The retail industry has grown steadily over the past few years owing to the popularity of online shopping. But with the rapid growth, the retail businesses face serious challenges such as improving customer experiences, maintaining an online presence, keeping pace with consumer demands, staying ahead of rivals in the competitive landscape, and integrating technologies to drive marketing and profit. Even top retail businesses face hurdles such as staying up-to-date with social media trends.
If customers are not served with a seamless experience that can be one of the most critical factors behind the unsuccessful retail business. Therefore, companies in the retail sector must analyze retail market trends and leverage retail data analysis to improve their pricing strategies and sales and demand forecasting methods. This is where retail analytics comes into the picture. Retail analytics solutions can help companies in devising the most profitable sales strategies and optimizing sales force for creating maximum business value.
At Quantzig, we understand the impact that retail analytics can have on your business. And to help companies excel in the fiercely competitive environment, our team of experts has highlighted five key ways in which retail analytics solutions can help businesses in developing successful cross-channel and multi-channel retail strategies and obtain actionable insights into customer demands and preferences. But before putting down the benefits of retail analytics solutions, let’s understand a bit more about retail analytics first.
What is Retail Analytics?
Retail analytics is the process that provides detailed insights into inventory, sales, customers buying pattern, and other crucial aspects that retail companies need to watch in the decision making process. It takes into account several granular fields to create a broad picture of the health of a retail business.
Furthermore, retail analysis goes beyond superficial data analysis by utilizing techniques like data discovery and data mining and sanitizes datasets to provide actionable insights that can be applied in the short term.
Moreover, retail companies can use retail analytics to create better snapshots of their target demographics. By harnessing retail data analysis, retailers can easily identify their potential customers according to diverse categories such as buying patterns, age, preferences, location, and more.
Benefits of Retail Analytics
Benefit #1: Enhances store performance
Retail analytics can help retailers understand and analyze in-store customer behaviors. Additionally, retail analytics help retail businesses in tracing their dwelling times and shopping patterns. Furthermore, this unveils immense opportunities for all kinds of retail operations, right from individual stores to shopping malls. Also, by analyzing retail sales trends, retailers can analyze the most appealing design techniques, the best staffing options, and the most effective selling tactics.
Benefit #2: Improves business decision making
Retail analytics become a source that can help in optimizing AI models. These models enable retailers to feed the knowledge to any transactional application including POS, e-commerce, CRM, workforce management, buying and planning and prevention of loss. Additionally, retail analytics help retail companies to dive deeper into the customer data to make informed decisions. Furthermore, by utilizing retail analytics solutions, retailers can make smarter pricing decisions through alerting and price monitoring. This enables them to sell the right product at the right price. Thus, retail analytics offers easy-to-understand retail business insights at the most granular level possible which in turn help retail professionals to gain the best outcome and improved ROI from their retail business.
Benefit #3: Optimizes customer experience
The recent research data shows that 65% of marketers have found that improving their data analysis plays a very crucial role in delivering a better customer experience. Retail analytics can be used to improve the shopping experience by solving customer problems in real time. Also, it can enable companies to avoid out-of-stock situations. Furthermore, this can ensure the availability of enough merchandise to meet the customers’ demand. Moreover, by analyzing the purchasing behavior of the customers, retailers can fulfill their needs by offering the products in demand at the most appropriate time.
Benefit #4: Provides better insights into customer behavior
This is one of the most essential benefits of leveraging retail analytics that they offer actionable and tangible insights into the behavior of customers. It is quite easy to apprehend that managing any aspect of business becomes a lot easier if one knows to estimate the return on investment. From analyzing the social responses to gauging the impact of a campaign on the store’s conversion rates to a product, retail analytics offer the most accurate picture to retailers of what works for them and what doesn’t. This leads to better sales effectiveness and improved ROI.
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The Complete Guide to Retail Analytics
Visual merchandising is primarily concerned with invoking the sensory receptors of the target and potential customers. In today’s highly competitive retail scenario, elements of visual merchandising play a pivotal role in saving the business from losing customers to competitors. However, visual merchandising in retail is no child’s play. One wrong judgment in the elements of visual merchandising to use for your store could cost you big. Fortunately, once you identify these common mistakes, they can be easily rectified:
Poor window displays
The window display of the store is one of the most integral factors that initially attracts a customer towards your store. However, not utilizing this space effectively could prove to be a grave mistake for brands. It is essential to include key elements of visual merchandising such as proper lighting, props, and color combinations in the store window. It should be also ensured that the window display is being changed regularly both in terms of the product and the props used.
