4 items tagged "Retail"

  • BI trends: What to expect for retail in 2019?

    BI trends: What to expect in retail in 2019?

    To help retailers and brands plan for 2019, Researcher Claudia Tajima and Fiona Swerdlow are interviewing experts within Forrester for their series, ´Applying 2019 Predictions To Retail´. This week, Claudia interviewed Jennifer Belissent, Ph.D. and principal analyst on Forrester’s consumer insights team, on their 2019 BI predictions report. Here’s what Jennifer thinks retailers and brands can expect and should focus on regarding BI for the rest of 2019.

    Claudia:Your first BI prediction for 2019 states that companies cannot be successful simply selling raw data and that self-service data marketplaces will struggle. BI tools need to start delivering data insights and services. How does this shift affect retailers?

    Jennifer: For retailers today, there is a vast amount of data that you could use to improve business and better understand your customers. Many retailers already use their data to understand their customers and forecast trends. But today is a rapidly evolving landscape of new, alternative data sources. Opportunities to enrich data with new sources are appealing. However, retailers must evaluate those opportunities carefully. Why? The time to value is longer when buying raw data instead of buying data insights. For example, buying a customer’s credit score would be faster time to value than buying the raw customer data to ultimately find their credit score. My recommendation is that retailers should not rush to buy data or expect to be able to buy data from a marketplace and get all the answers they’re searching for. In some cases, retailers need insights service providers to interpret this data.

    Claudia:How will the demand for data storytelling skills impact retailers’ talent acquisition strategies?

    Jennifer: This demand exists because there is a gap between technology users and data scientists. They don’t always speak the same language, but a storyteller can bridge the gap. Organizations need a storyteller who can talk to the business team, data team, and the technology team and help them reach a common understanding. This balance is critical for BI teams to be able to both organize data and deliver the data in a compelling way. Forrester’s research suggests that more mature companies, those that are more ´insights-driven´, have these skills.

    Claudia:Organizations are predicted to abandon unactionable BI reporting and dashboards. How should retailers respond to growing derelict dashboard graveyards?

    Jennifer: Retailers are seeking answers to questions such as: How does one store compare to others? How does it compare to regional sales? However, retailer leaders’ interest in specific reports or dashboards eventually goes down over time. Creating a data center of excellence increases more data awareness, but it also brings about a frenzy of requests for new dashboards and reports. Ultimately, many of these requests end up as orphaned dashboards. It is important for retailers to be careful of how they embrace data democratization. Take time to step back and rationalize, prioritize, and determine which data from reports and dashboards you need and don’t need.

    Claudia:Why should retailers consider adopting data fabrics in place of data lakes?

    Jennifer: In the past, many organizations chose to put their data into massive data lakes. However, these organizations did not fully think through how their data lakes should be organized and used. Today, organizations are starting to realize that there is no major benefit to putting all of their data into one centralized data lake. The new trend is to create a data fabric of woven data from across different parts of the organization that sits somewhere central. Data fabric stores maintain their own individual data, but there is a central data point where it can all be accessed.

    Claudia:What recommendations would you give to retail leaders looking into investing in BI tools in the coming 12 to 18 months?

    Jennifer: Data catalogues, which serve as a knowledge repository, are becoming very popular. Organizations typically have one centralized data catalogue. Interesting data catalogue outputs include: use cases, algorithms, as well as which reports the data has been used for and where has it been tested in sales. In terms of ambient data governance tools, retailers should look for BI tools that have data governance built directly into them.

    Author: Fiona Swerdlow

    Source: Forrester

  • How BI helps shaping the future of retail

    How BI helps shaping the future of retail

    The author of this article, Microstrategy's Nick Barth, joined DynamicAction and LEGO Group onstage at FT Future of Retail 2019 to discuss how to maximize the power of data-driven customer insights.

    The event discussion offered three main takeaways for retail enterprises looking to expand and optimize their data.

    Be smarter about how we look at data

    It's time to wean ourselves off of Excel. When all your data is in a spreadsheet, it's hard to find value within the rows and columns. There are much better ways of visualizing data today, and modern visualization tools benefit everyone in the enterprise with intelligence, not just the data-adept.

    Data lakes aren't the answer

    While a unified warehouse is challenging to achieve, data lakes haven't proven themselves to be better. Business users and analysts alike are referring to them as 'data swamps'. So how can enterprises turn disparate data from multiple sources, and at different levels of usability, into something that elevates the enterprise?

