Gaining a competitive edge in the frenzied arena of retail sales requires the use of the most powerful and dynamic tools available. Boosting customer loyalty and sales is best accomplished by developing databases that cover vital customer and operational data; effective use of business intelligence is the most efficient way to accomplish these tasks. Intelligence software gives business’s the power to monitor sales and maintain customer profiles in order to optimize sales strategies and mend problem areas. The frequently volatile nature of the retail world demands tools that can keep up, and retail intelligence is more than up to the task.
Current Retail Sales Problems
Intelligence software allows users to build dynamic, multi-functioning visual and itemized databases that are used for detailed analysis and insight creation. Users can customize their data base and multi-user access to approach the following issues in the retail industry:
- Increasingly Budget Conscious Consumers and Declining Discretionary Purchasing
- Inadequate and Outdated Business Budget Management
- Increased Retailer to Retailer Competition in Response to Growing Internet Sales
- Rapid Globalization and Consolidation of Retail Chains
- Failure to Maintain Customer Information
- Failure Understanding Target Markets and How to Best Market Towards Them
Information is the Solution
Retailers likely already have all they need to develop to fine tune their operations to boost sales and loyalty right in front of them. There are few if any more valuable resources than customer feedback and specific profile information on past, current, and potential customers. Retailer’s can use business intelligence to record the following vital information:
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- General Customer Profile. This information can be gleaned based on feedback from sales associates or via voluntary submission by customers at the point of sale. Vital general information includes age, sex, geographic location, average amount spent per purchase, and other information specific to a retailer’s area of business.
- Customer Feedback. Intelligence software can be customized to instantly incorporate digital customer surveys into databases, as well as allow for quick and simple manual entry for in store surveys. Users can view this data in visual and metric displays of their choice, allowing for multi-user approach to spot strong and weak areas.
- Sales Trends. Sales figures that are incorporated into business intelligence offer users instant access to both current and past sales trends in preferred formats. This data can be broken down according to time, location, average amount spent, customer profiles, and any other relevant trends and metrics.
Recording, monitoring, and analyzing as much customer information as possible is essential for understanding a business’s current customer base and how to reach high potential target markets. The collaborative and fluid display and data analysis features provided by retail intelligence tools put this information in a clear and easy to understand—yet comprehensive—format.
Monitoring Advertising and Marketing Performance
The data managed and processed via retail intelligence gives users a detailed picture of whether or not current advertising and marketing campaigns are cost efficient and productive. Users can match current data with general industry and competitor related data to determine value and untapped resources. This information can be quantifiable data such as pay per click advertising results, coupon usage, promotional sales results, inventory health, and much more. Businesses can also associate valuable non-quantifiable data such as social media comments and survey feedback to further study the success of current advertising, as well as boost insight creation for further campaigns.
Retailers use BI for every facet of business, whether it is sales, logistics and supply chain, employee performance, inventory, or any other relevant area, business intelligence for retail has far reaching benefits. Having a simple to use, mobile accessible tool allows for 24/7 use by multiple users. Intelligence software also provides a format for collaborative projects, secure information sharing, and extensive general record keeping. Information is king in the retail industry, and this powerful tool is the key to getting the most out of it.
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