Understocking or overstocking of products
Situations such as keeping too much inventory or not enough inventory could not only hamper your sales but could also result in bad visual merchandising. It is vital for retailers to ensure that their shelves are always optimally and neatly stacked. Whether a customer walks into a store looking for something specific or simply to see if anything sparks their interest, not having enough merchandise to make the right impression is one of the worst mistakes that retailers can make. Furthermore, though lots of choices are good, seeing them all at once creates visual clutter and a feeling of being overwhelmed. To avoid product glut, retailers can establish and adhere to a planogram which determines what goes where, in what quantity, and when.
Lack of continuity
If the elements of visual merchandising on the window display lack continuity with those inside the store, chances are that the efforts might go in vain. Retailers must ensure that the products that they promote outside the store are easy to locate inside the store. It is also essential to use elements of visual merchandising based on the theme in areas including the point-of-sale systems, in order to forge links to other products.
Overload of promotional message
Customers undoubtedly love promotions and discounts, however going overboard with promotional messages in display could be a bad idea for retailers. Too many promotional elements in visual merchandising tend to give the store shelves a cluttered look, prompting the customers to become indecisive or lose interest. Getting the right balance between promoting the products and the number of promotional displays is the way to ensure optimum sales.
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What is omni channel?
Omni channel is primarily aimed at providing customers a seamless experience irrespective of how and where they are shopping from. An omni channel experience is a multi-channel approach to marketing, selling, and meeting the customer’ needs in a way that creates an integrated and cohesive customer experience irrespective of the platform used. However, it is important to note that an omni channel strategy is different from a multi-channel retailing. In multi-channel retailing, businesses use platforms such as website, blog, Facebook, and Twitter in order to connect with customers. However, a major drawback of this technique being customers lack a seamless experience and consistent messaging across each of these channels. Omni channel retailing, on the other hand, involves each platform and device a customer will use to interact with the company. This knowledge is then used to create an integrated experience for the customers. Companies using this an omni channel strategy tend to align their messaging, goals, objectives, and design across each channel and device.
Key benefits of implementing an omni channel strategy
The advent of new technologies has forced companies to think strategically and adopt newer ways of doing business. So, those with stock visibility and fulfillment options across various channels stand a better chance of improving sales when compared to companies sticking to a single channel of business.
Ensures better data collection
Omni-Channel strategies harness various data streams which enable better and more accurate data collection. It proves useful in tracking customer behavior and gaining meaningful insights through business analytics. This, in turn, makes critical inputs while formulating engagement plans that increase the probability of impulse buys through predictive analytics.
An omni channel strategy can provide companies with tools and information that can help improve their efficiency. Considering the major role technology plays in our lives today, smartphones and tablets are a great way of capturing feedback and customer data into loyalty-building elements.
Tips to create a good omni channel strategy
Know your audience
The first and foremost criteria for building a good omni channel experience for your customer is to have a clear-cut idea of who and where your target customers are. This would help provide a better picture on the channels that you need to focus on. It is essential to identify which platforms your customers frequent, and which devices they use the most. In case it is identified that a majority of your customers seldom use a particular platform, then it is advisable to reduce your investment on this medium.
Ensure smooth transition
If a company has established its presence both on online and offline platforms, it is essential that they ensure a smooth transition between both the platforms. The main aim behind this is to ensure a smooth transition between transactions taking place on both online and offline platforms. For instance, some top companies have recently introduced business models where customers can place the order online and pick it up in the brick-and-mortar store rather than waiting for them to be shipped to their homes. This provides an enhanced omni channel experience to customers and saves them a lot of time.
Make every touch point shoppable
One of the key steps in building a perfect omni channel strategy is to make every touch point shoppable. One of the remarkable examples of this is how Disney does it with their mobile apps, theme parks, and websites. Disney ensures that every time they provide an experience to their customers, they have the opportunity to make sales. If a customer adds a product to their cart from your website, it needs to be in their mobile app too. If they are using Facebook, it is important to suggest them products based on that previous product viewing. These deep, symbiotic connections between channels help companies to run promotion campaigns on social media, drive traffic to their website, have users explore how others use their product through Pinterest, and check out the products directly from there.
Inter-departmental coordination and agility
Siloed organization structure proves to be a major roadblock for omni channel implementation. In several organizations, different functional teams including sales, marketing, product development, PR, and customer service operate independently of each other. So, companies must consider restructuring traditional roles as this can put the responsibility for the customer experience on more than one or two departments. This would allow each team to understand how it fits into the omni-channel puzzle in relation to others. It also sets clear expectations that can streamline communication between teams.
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