and Utopian to me. Accomplishment of this feat would equate to filling out the perfect March Madness bracket while getting struck by lightning with the winning Powerball ticket in your pocket. 

Even if it sounds too perfect, the above scenario is essentially the goal for all retailers. 

Every inch taken toward this feat, whether in terms of product mix efficiencies, staffing efficiencies, customer experience, or product pricing strategy boils down to one thing: Store profits.

Data helps move your business to store profits

To inch towards this perfect, beautiful scenario, one has to examine the elements, the causes and effects, the minutia of customer behavior and the product movement. This can all be seen in the data.

Yet, according to HBR Closing the Customer Experience Gap report, only 23% of retailers say they can act on all or some of the customer data they collect. Which means there is a gap between what customers want and how retailers handle the data to actually deliver that experience.

Today’s customer expects retailers to know and follow them through online and physical interactions with their brand, providing personalized experiences as they go. Which means that retailers need to leverage all of the data customers provide them.

Data analysis can offers that insight and understanding of how operations can improve that experience and move a store in the direction of increased profits.    

How to make data-driven decisions

No matter how much data you have, if you don't know how to use it, you can't make meaningful decisions for your business. The good news? It's easy to become a data-driven retailer.

Go beyond the standard traffic counting and use the data at your fingertips to measure more meaningful metrics. Here are a few ways you can shift the focus from analytics to a real-time data strategy.

Managed inventory analytics can bring the right product mix and inventory strategies to minimize the lost revenue risk of over and under stocking.

CRM data and analytics are evolving to contact desired customers with a purchase history in a timely manner with new offers based on past expenditures, loyalty, and trends.

Workforce management and staffing data, combined with traffic flow data is making misappropriated staffing levels a thing of the past. 

Pricing versus purchase data has been on every distributors radar for decades, and is constantly evolving to maximize turnovers.

Traffic and browse patterns are constantly being tracked in new and innovative ways to turn the store visit into a smooth flowing and enjoyable experience to capture each sale.

And there is so much more to be discovered and utilized.

Data analytics are essential to the success of the retail store, but the true potential is what you do with all that data. Every user of data and data analytics can discover new insights and make better decisions by simply leveraging the information captured in real time to help optimize the shopping experience.

Learn how to turn your data into action

Data can provide insights that powers action and decisions - if you know the right questions to ask. In this webinar, learn how to approach data and metrics to ensure you're taking the best steps to turn insights into real action and measuring what you really need for your business.

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