Business Intelligence / Data / Analytics

In order to be successful in today’s omnichannel retail marketplace, merchants must collect information from numerous internal and external sources, then analyze that data. New solutions can help to optimize incoming data in order to deliver the business intelligence and analytics needed to move retail businesses successfully into the future. This section offers feature articles, special reports, industry viewpoints and the latest news to help retailers make sense out of the growing influx of information.

Machine Learning Solution Optimizes Google Shopping Campaigns

  • Published in News Briefs
Criteo has introduced a new search solution following beta tests with leading retailers including Revolve Clothing, Teleflora and Camping World. The automated, end-to-end solution, powered by machine learning, is designed to systematically improve results from Google Shopping using predictive optimization across every aspect of a campaign. Criteo Predictive Search continuously…

Seeing The Forest For The Trees: The Taming Of Big Data

The quandary of big data in recent years is similar to looking at a rainforest. There is so much of it, it is not an issue of seeing where and what it is, it is the fear of not seeing the forest for the trees. A rainforest has so many important ecosystems and tiny elements that may be hugely important, similar to big data. Many businesses have the challenge of seeing the thousands of types of data and identifying which elements of the data are important, and what to do about those elements. At Synchrony Financial, we are a consumer finance company with a deep heritage in the retail sector. As such, we have a very large quantity of data, from several sources, which could include SKU data on purchase transactions, marketing touch points, channel interactions, payment history, etc. Our data is not only credit card data normally gathered from an issuer perspective, it is also data we gather to provide value to a retailer. As such, our data tools must be top notch — both scalable and flexible — in order to provide greater insights.

Compliantia Releases Update That Imports Third-Party Store Audits

Retail audit software Compliantia recently unveiled a feature enabling merchants to upload thousands of store inspection reports to the platform — including those previously conducted by third-party services or with legacy software or in-house solutions. The Compliantia software helps retailers audit stores for operations, merchandising and loss-prevention standards. Using Compliantia, a retailer’s full visit history can immediately be made available, providing users with business and operational continuity and allowing them to mine prior data.

EBay Continues Brand Repositioning As Profits Dip

  • Published in News Briefs
Although eBay has long been known as an online destination where shoppers place bids in an auction-style setting, the e-Commerce brand wants to make it clear to shoppers that it is a go-to destination for all online shopping needs. In fact, eBay says 80% of the items on its site…

Personalized Product Recommendations Fuel Conversions For Pura Vida

Jewelry retailer Pura Vida has a compelling story to tell. The company began with two Americans, Griffin Thall and Paul Goodman, who were visiting Costa Rica on a post-college surfing vacation. To help defray the costs of the trip, they decided to see if locally hand-crafted bracelets would sell well back in their home town of San Diego. The 400 bracelets they placed in a bowl at a local boutique sold out quickly, and a business was born. Now, six years later, Pura Vida (Spanish for "pure life") has grown large enough to provide dozens of well-paying jobs for artisans in Costa Rica. The bracelets and other items, including apparel, are sold online and in approximately 2,500 retail locations, such as small boutiques and natural food stores.

Commerce In The Cloud — Is It Really Pay As You Go?

The directive from the Executive Board is clear: pay as you go, or don't go at all.  No more capital investments into projects and systems for products and markets that aren't tried and tested. And why shouldn't such an edict be issued? They've been burned, time and again, by projects delayed or scrubbed for business systems that were supposed to streamline processes, generate revenue and make life easier. Instead, money goes into the pit of never-ending projects to try and fulfill the whispered promise of software. Management doesn't want to hear about a software project until it's a proven success. Wouldn't it be nice to walk into a board meeting with a report on the new e-Commerce site for a new product launch, up for six months generating big revenue for a low cost of entry, so low you didn't need their approval to get it off the ground and take it to the cloud?

