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Six Trends in Retail Analytics for 2016


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The trend toward retail analytics isn’t new, but maturing technologies and techniques—and the many new opportunities they offer—are exponentially magnifying.

In today’s data explosion, companies are bringing together point-of-sale data, website traffic, marketing numbers, and transactional data to find actionable insights from the big picture. But analyzing all of this information is just one small element in the evolving world of shopping.

As mobility and analytics collide, both the consumer and the retailer are moving toward a real-time, mobilized experience. The wave of innovation is far from over. This paper highlights the top trends in retail and consumer goods analytics for 2016, including:

* Advanced analytics is no longer just for analysts
* Mobile reporting is fully realized
* The Internet of Things changes the shopping game
* Omni-Channel data integration gets exciting
* The retail marketing mix modernizes
* Real-time inventory becomes a critical need


Published in: Retail
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Six Trends in Retail Analytics for 2016

  2. 2. Because data is always trending, leading retailers are prioritizing analytics initiatives in 2016. What’s more, business intelligence norms are evolving across the industry. More retail and consumer- goods companies are opening up their data to executives and front- line employees. As a result, the call for faster, simpler, and mobile-friendly tools is growing. Each year at Tableau, we start a conversation about the interesting things happening in each industry. Here are our predictions for retail- and consumer-goods analytics for 2016.
  3. 3. Advanced Analytics Is No Longer Just For Analysts With the self-service boom, non-analysts throughout retail organizations are becoming increasingly data- savvy. Store managers and bookkeepers alike are digging deeper into data thanks to interactive visualizations that allow them to ask and answer their own questions at the speed of thought. Most big-box vendors are also leveraging advanced predictive analysis to allocate labor during peak times and provide quality customer care. 1 6 Trends In Retail Analytics for 2016
  4. 4. 1 6 Trends In Retail Analytics for 2016 Macy’s makes many predictions, including what to stock in which stores, when it’s a good idea to give a buyer a loan, and which items to feature on its website’s home page. To help drive these decisions, Macy’s relies on self- service dashboards that run on top of Hadoop. Further Reading: Advanced Analytics with Tableau
  5. 5. It’s easier to understand a phenomenon visually. - KAREM TOMAK, MACY’S
  6. 6. Mobile Analytics Is Fully Realized For retailers, finding actionable insights in the field with a mobile device is no longer just a pipe dream. Instead of interfacing via legacy business intelligence systems, modern mobile analytics lives at the core of decision making for major brick and mortar stores and their distribution centers. More than ever, retailers are leveraging their in-store wifi investments to empower their associates with analytics in hand. For example, if a customer wants a product that isn’t in stock, an employee with a mobile analytics report will have far more actionable insight and be able to provide the customer with a product or service much faster. 2 6 Trends In Retail Analytics for 2016
  7. 7. 6 Trends In Retail Analytics for 2016 2 Also, retail and consumer goods employees working in back offices and distribution centers no longer must rely on desktop computers and reams of paper reports in binders to make on-the-fly decisions about inventory, omni-channel supply chain and operational efficiency. Working with live mobile data on tablets on a daily—or even hourly—basis is the new normal. Merchants, regional managers, loss-prevention associates, and even vendors have all ditched their old-school stacks of spreadsheets to instead collaborate using interactive visualizations on their mobile devices. Further Reading: Case Study: Driving Efficiency with Mobile Analytics at SuperValu
  8. 8. You’ve got the power of now. It’s that proximity and in-the-moment thinking that retail is all about. - WESLEY STORY, GROUP VICE PRESIDENT OF CONSUMER INSIGHTS & LOYALTY SUPERVALU
  9. 9. IoT Data Changes the Shopping Game It seems that almost everything from products to foot traffic, to merchandising displays now have sophisticated sensors that collect and relay information for analysis. With connectivity everywhere, and data from in-store mobile devices growing in volume, so, too, will the potential for actionable insights. The Internet of Things is poised to grow in prevalence for retailers in 2016. 3 6 Trends In Retail Analytics for 2016
  10. 10. 3 Major brick-and-mortar stores are utilizing IoT data to understand shopper behavior. Mobile data helps retailers see which in-store marketing techniques work best, and which walking pathways shoppers use the most. Marketing teams then use this information to determine which visual breadcrumbs and shopping routes result in increased sales. Smart retailers are also using this type of information to engage in proximity marketing, a new way to trigger instant communications with shoppers via an app, SMS text, or an email, which may include a coupon to incentivize a purchase during that visit. 6 Trends In Retail Analytics for 2016
  11. 11. 6 Trends In Retail Analytics for 2016 3 And consumers themselves are providing a wealth of useful data to retailers by using, wearing, and connecting to branded apps with smart products like watches, shoes, performance clothing, and baseball caps. With sensors woven directly into the fabric of a favorite cycling shirt, for example, retailers can collect and leverage new information to analyze the tendencies and desires of customers in highly specific categories. Further Reading: Four Ways the Internet of Things Will Innovate the Retail Industry
