It’s no secret that brick and mortar retailers have been playing catch up to their online counterparts. The surprise may just be that retailers acknowledge they are still doing so 18 years after Amazon.com went live.
Online commerce has been a data-driven exercise since its inception. Now, with new analytics tools and technologies, and powerful ways to analyze customer behavior and measure relationships with retail and consumer brands, the shop owners have new ways of fighting back.
Below, find highlights from Data Informed’s recent coverage of the retail industry and companies’ efforts to use analytics to drive results.
The best retail analytics projects guide business decisions by providing compelling insights into consumer behavior. But because these projects are so strategic—and so challenging—experts in the field say it pays to follow these best practices. The benefits outweigh the costs—and should lead to profitable gains. Read more.
Attracting new customers is much more expensive than retaining them. Yet, customer loyalty is becoming harder to win. The Web is making it easier than ever to compare deals and experiences, and lower prices and negative chatter can make an otherwise faithful customer stray. Jersey Mike’s Subs is an example of a company that revamped its loyalty program, offering rewards for customers and collecting data that can help improve sales. Read more.
In a service aimed at retailers battling online rivals, Dynamite Data’s proprietary technology serves up pricing and inventory information from millions of online “buy” pages–giving merchants a chance to combat the dynamic of consumers visiting a physical store to check out a product and then buy it online. Read more.
Industry leaders at the National Retail Federation conference in January 2013 said they are striving to create “omni-channel” experiences for consumers in person, at home and via mobile devices, all informed by data analytics. Executives acknowledge they have a lot of work to do to achieve the vision. Read more.
Starbucks executives say their latest major expansion plan to add hundreds of stores globally will make better use of location analytics than an earlier effort begun before the 2008 recession. The profitable results of the past two years show its latest effort is working, the company asserts. Read more.
Last holiday season, the La Jolla Group, a firm that manages surfing brands O’Neill and Rusty, and motocross brand Metal Mulisha, ran online sweepstakes to capture social graph data about its online customers. It turned out to be too much data too fast. This year will be different: much more focused on programs that yield tangible results. It’s a lesson other retailers exploring big data must learn. Read more.
As for many retailers, gathering customer data isn’t a problem for Tuesday Morning. The company has access to information from sources like its new loyalty program, its new e-commerce platform, and social networks like Facebook and Pinterest. But Grant Anderson, the company’s vice president of IT merchandising systems, said that converging all this data is the next big challenge for the deep discount, off-price retailer. Read more.
Among the strengths of the spreadsheet: many business users already know how to interpret numbers on one. 1010data takes this idea and expands it exponentially. And Dollar General is using the capability to track the contents of shopping baskets to analyze correlations among customer choices. Read more.
Individualized pricing methods once primarily associated with buying airline tickets have come to the supermarket aisles, as well as to the shelves of brick-and-mortar and online retail stores. Understanding the product preferences of individual shoppers allows retailers to create prices and special offers tailored to that specific consumer’s purchase patterns. Read more.
Payments made from digital wallets carry a rich electronic signature: who you are, where you are, when you are making a transaction, and more promising rich analytics opportunities to connect retailers and consumers. But as a growing list of players—Starbucks, PayPal, Google, Discover, Wal-Mart—strive to make smartphones as good as cash, experts say there are several challenges industry must overcome to make digital wallets work. Read more.
IBM researchers are developing an “augmented reality” mobile shopping application that displays product information to shoppers on their smartphones. Read more.