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The retail revenue has grown at a CAGR of 5.0% from 2010 to 2015. The growing influence of mobile and internet penetration has given rise to a new way of working for the retail sector. We have seen the rise of omni-channel retail to cater to the varied needs of the customer and close the online-offline gap.

How retail analytics and BI come into the picture?

The rising sales number is matched by the massive rise in customer expectations and needs. They need the triple treat of a wide assortment of products, unmatched services, and 100% satisfaction. It is here that retailers look for the apt solution that will help them get an unbeatable edge in their business.

This is exactly where Business Intelligence and analyticscome into the picture.

BI reporting solutions like Power BI produce in-depth customer analytics reports and dashboards. 

This helps the senior management to look beyond mere numbers and get invaluable insights. 

This helps serve customers betters, make informed decisions, and create unmatched competitive value.

HowBusiness Intelligence and analytics power business revenues?

1 – Better assortment visibility

An online retail business may be struggling to find which products are a hit and which are lagging behind interms of customer acceptance. They may want to see where the cart abandonment is atthe highest. They may want to drill down on every impression, every click, and carry out ad attribution for online ads shown.

All these metrics need data which is available in huge volume. It is the smart application of Business Intelligence and analyticsthat derive patterns and trends from mere numbers. This helps a decision maker to get a clearer view, cut out the noise, and look at only those numbers that are truly critical for the company’s success.

2 – Smart advertising

You must have come across sections like ‘Products based on your shopping history’ or ‘Users who viewed this product also viewed the below products’ on sites like Amazon. This is nothing but a careful strategy of Business Intelligence and analyticsat play. So, if a customer buys a Captain America toy figurine, he/she will be bombarded with ads around Captain America and Avenger series toys, books, t-shirts, and other merchandise. This information about which is the most likely product to be bought based on purchase history is a forte of Business Intelligence and analytics.

3 – Retail decision made insightful

Did you know that most of the assortment decisions are taken based on careful analysis of the customer behaviour and purchase trends that are shown by Business Intelligence and analytics tools? A real-life case of a supermarket had changed its assortment when it saw that men are more likely to buy baby nappies than women. As a result, they strategically placed beer next to the nappies section. This resulted in a dramatic increasein beer sales in the next few months. This sort of decision making would not have been possible if not for the transformativeprowess of Business Intelligence and analytics.

4 - Personalization made powerful

Amazon’s recommendation engine is a great example of how Business Intelligence and analyticscan be used to enable a better shopping experience for each and every customer logging online to the retail website.

Macy’s is another example of using Business Intelligence and analyticsto deliver a smart customer experience. It looks at different metrics like inventory levels and price promotions and augments these results with the stock keeping unit information of a given product at a given location. This helps the store to stock a higher quantity of those products that are in greater demand at a particular city or location. With such a degree of personalization, users will be far less likely to see a ‘Product out of stock’ message, thus making their overall customer experience even better.

To sign off

Onlineretailers are fast realizing that customer experience is all that matters for their online business’ fortunes. They are increasingly employing Business Intelligence and analyticsto make smarter decisions. The various tools and BI technologies empower companies to serve customers better and provide them the impetus to stick with an online brand and purchase more from that website.

These pointers prove that BI and analytics are a true epitome of ‘Knowledge is power’.

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