The following is a guest post by Shahzeen Haris, Marketing Strategist, Systems Limited.
Jonathan is a strategy and growth manager for retail outlets in his region. He notices dwindling growth numbers in the face of tight unit margins, dead stocks, and low customer loyalty. He is responsible for lifting sales and profits of his retail stores, and he begins by marking down units to make space for SKUs that sell better.
He might collect datasheets from different sources across distinct customer channels and locations, organize them, and work with his team to analyze trends for high- and low-selling products. But what if products that sell more today do not keep up with the same trend tomorrow? What if his analysis has a significant margin of error and his instinct-based decision increases the chance of worsening sales figures?
Decisions based on gut feeling and intuition are unreliable. Retailers and CPG companies are faced with a myriad of questions while determining smart retail strategies that concurrently minimize inventory costs and time to store and optimize shelf space and customer satisfaction.
Globally, the retail and CPG industry is adopting digital technologies to transform customer experience by personalization. But without current and predictive analytics, they limit their opportunities to tap into the minds of diverse consumer segments to deduce how they behave when exposed to different retail settings.
VisiAnalytics, a cutting-edge BI solution from Systems Limited, is built on a high-performance, Microsoft Azure-hosted, SQL Server-based enterprise data warehouse and leverages Microsoft Power BI for advanced analytics. It connects with multiple disparate sources for data collection of over 2,500 metrics and offers flexible self-service BI to drive retail success.
Work Your Inventory Backward
Inventory is an important asset with a direct impact on your working capital, sales, and customer experience. Focusing on supply chain optimization, shorter order cycles, optimal buy quantities, and rapid replenishment schedules through better visibility is at the top of your goals. The impact, however, lies in your approach to solving these challenges. To compete, you need to predict customer interest and link it with custom attributes of your inventory. Instead of focusing on product to customer, you need high-level analytics to work backward from customer to product to optimize your shelf space and forego lost sales.
Drill Deep into Consumer Behavior
Research shows organizations employing data-driven marketing campaigns are three times more likely to achieve competitive advantage in customer loyalty, almost three times more likely to increase revenue, and more than six times more likely to achieve profitability.
These targeted campaigns, however, are ineffective if driven in a piecemeal fashion. As customers become more empowered with more options to browse your store, it is important to track buying patterns and segments across all channels and holistically gather insights to shape your next in-store campaign.
To thrive in a retail or a CPG business, you need to drill down into micro-segments and hidden patterns your competitors may not see. An advanced form of analytics goes miles ahead of simply capturing buyer preferences and digs far into which products a particular customer segment buys in a bundle. This insight helps make the most of your IoT technology by making relevant recommendations to customers every time they purchase a part of the bundle.
Improve Customer Journey Through Store Operations Analytics
If your organization has stores spread across regions, you need each store's performance grouped together in a single view. While making strategic decisions, you must be able to distinguish underperforming stores from high-performing ones. A deeper insight into store traffic, sales, and conversion rates for a given time and region helps you fill customer journey loopholes, such as why a store is not attracting enough traffic or why a high-traffic store is not converting to sales.
Insights are Not Enough
Simply gathering and organizing data is not enough, as seen in Jonathan's case. After grouping KPIs together, it is likely you find yourself solving the wrong puzzles if your organization is robbed of predictive capabilities. You need a reliable and accurate way to forecast demand and align your marketing and inventory actions accordingly.
What will your customers buy in the next quarter or year or three years, how much will they buy, and at what price? When do customers buy, and what sales channel will they most likely use? Which promotional programs will they best respond to? These are the challenges you must foresee for waste reduction, improved customer loyalty, and growing profit margins.
Make Smart Decisions with VisiAnalytics
To solve these retail challenges, businesses need a powerful gateway to collect, organize, and analyze granular data from all customer and sales touchpoints.
VisiAnalytics, built on Microsoft Azure, empowers retailers with forward-looking insights and predictive capabilities that form the foundation of important decisions such as which price points of products in a store yield maximum revenue from a certain segment.
You can segment your market using advanced segmentation techniques to deliver personalized in-store marketing campaigns. Advanced analytics monitor campaigns and provide powerful business intelligence reports and real-time dashboards depicting over 2,500 performance metrics of your store operations, sales, and inventory to help determine the best course of action.
Systems Limited is a trusted Microsoft partner that delivers cloud-based enterprise solutions. It drives qualitative and quantitative returns on investment through solutions such as Retail and CPG Analytics integrating Power BI, Azure, and SQL Server that support easier deployment and faster business results.
See how the solution works in an interactive video.
Want to learn how you can become proactive and customer-centric? Check out the solution here.