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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.

Microsoft Power BI Delivers Detailed Data To Retailers

To create effective marketing and personalization strategies that align with customer desires, retailers need to leverage the power of data. According to a Microsoft-sponsored IDC study, retailers have the opportunity to gain $94 billion from the “data dividend” through the next four years. Microsoft’s Power Business Intelligence (Power BI) suite is designed to enable retailers to visualize data and give employees access to insights that can drive deeper customer engagement and loyalty through differentiated customer experiences. Combined with the Microsoft SQL Server platform, Power BI provides real-time access to enterprise data — whether it’s sales trends micro-segmented by demographics and geography, or predictive modeling for accurate forecasting.

Capitalizing On Retail Big Data

Increasingly, retailers are collecting large volumes of transaction data at the point of sale. This data makes pinpointing consumer behavior easier than ever, as retailers obtain real time data about consumer preferences, whether it is the latest fashion trend, a hot new food item, or packaged good. With Big Data, retailers have the ability to stay on top of the competition and respond quickly to consumer demands. But point-of-sale transactions aren’t the only source of Big Data. Retail supply chains and internal processes are also generating large volumes of data. If retailers want to succeed in a competitive marketplace, they must not only collect retail data, they must also understand how to control it. As more retail companies grow through mergers and acquisitions, expand into new territories, or launch new product lines, they must consider how data and processes work together to support the businesses’ near term and long term goals. Here we present some simple rules that retailers can follow to help them capitalize on the valuable data they have while staying in control.

Cutie Pie Photo Studio Sees Success In A Snap With Pose POS System

Cloud-based POS solutions provide retailers with the tools and features they need to become more agile and responsive to customer demands.  Cutie Pie Photo Studio, a small business based in Wisconsin, has improved back-end efficiencies and captured a more comprehensive view of the business since implementing the cloud-based POS solution from Pose.

In The Wake Of The Target Fiasco, Where Retailers Need To Focus Data-Security Efforts

The massive breach of Target's data security systems in late 2013 surprised many customers who have come to take the safety of electronic transactions for granted. To insiders following consumer data theft, however, it came as less of a revelation. To them, the Target breach merely served as a painful reminder of the relative weakness of data security systems in the American retail industry. As retailers have expanded their operations across a broader variety of platforms, they have too often neglected to establish necessary safeguards on the information transmitted across those platforms. Where customers see greater convenience, sophisticated hackers see new opportunities.

The Value Of Retail Data Scientists

As the cliché goes, "data is the new gold" and many companies have realized this. The reason is, as the world generates more and more data and at the same time, competition between organizations is fiercer and faster, and as habits change faster, everyone wants an extra edge. Intuition, gut feeling or common sense rules are useful, but not enough. Data lets organizations understand clients, products and processes much better. This is not just for web companies. For example, Rolls Royce has data scientists analyzing airplane engines data to determine when to schedule maintenance, L’Oreal, the cosmetics company, has data scientists studying the effect of several cosmetics on several types of skins, Fruition Sciences precisely determines when and how much to water grapes to produce better wines, FiveThirtyEight forecasts elections better than most, and Feedzai detects payment fraud. All this, and more, is just possible with data driven decisions.

Four IT Trends Dominate The Retail Industry

Four broad technology trends — Big Data, social media, seamless retailing and disruptive technologies — significantly impacting the ways retailers conduct business and engage with consumers, according to a research report from SAP. The SAP report, titled: Top IT Trends In Retail, analyzes the four trends and provides explanations of their importance and roles in the retail industry.

SMEs Focus On Digital Innovation As They Expand Worldwide

Small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are finding global success in light of increasing competition and an ever-changing technological ecosystem. SMEs that earn more than 40% of their revenue outside of their home countries will increase by 66% over the next three years, according to research from Oxford Economics. The number of organizations operating in six or more countries also will increase by 129% over the same period of time. The research report, titled: SMEs: Equipped To Compete, aggregated insights from 2,100 SMEs across 21 countries. Retailers represented 17% of the SMEs surveyed, while wholesalers represented 16%.

Journeys Gets A Leg Up On Competitors With ShopperTrak

Although e-Commerce sales are on the rise, many consumers still prefer visiting brick-and-mortar stores to touch and feel products before making a final decision. In fact, 21% of U.S. shoppers plan to increase in-store spending, up from just 9% in 2012, according to Accenture research.  Journeys is taking note of consumers’ ongoing desire to shop in stores by continually investing more in improving the brick-and-mortar experience. Most recently, Journeys announced its implementation of ShopperTrak, which will enable the footwear and apparel retailer to measure store traffic and optimize labor scheduling, leading to more positive browsing and buying journeys. Following a successful testing period in 18 locations, Journeys will install the solution in all stores by the end of the 2014 fiscal year.

RetailNext Secures $30 Million In Growth Equity Financing

RetailNext, a provider of in-store analytics solutions, has raised $30 million in growth equity financing. The investment round was led by Nokia Growth Partners, with additional funding provided by American Express, Activant Capital Group, Tyco and Qualcomm Ventures, and current shareholders August Capital, Commerce Ventures and StarVest Partners. To date, RetailNext has raised $59 million in total capital.

Goodwill Gets Detailed View Of The Business With Domo

Business Intelligence (BI) and analytics solutions can provide retailers with a birds-eye view of the enterprise to help them make better decisions. For organizations such as Goodwill of Central Indiana, having real-time access to data in a centralized environment is imperative to the overall health of the organization. One of 165 Goodwill organizations in North America, the Central Indiana facility touts a variety of service divisions. In addition to a thriving thrift store business, Goodwill of Central Indiana offers disability services, job placement and coaching, and operates 10 charter high schools in the area.

The Secret Weapon Of Retail: Predictive Analytics

Like most industries and sectors, retailers are driven by the need to provide good customer service. In a crowded, competitive market, this need becomes more prominent. Gaining any kind of advantage becomes invaluable, particularly when it comes to understanding your market; the secret to which is having — and using — insights derived from data. These days, retailers collect all sorts of information about their customers as they use their phones, shop in-store, buy online, withdrawal cash from the bank and post on social media. And as retailers develop their go-to-market strategies to include multiple channels, thevolume of internal and external data is increasing exponentially. Indeed, research commissioned by SAP has found that 89% of businesses say the amount of data that they collect has increased in the last year. The fact is, for retailers especially, more data means a more rounded view of the customer, insight into the market and awareness of potential risk. All of this insight can be used to make informed business decisions if interpreted correctly using predictive analysis software.

Giorgio Armani And Luxottica Implement SAP Fashion Management App

Adidas, Giorgio Armani and Luxottica are among the retailers implementing SAP Fashion Management, a new application designed to bring wholesale and retail operations onto a single, vertical platform. As a result, master data, global inventory and processes can be shared across the organization. SAP AG has unveiled the SAP Fashion Management application, which…
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Yankee Candle Smells Success With Improved Survey Strategies

More than two thirds (41%) of best-in-class organizations incorporate Voice of the Customer (VoC) as a formal part of their business plans, according to Aberdeen Group research. However, integral VoC strategies, such as email surveys and customer research, can sometimes become too expensive and time consuming to execute successfully. With more than 150 fragrances, and a wide range of products, including scented candles, car fresheners and candle accessories, Yankee Candle has streamlined its customer feedback and survey strategies with help from Qualtrics, a survey technology provider. By automating the process, the retailer is able to more easily engage with loyal customers on a regular basis. With the Qualtrics Research Suite, Yankee Candle has “increased the amount of feedback we’re getting from customers exponentially,” according to Allison Bleyler, Director of Consumer Insights at Yankee Candle Company.
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