8 retail analytics benefits you should know about

As a retail business, you need to constantly strive for more efficient ways of doing things. Whether it's making sure your stores are well-stocked with the right products and running promotions at the right times or understanding who your customers are and what drives them to make purchases, analyzing data is critical to every aspect of retail analytics plays an important role in optimizing operations, increasing sales, and ultimately driving success – but how exactly can it help? And why does capturing these benefits require a different approach to analytics, where everyone can interact with data regardless of their skill level?

In this post, we’ll be outlining 8 key benefits that retailers can reap from using retail analytics.

1. Better sales and margins

Across industries, optimizing for margins and pricing is a top use case for business analytics across industries, and one the most important data analytics trends as companies look to prioritize use cases and resources. Which makes sense, especially for retail. You’ve got a product people want to buy — but your bottom line depends on how many you can sell and how much you can sell them for. Retail analytics is a great way to take the guesswork out of this foundational sales issue, helping optimize pricing in order to maximize revenue. Advanced retail analytics software can even give automated concrete suggestions for how to improve your margins.

2. Data-driven decision making

You should always trust your gut — so long as your gut doesn’t go against well-documented evidence. Decisions like which inventory to stock in which stores, which customers to target with which marketing campaigns, or even what to charge for different items should be based on data. The more data you have, and the better retail analytics system you have, the more confident you can be in your decision-making. Ideally, this confidence isn’t kept just for data professionals and includes making these systems usable by everyone, from merchandisers to inventory managers to marketers, with self service analytics.

3. Clarity across multiple departments

When your retail analytics operates off of data in one place, like a cloud data platform, and widely available to employees, it creates a single source of truth that keeps everyone on the same page. This clarity can be particularly valuable in larger organizations with multiple departments that focus on different aspects of the business. And it can help employees across the board maintain focus on the bigger picture.

For example, with a single source of truth, a company might realize some customers buy products like garden fencing and dog food together, which could be a sign someone is a new pet owner. This reveals an opportunity to sell other pet-related products like leashes and dog bowls, providing a target audience and strategy for marketing and advertising campaigns.

4. Improved customer satisfaction

Having a more optimized business that always has the right products in stock at the right times and the right number of employees available to meet customer support demands is a sure-fire way to improve customer satisfaction with your brand. Whether you’re tracking customer satisfaction indirectly through sales or directly through surveys and feedback forms, retail analytics can help track — and improve — customer satisfaction over time.

In fact, according to a research report from the Harvard Business Review, 69% of business leaders who had invested in analytics for their frontline workers reported a boost in customer engagement and satisfaction.

5. Knowledge of operations

Retail analytics give all levels of employees a better understanding of operations. In-store sales floor associates can watch for sales and inventory patterns, not just from stores but also the online marketplace, sharing their knowledge of trends with customers.

6. More resilient supply chains

Retail analytics don’t just watch trends at the point of sale, they can also incorporate information from entire supply chains. Predictions and prescriptions based on sales trends are only helpful if the existing supply chain can accommodate them. That’s why pulling in information from suppliers and the broader industry can make your own supply chain more resilient.

7. Improved marketing campaign performance

No one loves analytics more than your marketing team! Retail analytics are the best way to track marketing campaign performance. Ad clicks and website pageviews are great, but sales are the real end-goal of any campaign. Understanding how trends in sales track with efforts from your marketing team will be the evidence they need to understand what works and what doesn’t for your customer base.

8. Inventory optimization

Whenever you’re dealing with a wide variety of products, and especially if they’re products that expire or go out of season, optimizing your inventory becomes a key facet of your business. You never want to run out of popular items, nor do you want to be left with unsold goods you’re forced to unload at cost (or worse). But retail analytics can track and manage your inventory, too, helping you optimize based on trends, seasons, and more. For example, Canadian Tire used business intelligence tools from ThoughtSpot to manage their inventory during the early days of the pandemic. In doing so, they were able to grow sales 20%, despite 40% of their brick and mortar stores being temporarily closed.

Make more data-driven decisions that yield results

Retail analytics is an invaluable tool for businesses of all sizes. From understanding customer preferences and ensuring inventory accuracy, to improving customer service, its benefits are infinite. As such, it is important to invest in the right retail analytics tools, so you can drive growth while maintaining a competitive advantage.

ThoughtSpot makes it possible for any retail employee to use natural language to explore data, find insights, and take action. Customers like Avon Cosmetics, CVS, Petsmart, and Staples already rely on ThoughtSpot to help them manage inventory, optimize pricing, and identify and execute opportunities to cross- and upsell.

With ThoughtSpot’s free trial period, you can get started at no risk and see how powerful business intelligence can be for your organization. No matter the size of your business or goals you are trying to achieve, ThoughtSpot can be tailored to meet all your needs - so why wait? Sign up for a free trial today and get access to best-in-class industry solutions and realize the full power of retail analytics.

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