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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.

Self-Service App Deepens Customer Connections At Fairway Market

Some retailers worry that adopting a self-checkout solution will deprive them of a key point of contact with their customers. Fairway Market, a New York City metro area chain of 15 supermarkets and four wine and spirit stores, wanted to be absolutely sure that wouldn’t happen when it deployed a self-checkout app, because the retailer prides itself on a family atmosphere and a close relationship with shoppers. The retailer is in the process of rolling out its first self-checkout app and will be seeking results that include:

How To Manage Holiday Worker Shortfalls With Analytics

The Black Friday countdown is on, and retailers are facing mounting pressure to get enough seasonal staff in time for the busiest shopping days of 2018. With U.S. consumer confidence reaching an 18-year high, the demand for seasonal workers in stores and distribution centers has become more intense. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 835,000 retail job openings across the U.S. in July 2018, about 95,000 more than in July 2017, and 138,000 more than in July 2016. In September, Target announced plans to hire 120,000 seasonal workers for the upcoming holiday season, an increase of 20% from its 2017 hiring commitment.

How Retailers Can Make The Most Of “America’s Hottest Job”

Bloomberg recently declared the data scientist to be “America’s Hottest Job,” citing a national trend of employing those with a master’s degree in applied statistics or similar training by leading companies such as Airbnb and Uber. This hiring trend is driven by company leaders who realize the importance of capturing, understanding and learning from the data they produce to improve operations. While understanding data is indeed key to future success in the retail and CPG industries, there may be better ways for these companies to use their efforts and resources, versus bringing this expensive and scarce talent in-house.

Using Location Intelligence To Boost Retail Efforts

Whether it is McDonald’s determining which locations are ripe for kiosk ordering systems or a mom-and-pop hardware store considering opening a second location, location intelligence and mapping technologies are valuable tools for retail and commercial industries. As over 15,000 users gathered together at Esri’s annual user conference this July know, a company that wants to reach new customers or users, expand offerings or break into a new market must first understand its core customer, and this often involves tapping into demographic information that helps shape smart business decisions. Analysts are able to use location intelligence powered by a modern geographic information system (GIS) to find insight on market conditions. This includes knowing what kind of products a customer browses and buys as well as what he or she cares about, and why he or she might be loyal to a particular brand. It’s a form of modern-day psychology that draws heavily on digital data to find insight on customer groups while respecting individuals’ privacy.

Branch Messenger Unveils Real-Time Payroll Access For Hourly Employees

Branch Messenger has launched the Branch Pay feature, a technology directly connected to an employee’s schedule that is designed to give hourly workers instant access to earnings after each shift. The Branch technology will allow workers to tap into wages at a cadence dictated by the number of hours worked in a given pay period. Requiring no integration with a retailer’s existing payroll system, the employee can opt into Branch Pay after downloading the Branch application and connecting it to their bank account.

How Ashley Stewart Boosts Revenue With Advanced Data Aggregation

Apparel retailer Ashley Stewart, which caters to plus-size black women, has been learning the value of understanding its most loyal customers — some of whom visit the retailer’s stores as many as three times per week. With the help of a customer data platform that aggregates information about both digital and in-store shopping activity, the retailer has been able to leverage that loyalty into increased sales and revenues. Ashley Stewart has used the AgilOne customer data platform for three years to track customer activity in multiple channels. This allows the retailer to, for example, provide customers with easy access to their spending totals during its “Diva Dollars” promotional periods. “The consumers earn ‘Diva Dollars’ for a 45-day period, and then can spend them during a four-day period,” explained Julie Daly, VP E-Commerce at Ashley Stewart. Daly spoke during a panel discussion at the AgilOne Customer Data Platform Summit held earlier this month in New York City.

What Can Go Wrong With Data Management?

Data management is one of the pillars of e-Commerce marketing automation. Being able to trust the data that you have at your disposal to run marketing automation campaigns is as crucial as is their accuracy. The key to building that trust is recognizing what could go wrong and mitigate its probability. Here are several of the most common issues with data management that can go wrong with regard to e-Commerce marketing automation.

