The Data Drive of Retail
Author: Jasmine Waters
Most of us are no strangers to data checkpoints through our shopping journey, arguably making the overall experience better tailored to our needs. Over the last few years, retailers have realised how important data-based analytics are to succeeding and have been taking steps to utilise them into everyday business strategy. Despite these positive beginnings, many brands have yet to tap into the full potential of the impact data can provide as the landscape continues to shift and consumers expecting immediate personalisation. What data should we be looking for, and how can brands best use it?
Why is data so important?
To maintain a competitive edge, retailers must use their analytics more effectively. Although there are businesses using their analytic assets to evaluate logistics, customer experience and merchandising, but flaws are beginning to emerge. Traditional methods of reviewing data are often favoured over efforts for further accuracy and efficient savings that the likes of predictive analytics could bring. Now, the main aim needs to be to try and meet the demand where it appears, with methods like demand forecasting able to uncover actionable insight and drive forward automation. A great example of analytics success is Gymshark. As they have grown, Gymshark have tapped into customer metrics to improve several touchpoints – from social media to spend – to embed into the improvement of everyday business. Before the pandemic this was mainly aimed towards pop-ups, suggesting a simplified analytics approach could be extremely beneficial to small and independent brands. As the ‘weekly shop’ has now become commonplace, harnessing all data possible has become all the more important.
What can brands try to achieve?
This kind of level of data analytics are now an essential requirement. The days of analytics needing to be controlled by a large, secular team are also long gone. Simple to use tools can allow pre-figured workflows to be easily accessed, with a culture of data literacy being built within business. With databases and reports at their fingertips, staff can be empowered and able to question the brand from all angles. Automation tools allow brands to move beyond their data insights and inform personal decision making. All kinds of valuable insight that is shared through each level of business not only informs us of the most complete view of a customer, but is critical to now understanding what drives the ever-changing modern consumer behaviour.
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