Information holds the key to competitive advantage. Most retailers have some level of reporting, but there is a big difference from dusty, dry reports to dynamic, informative analytics. The advantage comes from developing ‘better reporting’ than the bare minimum. There are many buzz words, Business Intelligence (BI), Retail Analytics, Key Performance Indicators (KPI), Management Reports, etc. They all boil down to the same thing. How do you cut through the noise and find out what is actually going on in the business.
The use of technology aids this process enormously. Any Retail Analytics solution (of which there are many forms) can help a retailer gather meaningful data and make informed decisions.
Better reporting means access to information faster, with less effort, higher quality, and more relevant (to the people that need it).
By increasing access to Retail Analytics and developing better reporting, a retailer can open doors to improve inventory management, increase working capital management, drive merchandise planning, ordering and forecasting.
Here are just some of the types of data, KPIs or information a smart retailer will probably want to know.
1) What is my ideal customer profile/demographic
2) What is my gross margin (by item, location, timeframe, salesperson)
3) What is my web-traffic hit rates
4) What is my sales conversion rate (traffic volume to sales)
5) What are my top/worst selling items/brands
6) What are my complementary selling items
7) Which channel/store/salesperson is selling the most/least
8) What is my average sales per sq foot
9) What are my stock-turn ratios
10) What is my supply chain lead-time for replenishment
11) What is my returns-to-sales ratio
12) What are the seasonal trends affecting my sales performance
13) What return is my discount strategy yielding
14) What level of revenue ‘leakage’ am I experiencing
So how do retailers go about getting themselves informed? Much of the information noted above is already captured, but is often ‘locked-up’ in a system. Just because a system is capturing information does not mean the user will be able to access and analysis the information. To achieve this goal, the retailer needs to invest in a reporting or Business Intelligence solution. Retail Analytics from Professional Advantage is a product that will suit this purpose.
Professional Advantage has developed Retail Analytics & Merchandise Planning for Microsoft Dynamics® RMS, which has helped retailers unlock many insights that are held within an organization’s databases.