3 Missteps In Managing Customer Marketing Strategy And Data

Mistakes happen. But if you can avoid them, wouldn’t you? You bet! Here’s your chance to learn from other marketers’ errors, with a look at three missteps you can bypass on the way to strengthening your customer marketing results. Misstep 1: Doing What You’ve Always Done What may have worked once in your customer loyalty marketing efforts may not work every time. Goals change. Customers evolve. Consumer expectations are higher than ever, while marketing budgets are tighter than ever. Doing the same thing, just because it’s what you’ve always done, may not work over the long term. But how do you make a strong business case for breaking the mold and offering something new? To quote a certain shoe company, just do it!

Hyperlocal Data Is Already In Retailers’ Store Cupboards – Just Take The Wrapper Off!

The retail industry’s disruption has many sources — demographic shifts, changes in consumer attitudes and behavior, as well as new and non-traditional competition are just some of the factors. Technology has enabled retailers and CPGs to adopt new ways of interacting with customers. As curious companies and individual entrepreneurs across industries started to dabble and explore, they created innovation after innovation. So much that across many industries, the nature of how companies provide value, interact with customers and employees, as well as operate their entire businesses has been forever transformed. The fuel behind much of the most recent innovation in retail is cognitive analytics, which empowers companies to tap into insights about how people shop, what influences them and why they might prefer one location over another.

How To Reduce Costs And Improve Data Analytics For Real-Time Business Decisions

The difference between a positive customer experience and one that leads to a lost customer can be how a customer’s data is handled — how it is accessed, processed, analyzed and applied to a particular interaction. Continuous access to real-time, actionable data is critical to make business decisions in today’s competitive environments. But, according to a recent study from ESG, 48% of organizations experience challenges managing data growth and database size. Timely access to data allows retailers to better understand customers, suppliers and market trends, and to make more informed decisions to meet high consumer expectations. The challenge therein lies in garnering insight from the right data, as fast as possible, in order to make it actionable.

RSP Series: How Retail Leaders Improve Customer Acquisition And Retention

Any retailer’s long-term health requires finding the right balance between acquiring and retaining customers — particularly the loyal and big-spending types of shoppers. But rapid changes in both consumer expectations and the competitive landscape have rewritten many of the established rules for customer acquisition and retention. The 2018 Retail Strategy and Planning (RSP) webinar series, hosted by Retail TouchPoints, uncovered several new strategies for tackling these timeless challenges. Following are brief recaps of six webinars in the #RSP18 series, now available on-demand. [Read a recap of the Holiday Predictions webinar, sponsored by Salesforce, here.]

Predictive Analytics: Optimizing Pricing And Promotions In E-Commerce Means Combining Tools

Most retailers are already engaged in data analytics and predictive modeling. Today, using data to predict more successful outcomes — ultimately leading to increased sales — is not as mystifying a concept as it was even a year ago. But with a market being upended by an omnichannel imperative and consumer demand for instant gratification, how can e-Commerce retailers continuously and dynamically test out business models and strategies, refresh their questions and findings, and find out what works, particularly when it comes to pricing and promotions? Advances in AI have a role to play here. Machine learning is very powerful in point prediction, point estimates in price — the goal being to make sure you are dynamically pricing. And it’s very effective when pricing at speed. It can help improve recommendations based on a continuous learning loop, and it’s particularly applicable in price and promotion optimization.

3 Ways For Retailers To Leverage The Extended ‘Back To School’ Season

Class may be in session, but that doesn’t mean back to school shopping is over. According to an August survey from the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics, as students prepared to head back to school, only 17% of school shoppers and 15% of college shoppers were completely done, while 21% and 23%, respectively, hadn’t even started yet. This delay in shopping means there are still ways to reach consumers, especially as retail brands are continuing to look for ways to remain competitive. In this unpredictable market it’s important that brands rethink how they communicate with consumers online, captivate them, and understand how their purchase decisions evolve over time. This will ultimately help retail businesses personalize and tailor the user experience and allow them to continue to thrive in this challenging environment.
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