77% Of Brands Want To Get More Insights From Retail POS Data

While brand manufacturers continue to invest in POS analytics and gather relevant customer data from retailer partners, 77% still believe they can be doing more with the data to improve their business, according to a report from Askuity.

Sporting goods is the most active product category presently managing their business with the help of POS data, with 84% of these brands leveraging the information. Other top product categories include:

  • Fashion & Apparel (76%);

  • Beauty (71%);


  • Electronics (71%);

  • Health & Wellness (69%);

  • Consumer Packaged Goods (67%);

  • Packaged Food & Grocery (63%);

  • Housewares (57%);

  • Home Improvement (50%); and

  • Automotive (47%).


“We’re seeing that data is very frequently shared among the Sporting Goods and Fashion & Apparel categories, because it’s so vital and important to their assortment decisions and to understand who’s buying their products,” said Victor Coscarella, Head of Marketing at Askuity during a recent webinar. “On average, 65% of brands are actively using POS data today, and that’s actually quite encouraging and exciting. If we were to do this 10 years ago, we imagine that this number would be far lower. It could even be below 50%.”

The Askuity report, titled: 2016 Point of Sale Data Survey, is based on 343 respondents from more than 150 companies that sell products in one or more national retailers, as listed in the 2016 NRF Top 100 Retailers list.

“We speak to a lot of vendors on a day-to-day basis, and what we’ve seen is this consistent trend,” Coscarella said. “Those vendors that are ahead of the game are almost always using data in their decision making, buying discussions and planning discussions.”

Survey participants would like most to receive POS data from retailers such as Walmart, Lowe’s, Target, Kroger, Best Buy and AutoZone. In an ironic twist, most of the retailers the vendors listed already do make their data available free of charge.

“It really speaks to the lack of transparency and visibility between vendors and retailers, and this is something that needs to be fixed,” Coscarella noted. “People need to be aware of the data that is available to them and take advantage of it.”

Five Reasons Brands Don’t Leverage POS Data

For the brands that have managed to gather data, 28% are not making use of POS data from retailers. The top five reasons why these companies do not actively use POS data are largely related to a lack of organizational commitment or a lack of organizational capabilities, including:

  1. The team does not have a defined strategy for using POS data;

  2. The quality of the data is insufficient;

  3. Lack of data analytics expertise;

  4. The team does not have the technology to manage the data effectively; and

  5. Data is difficult to interpret.

It also doesn’t help that processes for managing this data can often be cumbersome and painstaking. Nearly half of the respondents within the survey reported that they spend at least four hours per week managing data.

“That’s a huge issue,” Coscarella said. “When you consider four or more hours, that’s at minimum 10% of one person’s work week. It’s amazing to think that somebody could be spending that much time just managing the data. We’re not even talking about analyzing it, or doing something meaningful with it; we’re strictly talking about formatting, getting it into the right template or format for you to build a dashboard or some kind of top-level analysis.”

Coscarella indicated that changing organizational commitments and/or capabilities can be challenging, but he recommended that brand data analysts share how data can be used effectively with management teams.

As brands successfully gather data, they must ensure that it is not siloed or hoarded. When data is managed and distributed by a single power user within the company, brands are far less likely to bring data insights into buyer meetings (41%), versus brands that provide self-service access to POS data for all team members (67%). 

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