analytics

Melissa is a mother of 2, lives in Utah, and writes for a multitude of sites. She is currently the EIC of HarcourtHealth.com and writes about health, wellness, and business topics.

Inefficiencies cost companies time and money, but in retail, it can be downright devastating. According to a 2015 research report, the retailers lost $1.75 trillion in revenue because of inventory inefficiencies such as out-of-stocks, returns and overstocks. There is a silver lining though; these issues can be corrected, and the bottom line can improve from there.

Retail analytics convert mass amounts of data into usable information that can show business executives their company’s inefficiencies and poor habits. In the past, organizations were leaving most of their data unused because there was simply too much of it. With retail analytics tools, companies can use more information than ever before.

Companies that are effectively using retail analytics are seeing benefits across various parts of their business. These analytic tools are easy to use, promote collaboration, make it easier to share data and allow companies to convert their raw data into visual aids.

Retail Analytics and Their Ease of Use

For a company not currently focusing on retail analytics, it can seem overwhelming and incredibly complicated. Taking thousands or millions of lines of data and consolidating them into a user-friendly format must take days or weeks, right? Not exactly. Retail analytics tools can give companies the information they’re looking for in minutes or hours compared to days or weeks if they had employees do it manually. Many analytic tools have customizable search engines and dashboards that allow a company to crunch the most relevant data required for any project or analysis.

Promoting Collaboration

Before the world of analytics, companies drew lines in the sand to separate their departments. Marketing focused on marketing efforts, sales focused on generating more sales, etc. Those divides no longer exist with retail analytics because it allows multiple departments to view information through the same scope and communicate in the same language. According to Forbes, Data-driven collaboration establishes a beneficial connection that allows both sides to achieve common objectives, including increased product sales, growth in revenue and brand loyalty.

Sharing Data is Easier Than Ever

In the past, data sharing between retailers and suppliers has been a costly, time-consuming practice that usually seemed like more trouble than it was worth. As more companies use retail analytics, this process is becoming more simplified. With access to various cloud tools and big data technologies, data sharing between retailers and suppliers will be streamlined. Having ability to forecast demands and understanding shopping patterns will help both retailers and suppliers manage purchasing and delivery schedules, improve efficiency and reduce costs.

Visualization

It is much easier to understand a trend or a need for change when data is illustrated through charts and graphs as opposed to buried in spreadsheets. Analytics tools can convert your raw data into visuals that are easier to read and comprehend. Data visualization is now being applied at every stage of the retail process, from informing what the popular products will be by based on trends, forecasting where the demand will be for those products, optimizing pricing, identifying the customers likely to be interested in them and working out the best way to approach them.

Retail analytics are changing the way organizations are operating. Instead of making decisions based on only a fraction of the picture, retail analytics tools are allowing companies to understand the whole picture. There are plenty of positives when employing data analytics like ease of use, promoting collaboration, sharing data with less effort and getting key insights without the help of a data analyst. For companies that can shift their organizational culture to trust retail analytics and integrate it into their daily workflows stand to benefit in the form of more revenue and better customer experiences. Not to mention give a leg up on competitors.