BCBG Boosts Online Conversions 6% With Data-Rich Personalization

BCBG Max Azria is an old hand at personalization in the physical world, where it has been crafting strong relationships with customers for nearly three decades. In the e-Commerce world BCBG is more of a novice, but the retailer is discovering the nuances and granularity that are possible with the next generation of personalization tools. The brand already is achieving some significant results. Since going live in May 2016 with a data-driven customer experience platform from Qubit, BCBG has seen:

SafetyCulture Releases Audit Inspection App

SafetyCulture has released the iAuditor, a mobile inspection app designed to perform a wide range of inspections and audits, providing brands with real-time visibility into collected data. The SafetyCulture platform enables users to analyze all the information collected from iAuditor so that brands can view trends, exceptions and areas that need follow-up. With the iAuditor app, retailers can: Conduct internal audits, even when out of network coverage range; Preview audit reports within PDF files; Export audit reports to email; and Sync all data with the SafetyCulture platform.

Oracle-NetSuite Merger Encounters Storm Clouds

Oracle’s potential $9.3 billion acquisition of cloud business software provider NetSuite appears to have encountered some rough weather. In a press release, Oracle revealed that it would terminate the proposed acquisition if a majority of NetSuite’s unaffiliated shareholders didn’t get behind the deal by a newly established deadline of Nov. 4, 2016. This marks the second time Oracle has extended its tender offer expiration date to NetSuite. It is the final obligation that NetSuite must concede as part of the merger agreement.

Lululemon Strives To Be ‘Data-Informed’ Not ‘Data-Driven’

In an effort to “amplify the authentic relationship” between the lululemon brand and its customers, the fitness apparel retailer is working to unlock data silos in order to stitch together a 360-degree view of shoppers, said Gregory Themelis, Director of CRM and Guest Insights for lululemon athletica, in an exclusive interview with Retail TouchPoints. But an important distinction for lululemon is to be “informed” by the data, not “driven,” noted Themelis. “Our objectives are built around engagement and understanding our guests.” To that end, lululemon created a new “Digital” division in June 2015, led by Miguel Almeida, Executive Vice President, Digital.

Retailers Look To Innovation To Gain A Competitive Edge

Traditional brick-and-mortar retailers still dominate the retail space, but online sales are increasing as a percentage of retail sales around the world. Consumers’ preference for e-Commerce purchasing has been trending steadily upward for well over a decade and shows no signs of slowing down. In the U.S., e-Commerce sales currently represent approximately 7.8% of retail spend. A study by the Centre for Retail Research found that the online share of retail trade was 15.2% in the UK and 9.4% overall for Europe last year. In China, the National Bureau of Statistics reported that online retail sales made up 12.1% of total retail sales in 2015.

MyThings Enhances MyFunnel With Advanced Programmatic Customization

MyThings, a retargeting and performance display advertising platform, has added advanced customization for programmatic advertising to its myFunnel solution. With myFunnel, myThings provides: Custom segmentation strategy built directly on top of the custom sales funnel, populating segments with the correctly profiled users for a successful retargeting outlook; Audience segment transparency, giving marketers insights about how each audience segment performs within a single campaign, providing deeper visibility and campaign insights. These transparency tools not only can give advertisers greater insights into campaign performance, they can also assure proper attribution and protect advertisers from fraud; Model and bidding optimization per advertiser, to understand the value of each impression opportunity by recognizing where it fits in the funnel. Additionally, the solution's machine-learning models and algorithms optimize the real-time bidding process across all ad exchanges. Custom dynamic creative at each funnel stage that is brand aligned and uses absolutely no templates, for on-point customer messaging; and Per-stage ROI insights and transparent budget allocation, giving advertisers a full performance breakdown of their campaigns and user activity by funnel stages that are themselves completely customizable.

Intilery Unveils Omnichannel Customer Engagement Platform

Intilery has launched a customer engagement management platform designed to enable retailers to deliver personalized omnichannel customer experiences. The platform includes a data warehouse that stores real-time first- and third-party data across all marketing channels, efficiently interrogating it to give retailers deep insights into customer behavior.

Content Marketing Enhancements Boost Astroglide Conversions 63%

Personal lubricants are not the easiest things in the world for people to discuss, so marketing them to consumers often requires an indirect, subtle approach. For BioFilm, manufacturer of Astroglide lubricants, content marketing that focuses on consumer education — while also embedding strong connections to the product's web site — has produced impressive results: • A 253% increase in site traffic during a one-year period, increasing from 400,000 views to 1.7 million; • A 63% conversion rate for visitors requesting free samples of the product; and • 10,000 keywords achieving a Google Rank of five or higher.
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