With the new year well under way, retailers need to take a closer look at their operations, to better meet the expectations of their increasingly savvy customers. Even while acknowledging that every retailer is different, there are still opportunities to gain more intelligence about customers, and to streamline internal processes and increase profits. Following are 10 tips to positively impact your bottom line:
1) Demand Retail Intelligence. Tracking trends, maintaining metrics, and enabling other users to quickly access data can help employees easily identify buying trends and predict consumer behavior.
2) Rethink Merchandising. With past buying data and behavior available, retailers can break down their customers into segments and prioritize them. Merchandise can then be selected specifically by store, placed in the right assortment, and displayed in the most effective layout.
3) Optimize the Shopping Experience. Assess links and patterns to improve cross-sell or up sell opportunities, regardless of channel. By examining consumer behavior across multiple channels, retailers can improve how products are introduced, maximize browse to action conversions, and leverage loyalty programs to increase retention.
4) Have Each Sale Fuel the Next One. Analyzing sales trends and inventory levels helps plan for future opportunities and prevents problems. By tracking data at the point of sale, retailers can quickly restock inventory to meet demand.
5) Create a Targeted Experience. Consistently monitor which customers are loyal and which are likely to leave, when they’re likely to leave, and what factors influence their decisions to stay or go. All this information helps devise better retention strategies.
6) Improve Customer Service. By having easy to access information for customers, such as recent purchases and location of purchases, retailers will be able to provide better and more informed customer service.
7) Organize the Supply Chain. Gaining insight into inventory can generate reliable estimates of short, medium and long term demand, so that services, products and distribution plans are always in place to meet expectations.
Beat the Competition. An assessment of key performance indicators such as sales growth, inventory turns and frequency of stock-outs, will identify opportunities and gaps for profitability, process improvements and competitiveness.
9) Create a Central Data Source. Comprehensive, fast and secure visibility across processes can drastically improve your bottom line and significantly enhance customer service.
10) Leverage Your Existing Assets. The ability to monitor sales and other performance metrics across all locations can help all users rapidly identify and react to trends.
This article was adapted from an online piece at Retail Online Integration, by Kevin Quinn, VP of Information Builders.