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.

Elevating Business Intelligence For Smarter Spending

Armin Roeseler DirectBuyIn its original state, Business Intelligence (BI) existed as a “reporting function” that delivered summaries of historical operational data to decision makers. The summaries provided were beneficial at one time, as they paved the way for future corporate spending decisions.

In today’s ever-evolving digital economy in which retailers operate, the past and its associated data no longer provide an adequate guide to predict the future. This primitive BI approach can be compared to driving a car by looking in the rear-view mirror; the driver attempts to anticipate the terrain in front of the car based on what has been experienced and observed in the past. Instead, retailers must identify predictive analytics within their BI infrastructure that help answer the “what if” questions relating to the future.


Target, REI, H&M Take On The Holidays In Unique Fashion

Will the recent terror attacks in Paris have a dampening effect on holiday sales? What other factors will impact holiday shopping in 2015? Retail TouchPoints has been following all the news and predictions around what to expect this year, and in this article you'll find a comprehensive collection of predictions, implementations and strategies.

Most forecasters continue to predict that the 2015 season will be a robust one for retailers. Lower gas prices are putting more dollars in consumers' pockets, and rising confidence is making shoppers more willing to take that money out of those same pockets.


Target Leverages Mobile And Social Tools To Personalize Holiday Shopping

Target is engaging in a full court press to make "click and mortar" a reality for the 2015 holiday season. Initiatives include:

• Free shipping and returns through Dec. 25;

• New this season: International shopping and shipping to more than 200 countries and territories;

• Expansion of its Curbside pickup service to 121 stores (up from 21), which allows customers to complete their shopping without leaving their cars, at Target stores in Philadelphia, San Francisco, New York-New Jersey and Chicago;

• Expansion of the Instacart on-demand grocery delivery service to an additional territory in San Francisco. The service was piloted and initially offered in Minneapolis.


IBM Launches Watson App, Uncovers Holiday Trends

IBM has launched the IBM Watson Trend App, an application designed to provide insight into the top trends of the holiday season and also predict the hottest products — before they sell out.

The app scans 10,000 sources across the Internet such as social media sites, blogs, forums, comments, ratings and reviews to gauge consumer sentiment on trends and products. In gathering this data, the Watson app reveals how consumers feel about the products they are considering or have purchased.


UK Home Improvement Retailer Upgrades Omnichannel Customer Experience

Wickes StoreWickes, a 256-store UK home improvement retailer, will upgrade both in-store and omnichannel customer interactions with a chainwide implementation of the OneView Commerce platform to take place during the first half of 2016.

The retailer, part of the Travis Perkins Group, is the first of its 19 brands to deploy the OneView Digital Store Platform, and is doing so with a full in-store POS and cross-channel implementation.


Overstock Losses To Cost Retailers $471 Billion In 2015

When it comes to the holiday season, retailers have to closely monitor every bit of cash flow that affects their bottom line in order to optimize profits. However, it appears that the industry as a whole is still leaving a vast amount of money on the table, in the form of overstocks, out-of-stocks and merchandise returns. In fact, the lost revenue from these three factors totals as high as $1.75 trillion, in what DynamicAction and IHL Research refer to as the “Ghost Economy.”

Overstocks make up $471.9 billion of this lost revenue total, and they continue to be a thorn in the side of retailers globally. In fact, the overstock issue has been a growing menace for merchants, with the number inflating by more than $100 billion over the $362.1 billion of 2012 losses, according to a report from Tyco and IHL.


Is Your Company Truly Agile? Think Again

Carl Rosen Shelter RockAgility will soon become the watchword of brands with products sold at brick-and-mortar retailers. In the same way the most agile athletes adjust speed and direction, organizations must change, pivot and adjust often to improve retail execution.

Precipitated by unprecedented levels of connectivity, the pace of change has accelerated a thousand-fold. Mobile technology solutions, especially those with the ability to capture images, have become the new enablers. Companies that embrace these tools will be in a better position to compete. Those that are slow to adopt new technology will surely fall behind.


Placemeter Measures Stores' Surroundings With Video

To measure the success of a store’s location, sometimes the retailer needs to figure out just how many potential shoppers they are reeling in.

Placemeter has released an urban intelligence platform quantifying the movement of how people and vehicles move throughout urban spaces. Retail businesses can apply the solution to understand their surroundings and measure store performance. Specifically, Placemeter can measure walking direction and store visits, as well as the volume of pedestrian traffic.


