How to Become a Data-Driven Retailer
The benefits of creating a data-driven retail strategy are clear since competition in the retail space is rapidly rising. This has led to a massive amount of data becoming available and being aggregated but is causing some retailers to fall into analysis-paralysis. So how can retailers move forward and embrace a data-driven retail strategy within their company? We’ve outlined the eight high-level steps retailers can take to move towards becoming a data-driven retailer below:
1. Do an Audit
Gathering all the data sources you have and what information you are pulling from them can provide some valuable insights as to where the data gaps exist. By looking at your current sources and current metrics, you can find inspiration for your plan and strategy.
2. Create a Data-Driven Culture
Everyone in your organization can embrace a data-driven strategy to ensure the success of their department and the company. Today’s retail landscape often involves cross-channel metrics and your goals, as mentioned in step three, may often involve cross-channel capabilities. It is important to introduce this step early into your organization’s transition into becoming data-driven since these department stakeholders may have insight on what sources to use and will be needed to find the right tools for the job. Consider doing a roadshow to create excitement and get buy-in with stakeholders and team members.
3. Create a Strategy
It’s not about how much data you have, it’s about how you activate that data to create results. And to know how to activate it, you have to understand what actions you will take with, such as using attribution to optimize your budget. The main focus of this should be on the business and not the tools that will be used since these will inevitably change over time. The goal of this would be to determine your KPIs.
4. Find the Right Sources
Once you have established your KPI’s, you will need to determine if you are using the right and best sources for your business objectives. Want to increase web visits post-purchase in-store? Make sure your POS is grabbing their email and you have an effective strategy for marketing to them post-purchase. This should not be inclusive to just your internal sources but should also pull in your external data sources, such as social, as well.
5. Get the Right Tools
Sliding in from finding the right sources, it is now time to find the best tools for aggregating this data for your business. This will often involve research and cross-department decisions since tools can affect or benefit more than one department. When selecting any tool, it is important to run multiple tools against each other and compare which tools will cover: a majority of the strategic objections you identified above, the ease of running reports, the interface, and more.
6. Get the Right Tools
Once you have identified the right tools, sources, and KPIs you want to measure for your business, it’s time to build the reports. You should consider the frequency of the reports, and plan to send the report with an analysis of actionable insight you can take to improve the business. This can be positive insight, such as seeing that a certain promotion is driving a high amount of sales and extending this promotion for in-store or repositioning it on the website. Concerns should also be identified to spot potential areas that can have a negative impact on the business, such as a promotion not being clear and a high abandoned cart rate occurring.
7. Don’t Get Stuck In Patterns (Ad-Hoc)
Your regular reports aren’t the only reports you should run. To truly embrace a data-driven culture, running off-scheduled (ad-hoc reports) can provide some additional insight. These reports are typically off the cusp but can be just as important – if not more important, than your scheduled reports since trends and changes can occur quickly.
8. Take Action
While many organizations report and track data, taking action with the data is key for creating a data-driven strategy. There are various actions you can take with the right data. From improving your in-store experience to modifying the checkout process, all of these data-driven actions can result in a better experience for your customers.
Looking Towards the Future of Retail
As retailers embrace establishing a data-driven culture, they must continuously analyze every action they take. By establishing a data-driven culture, retailers can fare storms, such as the ever-running retail apocalypse, with a much better likelihood of making it through. Looking towards the future, they will need to ask “why?” more to see the benefits mentioned above or risk being a victim of the next retail apocalypse.
IMPLEMENT A DATA-DRIVEN STRATEGY WITH YOUR DIGITAL RECEIPTS
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