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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 With Gartner L2’s Amazon Guru: Watch Out For Total Vertical Integration

Jeff Bezos’ ambitions for Amazon go well beyond becoming the world’s number-one retailer, according to Cooper Smith, Director of Amazon Research at Gartner L2. “That’s a means to an end,” said Smith in an exclusive interview with Retail TouchPoints. “I believe his vision is for Amazon to be the ultimate purveyor in the marketing, selling and transportation of goods.” Smith revealed key insights into both the omnichannel retailer’s latest moves and its long-term plans, including: • The likeliest targets for Amazon’s next brick-and-mortar acquisition after purchasing Whole Foods;• How these acquisitions will help Amazon crack higher-end markets, particularly in apparel;|• The likelihood that Amazon will introduce Amazon Go-style cashierless technology in its brick-and-mortar stores;• Which “strange bedfellow” combinations may be needed to challenge Amazon; and• The potential location of Amazon’s HQ2.

Teahouse Brews Up Growth With Streamlined Management And Loyalty Solution

The Teahouse, a chain of traditional Taiwanese cream teahouses in the Houston area, faced a problem familiar to many growing retailers. Keeping tabs on multiple locations that differed slightly from each other in menu setup, layout and prices was becoming an operational challenge. Additionally, Teahouse wanted a more organized way of managing its Teahouse Rewards loyalty program, which offers customers a free drink for every $40 they spend. The retailer, which currently operates 10 locations, deployed a POS and store management solution from Revel Systems in late 2015, and then added the Spendgo customer engagement solution in January 2017. The combination has provided Teahouse with multiple benefits, including:

Call Center Data Optimization Boosts Profits At Mason Cos.

Mason Companies, a catalog-oriented retailer with 11 brands encompassing footwear, apparel, gifting and food, knows the importance of providing contact center agents with all the information they need to handle a query and complete a sale. By adopting a centralized master data management (MDM) solution that pulls together all customer contact information — from social networks, web contacts and other media — the retailer is seeking to improve the productivity of agent-customer interactions. “We need to bring all the customer information together from marketing and sales channels and show it to our contact center agents, so they can leverage it from a marketing perspective,” said Adam Stavn, CIO of Mason Companies in an interview with Retail TouchPoints. “During the busy seasons for our different products, we may have well over 1,000 contact center agents working in different locations throughout the U.S. These agents need a full, clear picture of the customer that’s calling, to ensure that the one interaction they have with us during the season will be profitable.”

Exclusive Q&A With KIDBOX CEO Miki Berardelli

At KIDBOX, Miki Berardelli has managed to combine innovative leadership, social consciousness, youth empowerment and fun into a successful children’s apparel shopping platform. In 2018, KIDBOX is embracing private label and will be introducing its own exclusive private brands. Learn Berardelli’s secrets to success in this exclusive Q&A. You can also hear from her at the upcoming Retail Innovation Conference, April 30-May 2, where she'll part of a panel discussing best practices for building a private brand in the digital era.  Retail TouchPoints (RTP): What are your proudest accomplishments at KIDBOX?

Gen X Leads In Grocery Spending, But Millennial Families Are Catching Up

Although Millennials are making the shift into marriage and child-bearing later in life than the generations that preceded them, they are increasing their grocery spending significantly as they form families. Millennial parents report spending an average of $360 per month on groceries, 47% more than Millennials without children, who spend an average of $245 monthly. These are some of the findings from the 14th Edition of The Why? Behind The Buy, an annual report on the buying patterns and behaviors of grocery shoppers from CPG-focused sales and marketing firm Acosta.

Pitney Bowes Unveils Software And Data Marketplace

Pitney Bowes, a location intelligence technology provider, has released the Software and Data Marketplace. The platform enables data buyers to visualize, test and download data before it is purchased. The Marketplace will provide users with data catalogs for sample categorical data, such as address, boundary, demographic, geoenrichment, point of interest and street data. With this data, clients can develop a deep understanding of their customers in order to better manage risk, improve decision making and increase customer engagement.

Lowe’s, Home Depot Deploy New Apple Business Chat

With the recent release of the iOS 11.3 update, Apple device owners can now use the beta version of Apple Business Chat to directly access customer service from a small group of companies that include Lowe’s, Home Depot, Newegg, 1-800-Flowers and Apple as well as Marriott, Hilton, Discover, TD Ameritrade and Wells Fargo. “More and more, customers are showing that they prefer the convenience of messaging customer service versus making phone calls,” said Gihad Jawhar, Lowe's VP Digital Development in a statement. “As a leader in service, Lowe's is committed to meeting customer needs on their terms and through their communication preferences. Our support for Apple Business Chat makes messaging exponentially more powerful for our customers and our customer service agents.”