Cracking The Big Data Code By Leveraging BI Solutions

Retailers are constantly looking for the best strategies and technologies to help them understand consumers' purchase journeys. But as consumers' expectations of the shopping experience become more demanding, retailers are turning to business intelligence (BI) solutions designed to analyze and report on information gathered from previous interactions. Using BI solutions, retailers can use relevant data to make more informed decisions that can help deliver long-term business success.

With the need to address Big Data pervading through all technology-reliant industries, retailers must take great care to understand the concepts and practical uses for BI and analytics solutions. SAS defines Big Data as “the exponential growth and availability of data, both structured and unstructured,” indicating that as the data pool gets larger, more measures must be taken to make it useful for business purposes.


Z Gallerie Selects Full Suite Of Cloud-Based Aptos Solutions

Z Gallerie exteriorFashion-forward home brand Z Gallerie will deploy a full suite of cloud-based retail solutions from Aptos (formerly Epicor Retail Solutions). The end-to-end omnichannel solution, delivered in a Software as a Service (SaaS) model, provides Z Gallerie with strong CRM and e-Commerce functionality combined with solid financial reporting capabilities.

Z Gallerie will leverage a complete solution set that includes Aptos Store (for point of sale); Aptos Merchandising, Planning and Resourcing; Aptos Retail Analytics and Sales Audit; Aptos CRM and Clienteling; Aptos Digital Commerce; and Aptos Enterprise Order Management. The suite will enable the retailer to better understand customers' wants, needs and buying behavior, as well improve customer engagement and allow the company to expand its digital commerce footprint.


Shrink As Percentage Of Sales Climbs 50% In 2015

The combination of a still-slow world economy straining consumers' buying power, along with decreased spending by retailers on loss prevention, has led to a significant increase in global shrink numbers. As a percentage of sales, shrink rose from 0.94% of total sales in 2014 to 1.42% this past year, an increase of more than 50%.

In the U.S., the shrink percentage rose even more steeply, from 1.28% in 2014 to 1.97% in 2015, a 54% jump. These figures are from the latest Global Retail Theft Barometer, a survey of more than 200 retailers representing 113,000 stores in 24 countries, conducted by The Smart Cube with retail loss prevention analyst Ernie Deyle and underwritten by a grant from Checkpoint Systems. Total shrink costs in the 24 countries studied equals approximately $123.4 billion (U.S.).


Mi9 Retail Acquires Raymark

Mi9-logoMi9 Retail has acquired Raymark Xpert Business Systems. The newly combined company will offer a broad suite of real-time enabled applications including merchandising, analytics, point of sale, omnichannel, clienteling and CRM, while continuing to support and develop all existing applications. Neither party disclosed a purchase price.

Based on the growth of its flagship solution that combines merchandising and business intelligence, Mi9 Retail has experienced strong growth over the past two years. Built on a common set of web technologies, retailers can deploy this solution in the cloud, on premises or as a service.


Kohl's To Open New Store Formats As Part of Growth Strategy

1kohls store smallKohl's will add three new concepts to its store footprint in 2016. The department store retailer will open five to 10 smaller, more agile 35,000-square-foot stores in underserved markets as well as 10 to 15 FILA sports apparel stores in outlet malls. In addition, the retailer plans to open two more Off-Aisle by Kohl's off price locations in 2016, following a single-store pilot of the concept.

"We are in a strong position to explore new formats as an additional avenue for growth and diversification," said CEO and President Kevin Mansell, speaking at the WWD Apparel and Retail CEO Summit on Oct. 27.


Consumer Demand Signals Reveal Chinks In Amazon's Armor

AmazonhomepageSmallRetailers of all sizes and kinds have found Amazon to be a fierce competitor. The eTail giant has a number of built-in structural and technological advantages — but it's by no means invincible.

That's the message from assortment intelligence provider Ugam, which recently analyzed Amazon's assortment of baseball bats and women's running shoes while factoring in a list of key trending products in these categories in order to compare assortments and pricing with several competing online retailers.


Westfield Hires Chief Data And Analytics Officer

1raghavWestfield Corporation, an operator of 40 shopping centers, has hired Raghav Lal as its first Chief Data and Analytics Officer. In this role, Lal will oversee the collection, analysis and dissemination of data at Westfield’s properties, which are in the U.S., the UK, and in the future, Milan, Italy.

Lal will lead the company’s newly created big data analytics unit, which will be responsible for conceptualizing, developing and deploying the company’s data strategy.

Subscribe to this RSS feed