How Retailers Can Use Data Analytics to Understand Sales Channels

In today's world, businesses have more channels to reach and sell to customers than ever before. With all this opportunity, however, comes confusion. That's why companies increasingly need sales analytics dashboards that empower business users across the organization to find the answers they need to understand these channels.

Truly accessible sales analytics dashboards give a retail company more than broad business intelligence. They help employees understand sales performance across myriad channels, uncover hidden trends, identify causal and non-causal relationships and other key indicators that lead to positive business outcomes.

Let’s discuss more about sales analytics and the benefits ThoughtSpot provides for them.

The Benefits of Data Democratization in Retail

Retail companies produce data across many departments and levels of the organization. Everything from sales transactions and inventory levels to shipment details and even product performance telematics.

In their effort to collect and store data on so many components of their business, retailers often create even more problems, obscuring information and burying critical insights in mountains of data. That's where sales analytics come into play.

In other words, it’s the sales analysis tools that determine how much impact data has on company bottom lines.

As MIT Sloan Management Review writes in “How to Monetize Your Data”:

“Executives often underestimate the financial returns that can be generated by using data to create operational efficiencies. Companies see positive results when they put data and analytics in the hands of employees who are positioned to make decisions.”

A New Era in Sales Forecasting

So, how would a sales analysis tool like ThoughtSpot help a retail firm analyze their various sales channels? Features like relational search allow business users to query data directly—enabling them to examine the connection between manufacturing quotas, sales forecasts and distribution.

Here are a few ways any employee could leverage ThoughtSpot to aid their workflow:

  • Growth Revenue by Channel
    Typing “[Percentage of sales] [by distributor] [last year] [monthly]” would display various distribution channels’ revenue history for each month over the past year through a best-fit visualization.

    With additional automated insights delivered through SpotIQ, employees can easily stay abreast of which sales channels are delivering results and which ones need adjusting.

  • Sales and Inventory by Region
    Similarly, an end user interested in learning more about sales by geographic region could query something along the lines of: [Sales] [and inventory] [by city] [west].”

    The query will generate a data visualization model (likely a map) conceptualizing sales performance as it relates to location so employees can optimize the flow of goods.

  • Sales by Location
    For retail companies that operate several brick-and-mortar outlets, an employee could search ThoughtSpot’s ad-hoc dashboard for “[average number of orders] [by store location] [weekly] [2018]” to see what the top-performing locations average in sales on a weekly basis in 2018.

    But let’s say the retail company sells high-end business attire and sales associates receive hefty commission for making sales. Entering, “[number of sales] [by store location] [2018]” would highlight the most effective salespeople in the company in 2018.

There’s really no limit to the amount of raw information that can be turned into actionable insights using an advanced sales analytics tool like ThoughtSpot.

Learn more about how your retail company can finally make money off the data it’s collecting.

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