E-Commerce has changed the world, it has presented every marketer an insight on data driven customer insights. For digital transactions tracking is much simpler as the entire trail is available. With greater amounts of interactions and transactions, the data generated has increased exponentially. Through the aggregation and analysis of the data, firms now can obtain key behavioral intelligence about their customers through multiple physical touch points like smart phones or mobile devices, automobile on-board computers, and point of sale (POS) systems, and through online channels like retail platforms and social networks. This has had a spillover impact on brick and mortar retail management and the desire to aggregate data and use it for decision making has now become a core function. Please remember, in most sectors the majority of sales are still from Brick and Mortar channels.
The challenges faced by marketers remains the same, addressing the needs of the customer in a market occupied by competition, understanding the consumer perceptions, buying habits, how to effective introduce new products and services, forecasting cultural and social changes, determine what channels work for what brands and phase out the obsolete ones, and of course understanding and leveraging technological change.
How can data insights help Marketers?
● Learn to develop your brand’s positioning, character, and purpose
● Evaluate the health of your brand using different approaches
● Make smart brand portfolio decisions and manage growth
● Create a powerful marketing plan for a real-world scenario
● Drive growth and defend against competitive attacks using a financial risk assessment
- Calculate the Marketing ROI
- Try Omni Channel approach
- Re-visit the traditional marketing and sales plan
Sources of information are multifold, so these need to be harmonized in a way to stakeholder brand, sales, merchandising and supply chain managers have access to information with the relevant market data and the POS management in a single BI platform. This is in the form of dashboards and real time data which is interpreted into insights for relevant managers to take decisions for improvement of productivity. If organizations do good pre-work, then action items can also be triggered by retail management systems.
Data helps in managing KPIs. Instead of doing annual or bi-annual reviews, this performance is measured real time and corrective actions can be immediate. If reliable and secure retail and brand data is available, data consisting or sell-in, sell-out, forecast, external stock data, POS execution, market research, product freshness etc, the entire chain can be optimized from factory to store shelf to production line.
Since sales data is inconsistent legacy based, real time data coming in from a retail management solution can help as below:
- Maintain healthy stocks at the POS.
- Identify out of stocks and root-causes.
- Increase the promotion efficiency.
- Launch new products successfully.
- Rectify over stocking or under stocking of SKUs in stores
- Competition monitoring
- Price Management
- Preventing Sales Losses.
Data insights change the way marketers make decisions, it’s no longer assumptions based decisions, but intelligence based ones, actions that can be tweaked all the way till the desired optimized results are coming in.