As our reliance on technology grows, consumer behavior becomes increasingly important to analyze. Apart from explicit interaction with retailers through their online stores or social media, consumers leave digital clues virtually everywhere that express their needs and expectations.
The ability to analyze this information gives retailers direct and immediate insight into consumer preferences. Moreover, the consumer of today––who is connected, visible, and in, any ways more diff than ever –makes new demands on retailers. Retailers need to be perpetually available, responsive, and quickly anticipate consumer needs. Today, the brand that is best able to know the consumer and predict his or her next step, is the one with the competitive advantage.
This is why Retail Analytics has become a key differentiator in the retail space and why companies of all sizes have begun to invest in it. Here’s a closer look at how they’re leveraging new insights to better serve customers and drive sales.
The Role of Data Analysis in Retail Decision Making
The retail industry is depending more than ever on tools to store, manage, and analyze the vast amounts of data generated by stores every day. With the evolution of data, and the advancement in tools and methods of data management in recent years, the role of reail analytics and data analysis in retail decision-making has expanded significantly.
Transparency, efficiency, and customer engagement rely on how well retailers can make sense of the data at their disposal. To understand the needs of their customers, brands can use retail analytics to gain a deeper understanding of their behavior, needs, and expectations. It can also help to improve marketing effectiveness through micro-targeting and channel-sensitive promotions.
Analytics also serve to optimize the supply chain by balancing demand fulfillment and the cost of carrying excess inventory. It enables retailers to synchronize their pricing to the value customers attach to their needs at any given time. It also makes it possible to spot flash trends in order to profit from them. Overall, data analytics can greatly enhance the customer experience, aid effective inventory, drive brand development and maximize profitability.
The Elephant in the Room
For most retailers, the great challenge in making the most out of their data has to do with antiquated enterprise technology. With brick & mortar retailers facing greater competitive and margin pressures from than perhaps at any other time in modern retailing history, thanks to online retailing, the urgency and challenge of leveraging insights better takes on a new dimension.
The urgency is self-evident and self-explanatory. The challenge has as much to do with the high cost and considerable amount of time of installing significant enterprise technology. Many retailers are finding themselves relying increasingly on best-in-class third parties to augment their enterprise system, and overcome their limitations. Nowhere is this phenomenon more pronounced than with retail analytics.
Data Analytics is Key to Survival and Growth
There is one constant in the evolving world of retail: the key to making money is the ability to provide the right product at the right time, the right place, and for the right price. Going forward, successfully deploying retail analytics will be vital to staying ahead, and even surviving in this unpredictable playing field.
The endless amount of data that we have at our disposal means little if we don’t have the tools to make proper sense of it. And the consumer doesn’t care if our enterprise analytics aren’t up to the task!
Move Forward and Get Started With iControl
iControl is a powerful SaaS solution that generates key business insights to drive sales and boost profits for retailers, without requiring costly and time-consuming installations. Our platform provides you with critical trading information at the right time to help you make informed decisions around product placements, pricing, consumer outreach and marketing strategies. And best of all, it is affordable and quick!
Bring your POS, inventory, customer and sales data together in a secure solution that helps your retail business perform at elevated levels across the board. Click here to learn more.