    The answer is an enterprise semantic layer: software that filters data from different sources and provides the governance necessary for a single version of the truth across the organization. When all users, from store managers to executives, are looking at the same numbers, you’re on your way to success as a retailer of the future.

    Keep a pulse on your business

    Retail business leaders need to be in the know about vital KPIs such as store performance and customer experience, and they need this data to be in real time, accurate, and easily accessible. Self-service BI makes this possible, but those looking to the future should take advantage of new technologies to not only make data accessible, but to integrate it into the natural workflow of every employee.

    So what concrete benefits will these important tips deliver to your retail enterprise? Here are three of many:

    • Competitive pricing: Flag pricingdiscrepancies and deliver the best possible value to your customers.
    • Real-time store performance monitoring: Mobile dashboards can deliver important store and customer KPIs to every employee on the floor, helping them boost the customer experience and drive sales.
    • Inventory management: Never experience a stockout again by arming your store ops and supply chain managers with the accurate inventory data they need to take collective action.

    The discussion at FT Future of Retail made it clear that the retail industry needs to embrace data and analytics to keep up with both competitors and consumer demands.

    Author: Nick Barth

    Source: MicroStrategy

  • The rise in importance of data and its consequences for retailers

    Storefronts and stalls have been around since forever, and even now, one just has to walk around an old city centre to see stores that are hundreds of years old. Take Fortnum and Mason in London for example, founded in 1707 and still trading in the same building. Retail has not fundamentally changed much over the millennia.

    However, since the emergence of the internet since the mid 90’s and the introduction of e-commerce stores such as Amazon and eBay, the retail industry has undergone its biggest overhaul yet. The physical world of try before you buy is rapidly decreasing, while the virtual world of buy, deliver and then send it back if you don’t like it is growing.

    Amazon has recently posted an impressive annual revenue of $232.9 billion. Likewise, the average growth of sales of e-commerce was 24.5% annually since 2014.

    According to the analysis of 500 high streets by accountancy specialists, 2,692 stores were shut between January and June. Just 1,569 started up – an all-time low, because of plunging confidence. Retailers are focusing more and more on online shopping.

    Gone are the days where buses, trains and cars shipped shoppers to the highstreets and out of town shopping centres. Nowadays all kinds of delivery vehicles bring the products of the shops to us.

    Useful data to retailers

    As retail businesses are closing down their storefronts on the high street, they are focusing more and more on online sales. With this change, an influx of useful data to retailers emerges that must be stored and made good use of.

    This flood of data to retailers presents them with a huge amount of power and opportunity to know who their customers are and likewise to gather data about them in order to inform future business decisions, but it also presents a big challenge. Whichever retail business falls behind in managing data will be beaten by its competition relentlessly.

    When customers make an online order, they must fill out all kinds personal details like the delivery address. With this data, company’s can map where the majority of their customers are ordering from and optimize marketing campaigns accordingly based on location.

    Perhaps a business notices that a lot of its sales are in inner city areas, they may choose to double down their marketing efforts in these areas or look for other cities in which their products may be suitable.

    Likewise, knowing where your customers are based may help to optimize delivery routes so that customers get their products as quickly and efficiently as possible. It is important to be aware that these benefits are to no avail if customer data is incorrect or there are large amounts of duplicates in retailers CRM systems. Data sets that are either obtained incorrectly or managed the wrong way will lead to misinformed decisions, resulting into inefficient business processes and ultimately losses for the business. It is essential that with this uprooting of the retail industry, retailers start taking data management seriously.

    Whilst there is a large opportunity for retailers who take their data management seriously, there is also a major risk if customer data is not managed correctly. The sanctions on companies who mismanage their customer data can be substantial. Likewise, in an increasingly competitive market, missing out on the benefits of effective data management may be the angel of death for retailers around the globe. In the modern society of online shopping, data management can make or break the success of a retail business.

    Change is inevitable, however, it is businesses resilience and the ability to adapt to change that determines the ability not only to survive but to prosper.

    Author: Martin Doyle

    Source: DQ Global

  • What Can Retailers Do To Elude Extinction?

