As retailers in 2017 continue to face headwinds, the competition is more challenging than ever. Customers are empowered by 24/7 access to the global marketplace. For many retailers, new store growth has slowed, so sales and margin growth are increasingly being driven more by incremental growth from existing stores. To continue to excel in this environment, every business should be mindful of three trends in retail big data:
- Sustainable growth – To grow sales in their existing stores, retailers must find innovative ways to reach customers and drive loyalty.
- Connected consumers – As consumers have become accustomed to growing transparency around the prices and quality of what they buy, retailers must find new ways to engage with and earn the loyalty of their customers.
- Explosion of big data – With the Internet of Things (IoT) maturing, retailers must leverage the vast amounts of useful data available within the network of devices and sensors that are connected online.
Retailers already have access to myriad data from sources like point of sale (POS), mobile devices, inventory management systems, and in-store sensors. As useful as this data is on its own, real insights happen when retailers can connect disparate data to see the conditions that bring success. And one powerful way to do this is by viewing data through the lens of location. Maps enable people to instantly spot and explore patterns and relationships in data.
Location is the common thread of data and enables decisions to be made about matters such as where to position existing merchandise and where to site new stores. Spatial analysis also allows retailers to more efficiently drive traffic through stores by effectively using the data typically only used in the online shopping environment. By tapping into insights derived from in-store sensors and customer mobile devices, retailers can make better decisions about where to allocate goods and employees in a strategic way that is targeted to consumer behavior. Forming a business strategy that leverages integrated location data helps retailers match the in-store customer experience with what consumers experience when shopping online. This is made possible by analyzing demographics, buying patterns, and customer movement in the context of space and time.
Spatial analysis is the key to understanding where, when, and why things happen. With this insight, retailers can engage existing and potential customers and spur in-store sales.