Shoptalk 2018 Secures Its Spot As A Must-Attend Retail Event

The impressive marketing and branding efforts have catapulted Shoptalk to the top of the events-on-your-radar list for retailers and brands, but the 2018 speaker lineup and massive 1:1 meeting setup has cemented the conference as one of the top “big” retail events-to-attend. As press attendees, it honestly was difficult to decide which sessions to cover and which meetings to schedule. Here’s a wrap-up of our key takeaways, in addition to the Quick Quotes article we shared last week:

How The GDPR Affects American Retailers, And What Businesses Can Do To Minimize Their Risk

The General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”) continues to be an important topic of conversation for U.S. companies and retailers nationwide. Since its inception, the GDPR has raised a number of questions as to whether businesses are properly ready to comply. The GDPR was adopted on April 27th, 2016 and allotted a two-year post-adoption grace period for retailers to strategize and implement their compliance approach. With only three months remaining, it has been reported that an estimated 61% of U.S. businesses are not ready for the regulation, and that only 67% of European-based businesses have begun moving into the implementation phase of their GDPR compliance program1. The potential fines have many concerned about compliance as the May 25, 2018 date of enforcement approaches, but businesses struggle with fully understanding the regulation and thus fail to launch a comprehensive plan.

Kx Systems Launches Retail Range Optimization Platform

Kx Systems, a Big Data software specialist, has unveiled Kx for Retail Range Optimization, a solution designed to enable retailers to gain actionable insights on product assortment through basket analytics. With Kx for Range Optimization, retailers can perform basket analytics on historic and real-time datasets to understand product substitutability, affinity and loyalty. Users can specifically leverage the platform to identify: Product affinity and cross-sell/upsell opportunities; Merchandising personalization; and Product recommendation engines.

Leveling The Retail Analytics Playing Field

Data is increasingly at the heart of every business. The ability to collect, analyze and derive actionable insights from multiple sources of data in real time can be the difference between winning a customer or seeing them captured by the competition. And retail is no exception. Brick-and-mortar retailers have, in the past, failed to keep pace with their e-Commerce rivals in the capture and use of data to optimize the customer experience. While digital visitors to an online retailer’s web site can be tracked, analyzed and influenced throughout their journey from site entry to sale, retailers in the real world have struggled to source the same level of analytics from entry into the store to the checkout. However, that could be changing.

Zulily Pampers Millennial Pet Parents, Sees Sales Soar 33%

Millennials own more than one-third of pets (35%) in the U.S., more than any other generation, and they are leading the “humanization of pets” trend, according to the American Pet Products Association. In a recent survey, e-retailer zulily found that Millennial pet owners view their pets more like their children than previous generations, and almost all of them (92%) purchase gifts such as toys, clothing and treats for pets. More than half of Millennial men (55%) purchase gifts for their pets once a month or more, as do 47% of women. Millennials who buy their pets gifts on a monthly basis do so four times a month on average.

Creating An Omnichannel Experience For Customers By Employing IoT And AI Analytics

You’re sold on the value of giving your customers a seamless omnichannel experience. Now how do you make your vision a reality? Delivering the omnichannel experience customers crave isn’t easy. It requires a complete about-face in the way most retailers conduct business. Each department and channel can no longer do its own thing. The entire organization must coordinate carefully to respond to customers’ actions and preferences in a consistent manner across online, mobile and in-store touch points.  

How Data Virtualization Is Helping Retailers Revitalize The Customer Experience

For the last two decades, retailers have been challenged to meet the needs of increasingly fickle consumers. Thanks to mobile devices, today’s shoppers are always on, which empowers them to research available options, check ratings, compare notes with their personal and professional networks and switch brands. They now expect to interact with retail brands with the same immediacy that they interact on social networks. This trend shows no signs of slowing, and to remain competitive and meet the expectations of today’s customers, retailers need to be able to provide “streamlined and personal experiences both online and in stores,” according to Forrester. This requires both established and modern retailers to adopt hybrid strategies that embrace physical and virtual stores simultaneously.
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