    ExtinctHere's what you didn't learn in school about the disruption affecting retail today. A recent article by consultant Chris H. Petersen, "Seven disruptive trends that will kill the bigstock-Extinct-150-79929610-copy'dinosaurs of retail'" discussed the fate of "25 retail dinosaurs that vanished in the last 25 years" which was the subject of an Entrepreneur article. Those retailers included giants such as Circuit City, Comp USA, Blockbuster, Borders, and Tower Records, companies which literally dominated their category or channel. Others named in the article were retail innovators in their own right until new disruptors outgunned them. The point is that neither longevity, size, or specialization guarantee retail survival today. So how can today's retailers avoid being extinguished by current disruptive innovations?

    Disruptive innovation refers to any enhanced or completely new technology that replaces and disrupts an existing technology, rendering it obsolete. (Picture how we went from the Model T to the KIA; from giant mainframes to personal computers; or from fixed-line telephones to cellphones/smartphones).

    Disruptive innovation is described by Harvard Business professor Clayton Christensen as a process by which a product or service takes root initially in simple applications at the bottom of a market and then relentlessly moves up market, eventually displacing established competitors.

    Today's major disruptive retail trends have led to the rise of the consumer, the rise of technology to help retailers best serve the consumer while wrestling with competitive forces, and the demise of "the old way of doing business."

    I. The Consumer.

    Evolving, innovative, disruptive technology has led to consumer-dominated behavior that reaches across many channels. As we know, today's consumer now shops any time and everywhere using a variety of helping tools.

    The consumer is capable of having a personal, seamless experience across their entire shopping journey to explore, evaluate and purchase, tempered by how retailers DO business, provide service, deal with their competition, etc.

    * The consumer journey starts online, although stores remain a destination for experience.

    What can retailers do? The successful retailer of the future needs to not only master online and offline, but how to connect with the consumer across many touch points, especially social media.

    * Mobile juggernaut. The latest stats show that there are now more cell phones in use than people on this planet. Smartphones now exceed 4.5 billion. Mobile is the majority and will be the preferred screen for shopping.

    What can retailers do? Retail survivors must optimize for mobile engagement, and also broadcast offers and connect with consumers wherever they are. The store of the future will not only have beacons to connect, but to track traffic via mobile as well.

    * Stock availability / Virtual aisle / Endless shelf. More than 50 percent of consumers expect to shop online and see if stock is available in store.

    Omni channel consumers now fully realize that stores can't begin to stock every model, style and color. While consumers can see hundreds if not thousands of products in store, they know that there are millions online.

    What can retailers do? The survivors are literally creating a seamless experience between online, store and mobile apps so the consumer can "have it their way" anywhere, anytime.

    * Consumer experience still rules. Consumer experience still needs to come down to senses: Tactile, visual, and psychological.

    What can retailers do? Virtual dressing rooms, better in-store experiences, and adoption of new disruptive technology to address and satisfy these issues.

    * Personalization of products and services.

    What can retailers do? New survivors are emerging with "mass personalization" opportunities to custom tailor your clothes or curate your personal wardrobe assortment and send it to you.

    * Social Connections and the influence of the opinions of others. Social has become a primary source of research and validation on what to buy. Today's consumers are 14 times more likely to believe the advice of a friend than an ad.

    What can retailers do? Today's major brands are giving much more attention to and spending more dollars on social media than traditional media.

    II. Technology

    Disruptors share the common purpose to create businesses, products and services that are better -- usually less expensive and always more creative, useful, impactful -- and scalable.

    What can retailers do? Put into use as soon as possible disruptive technology solutions such as price and assortment intelligence, behavioral economics, customer experience analytics, predictive analytics, and more to help understand, meet, and outgun the competition and service the customer.

    A Note on Predictive Analytics.

    Dr. Christensen subscribes to predictive analytics as, "the ability to look at data from the past in order to succeed in new ways the future." Predictive analytics solutions, the capability to forecast consumer purchase trends in order to sell the most products at the best prices at any given time are coming on strong.

    Bottom Line For Your Bottom Line

    There's never been a time of more disruptive change in retail. Retailers who are the most adaptable to change -- and not the strongest nor more intelligent of the species -- will be the ones to survive.

    It's a case of keeping yourself on top of the tsunami of change through the mastery of today's and tomorrow's new disruptive technologies.

    *Thanks to Chris H. Petersen, PhD, CEO of Integrated Marketing Solutions, a strategic consultant who specializes in retail, leadership, marketing, and measurement.

    Source: upstreamcommerce.com, February 8, 2015

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