Retail strategy really boils down to one thing and one thing only – giving the customer what he or she wants. The challenge is that consumer psychology is notoriously elusive and changes all the time. Retailers may have some insights, but more often than not they lack the complete picture. And as a result, it’s still really difficult to capture and retain customers.
The retailers of the past had to rely on careful observations, informed assumptions, and anecdotal insights to understand their customers. But today’s retail is a lot more sophisticated, thanks largely to data-driven technologies. Now that so much of the retail sales cycle takes place through digital channels, retailers are capable of capturing tremendous amounts of customer data. And by running that data through retail analytics software, merchants are empowered to understand customers like never before.
To give you a sense of just how illuminating and instructive retail analytics really is, consider some of the insights it’s able to uncover:
How to Improve Loss Prevention
Shoplifting is a classic problem that has never found a perfect solution, until now. Retail analytics can explore data on where, when, and how theft happens. In the process, it identifies the trends and patterns that thieves commonly rely on. Those insights allow stores to adjust their security strategies, inventory, or layout to eliminate theft in meaningful ways.
How to Perfectly Schedule Staff
Finding the ideal staff mix for every hour of the week has always been hard for retailers. Analytics highlights when things like in-store traffic or sales are at the highest and lowest. Having a top-down perspective over sales patterns allows retailers to adjust their staff mix dynamically and precisely. Consequently, there is never too much, too little, or the wrong kind of staff on the clock at any time.
How to Optimize the Sales Journey
The most frustrating thing for a retailer is to spark interest in a consumer but fail to make the sale. Retail analytics offers an exciting solution because it reveals when and where most customers abandon the sales journey. Those insights inform how retailers could redesign their website, improve their customer service, or adjust their inventory to secure more conversions. Over time, retail analytics becomes a powerful tool for driving revenue.
How to Create Effective Marketing
Retail marketing is harder than ever now that there are so many ad channels and sales opportunities. Retail analytics ensures that stores are not wasting their marketing budget targeting the wrong consumers with the wrong messages. Stores enjoy far better ROI from their marketing budget and see sales surge at the same time.
How to Improve Inventory
Retailers have a sense of what is selling and what is not, but not on the same level as retail analytics. Technology can carefully track a store’s inventory both on the shelves and throughout the supply chain. The data from this process helps retailers reconfigure their inventory to be as appealing as possible. It also helps stores avoid out-of-stock situations that leave customers disappointed in a brand.
Retail analytics is not a panacea, but it’s close. For every problem today’s retailers are struggling with, analytics offers an accessible and actionable solution.