  12. 12. Omni-Channel Data Integration Gets Exciting Retailers want and need agile analytics. Because timing is everything, it’s essential to get the right data sets to the right people, and quickly. This is no small challenge since data now lives in many different places including legacy systems and different database platforms that include both on-premise and cloud data. Successful retailers must be able to see and understand, in one holistic view, commerce-channel data, supply-chain data, and customer data. This is the promise of Omni-channel. 4 6 Trends In Retail Analytics for 2016
  13. 13. 6 Trends In Retail Analytics for 2016 4 Working across different channels and data sources can seem tedious, impossible, or both. In 2016, we’ll see many new players in the data integration space. With the rise of sophisticated tools and the addition of new data sources, companies will stop trying to gather every byte of data in the same place. Retailers will connect to data sets where they live and combine, blend, or join other data sets with more agile tools and methods.
  14. 14. 6 Trends In Retail Analytics for 2016 4 Metro, a progressive retail business valued at more than $194 million in FY2014, operates a chain of department stores in Singapore. The Metro team constantly collects a variety of data at their stores to gain valuable insights into peak and lull shopping periods, inventory flow, and customer purchase behaviors.
  15. 15. We had sales data in data source A, transactions data from source B, and customer data from source C. To put all these together, we need to extract data from multiple sources. What used to take us weeks has now been reduced to seconds. - ERWIN OEI, LEAD BUSINESS ANALYST, CRM AND MERCHANDISE CONTROLLER, METRO
  16. 16. 6 Trends In Retail Analytics for 2016 4 By analyzing the trends with data from multiple sources, the team can set operational and promotional strategies, and continue to improve efficiency and performance. Further Reading: The Keys to Unlocking the Retail Omni-Channel Advantage
  17. 17. The Retail Marketing Mix Modernizes When it comes to planning the marketing budget, retailers have sometimes found themselves prioritizing the old- school print-media cycle simply because that’s the way it’s always been done. But visualizing marketing channel data is starting to squash this thirty-year practice. According to a 2014 study by the National Retail Federation (NRF), smartphones and tablets used before and during shopping influenced 28 percent of in-store sales ($970 billion) in the United States alone. This massive shift in the way shoppers consider purchases simply must change the way retailers go to market; it has to be mobile first. 5 6 Trends In Retail Analytics for 2016
  18. 18. 6 Trends In Retail Analytics for 2016 5 Not only is mobile marketing good for e-commerce, it also opens up a variety of new sales pipelines and customer experiences. While the fight for marketing dollars across radio, TV, print, online ads, search, and mobility is on, companies must also maximize the effectiveness of dollars spent across all geographic regions or designated market areas (DMAs).
  19. 19. 6 Trends In Retail Analytics for 2016 5 For example, while Arby’s uses data visualization and geographic mapping to better understand restaurant performance in specific regions, the company also uses mapping to optimize its marketing mix. Further Reading: How to Use Geocoding in your Data Visualizations
  20. 20. Mapping is a good way to visually show [this], especially when you talk about a restaurant company. We’ve got restaurants all over the country. We use mapping specifically around the DMA, the Nielson-designated market area. And so we are able to pull the DMA boundaries of latitude and longitude data to actually have dashboards that have the DMA shapes. Our marketing team especially has loved using those. - KARL RIDDETT, MANAGER OF BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE AND ANALYTICS AT ARBY’S RESTAURANT GROUP
  21. 21. Real-Time Inventory Becomes a Must-Have With the omni-channel boom, customers have grown accustomed to knowing exactly which items are available regionally and when a product may be ready to be picked up at the nearest store. To further entice purchases, companies are exposing product counts on websites, mobile apps, in-paid advertisements, and even the exact location of the product down to the isle and bin at a specific store. 6 6 Trends In Retail Analytics for 2016
  22. 22. 6 Trends In Retail Analytics for 2016 6 While this practice can improve the customer experience, it can also create problems if that data is inaccurate. Because inventory data lives in many different places within the omni-channel, it is critical for retailers to be able to blend and understand that data minute by minute. Merchandisers can also leverage real-time inventory data to power automatic replenishments, adjust orders according to sales spikes, and understand the flow of inventory within the company’s pipeline. Further Reading: 5 Ways To Improve Customer Service with Real-Time Data and Real-Time Responses
  23. 23. Real-time data is very important for us. In logistics, we can’t wait until the next day. We need to analyze the data now. - DR. LUCIE SALWICZEK, URBAN BRAND GMBH
  24. 24. About Tableau Integrating data visualization into your retail programs and processes is easier than you think. Tableau Software helps people see and understand data no matter how big it is, or how many systems it is stored in. Quickly connect, blend, visualize and share data dashboards with a seamless experience from the PC to the iPad. Create and publish dashboards with automatic data updates, and share them with colleagues, partners or customers—no programming skills required. Begin a free trial today. TABLEAU.COM/RETAIL-ANALYTICS
  25. 25. Tableau offers a revolutionary new approach to business intelligence that allows you to quickly connect, visualize and share your data with a seamless experience from the PC to the iPad. Go to to learn more.