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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.

Exclusive Q&A: In Amazon’s Search For HQ2, Tech Workforce Will Be Key Factor

Lots of cities want Amazon to call their location home — even if it’s only a second home. After announcing the search for a city to host its second headquarters, the pure play giant received proposals from a remarkable 238 cities and regions across North America, all vying for the promised $5 billion in investment and 50,000 jobs that will come with being “Amazon HQ2.” While Amazon will not announce its decision until early 2018, experts already are handicapping which cities are the likeliest candidates. Attorney Steven Polivy, Chair of the Economic Development and Incentives Practice at Akerman LLP, believes the presence of a highly trained tech workforce will be a critical factor in the winning city’s bid. Additionally, Amazon being Amazon, Polivy believes the company will make good use of data gathered during the search process in order to deepen its understanding of customers, competitors and geographies.

For Holiday Shopping, 29% Of Consumers Won’t Go Online

  • Published in News Briefs
Holiday shopping isn’t over until the returns are in. One in three consumers responding to a survey fielded by mobile advertising and data platform Kiip said they plan to return at least 20% of the holiday gifts they receive. No wonder 69% of approximately 30,000 respondents said they would prefer…
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Yext-ShopKeep Integration Gives SMBs Online Information Management Tools

  • Published in News Briefs
Yext, Inc., a digital knowledge management company, and ShopKeep, a tablet-to-cloud POS and payments platform, announced an integration that gives ShopKeep customers access to the Yext Knowledge Manager directly from the ShopKeep Back Office interface. With this access, store owners and managers can assess the accuracy and consistency of information that consumers see…
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Golf Club ‘Trade-In’ Program Lifts Conversions 30% At TaylorMade

Ideally, golfers would always like to play with the newest clubs available, since technology and design innovations can provide that little bit of extra “oomph” that improves a golfer’s game. By implementing a subscription-based upgrade program that helps customers finance their purchases of new clubs, TaylorMade Golf boosted conversion rates 30% over a six-month period and increased average order value (AOV) by 5%. The program, named “The Turn,” after the turn for home that occurs after the ninth hole, gives TaylorMade customers an 18- to 30-month financing option for drivers and irons. After 12 months, golfers can trade in their driver for a newer model; payments on the old club stop and those on the new club begin. For irons, which typically have a longer lifecycle, the trade-in option kicks in after 24 months.

World Series Location Data Reveals Brand Preferences

A grand slam’s worth of data about the brand and shopping preferences of World Series fans was uncovered by location data company Skyhook. By analyzing foot traffic in the Houston Astros and Los Angeles Dodgers stadiums during Games 2 and 3, Skyhook used mobile device data to reveal similarities and differences between the fans of the competing teams. Skyhook used its location network to define “fanscapes” from device IDs belonging to Astros- and Dodgers-assigned geographies within Dodger Stadium for Game 2, and Houston’s Minute Maid Park for Game 3. That anonymized data was run through Skyhook’s Personas engine. This process uses behavioral algorithms to calculate brand affinities based on where individual devices have visited stores and other commercial businesses.

ThirdChannel Raises $7 Million For Digital Retail Intelligence

ThirdChannel, a retail intelligence platform,  has closed $7 million in Series A funding. The round is led by Fung Capital. The funding will enable ThirdChannel to expand the footprint of its real-time platform, which is designed to give more brands and retailers visibility into what’s happening in physical stores and greater ability to meet consumer demands, across key markets.

Direct-To-Consumer Focus Motivates IT Upgrade At Tommy Bahama

Strategy sessions held back in 2015 had far-reaching impacts for Tommy Bahama. These meetings were the beginning of what has grown into an ambitious program for upgrading many of the apparel brand’s key business solutions, including order management, warehouse management, retail store operations, analytics, merchandising and its entire e-Commerce ecosystem. The 160-store retailer has a thriving e-Commerce business and also operates restaurants in 18 locations. The IT upgrades, scheduled to take place through summer 2019, will bring an enterprise-wide view in two important strategic areas: order management and analytics. Tommy Bahama anticipates significant benefits, according to Lisa Atwood, EVP of Operations, IT and eCommerce.

Exclusive: Neiman Marcus, Jet.com Execs Share Experiences From Dubai Tech Event

Last month I had the opportunity to chair the Retail Day during the GITEX Technology event in Dubai, UAE. It was a unique experience and a fantastic opportunity to learn about retail challenges around the world. I also was asked to invite some U.S.-based retail executives to speak at the event and was honored to share the experience with two amazing retail innovators:

House Of Fraser Launches NGenBI Initiative To Improve Data-Driven Decision Making

  • Published in News Briefs
House of Fraser, a UK-based department store, is leveraging MicroStrategy 10 to empower its employees with interactive dashboards designed to make quick data-driven business decisions. As part of its business transformation strategy, House of Fraser chose to streamline its analytics environment and make greater use of visualizations. The retailer introduced…
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Shop Direct Implements SaaS Pricing And Promotion Solutions

  • Published in News Briefs
Shop Direct, the $2 billion UK-based digital retailer, is deploying cloud-based pricing and promotional solutions as part of its ongoing digital transformation strategy. Shop Direct can trace its roots back more than 80 years to the Littlewoods catalog, but by 2015 it had completely phased out mail order to become…
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DXL Group Uses Data Analytics That Add Science To Decision Making

Destination XL Group has rolled out DynamicAction to unify its data across the digital business and arrive at actionable insights faster. DXL turned to the platform to help it discover the steps needed to create a customer-centric environment and drive higher sales and profits. With the data, insights and recommendations gathered from the platform, DXL can: Create more opportunities for upselling and increase customer lifetime value and profitability; Drive more full-price sales; Break down inventory availability across channels; and Prioritize business decisions more effectively. As the retailer has continued to grow, Sahal Laher, the company’s Chief Digital Officer and CIO of Destination XL Group, realized that the company simply had too much data to analyze.

Sportswear Retailer Integrates Payment Into VR Experience

The jury may still be out on whether virtual reality (VR) will truly take off as a shopping experience, but one forward-thinking retailer already has made VR transaction processes more seamless. Body Language Sportswear has been testing a VR app that allows shoppers to move from interactive 360-degree views of its products directly to checkout, without needing to take off the VR headset or pull out their wallets. The e-Commerce retailer is offering products via the Payscout app, which introduced a VR commerce capability in June 2017. The app integrates with Visa Checkout (VCO), allowing users to register their payment credentials within the digital wallet or access an existing VCO account. The app currently is available for the Google Cardboard hardware, but there are plans to adapt it for iOS and additional VR platforms.

The Store Needs A Data-Driven Facelift

As e-Commerce shopping increases every year, all omnichannel retailers must assess the role of the store in their future strategies. But not every segment feels equal confidence in their stores going forward: only 13% of retailers that primarily sell consumer packaged goods believe that stores are more important to their future strategy than digital, according to the 2017 Digital Selling Report from Retail Systems Research (RSR). However, three times as many (39%) hard goods retailers — companies that sell merchandise such as electronics, furniture, home improvement products, appliances and sporting goods — still believe that stores are more important to the company’s future.

How To Create A Growth Map To Build Branch Expansion

Last fall, The Wall Street Journal spoke with two e-Commerce-driven retail brands, Warby Parker and Bonobos, about their expansion into physical locations as showrooms for their products. Both brands see a future that includes more brick-and-mortar locations. Warby Parker co-founder Neil Blumenthal revealed that he envisions more than 800 physical locations, and Bonobos founder Andy Dunn plans to have at least 100 stores by 2020. Dunn said he expects a “tidal wave” of e-Commerce companies making similar decisions.
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