There’s an increasing amount of information available on shoppers and their buying habits. From product research to purchases to pick up, shoppers are interacting with your products online and in your store while using more technology to make informed decisions.
And as retail competition continues to heat up, innovative retailers are looking for ways to tap into big data and analytics to get a leg up and connect with their consumers in ways they never have before. Sixty-two percent of retailers report that the use of data and analytics is giving their businesses a competitive advantage.
So, how can big data help your business succeed? Big data analytics can influence every stage of the retail process. Imagine being able to predict what products will fly off your shelves, how you can price them to sell, and which of your customers will be most interested in buying them.
It might seem an overwhelming task, but (good news!) there are tools you can use that will help you gather, analyze and understand how to apply big data to help your business grow.To get you started, here are 10 of our favorite tools to help you leverage big data to delight your customers and ultimately bolster your business.
Before you dive into the analyzing part of the equation, you’ll need some data to play with. Import.io is a tool that will automatically extract data and images from thousands of URLs without having to know how to program.
But how can you actually use all this data that Import.io mines for you? This tools allows you to keep tabs on how competitors are pricing their products, build an up-to-date inventory list, and receive alerts on product performance, additions or deletions. Because of of these regular, automated updates, it’s easier to stay on top of a competitive marketplace.
42 is an analytics and reporting solution for multichannel retailers. It’s simple to have the platform up and running in less than five weeks (fairly quick by industry standards). The IT team at 42 helps merchants integrate data from internal sources like inventory, wholesale, and any other third-party source into a custom dashboard. Working with the 42 team, it’s easier to get quick access to the analytics that are relevant to your business, versus having to dig through a mound of vanity metrics that don’t impact your bottom line.
You can see the real-time performance of store regions or categories in order to compare, receive reports on which items are selling, and build any other custom reports you might need into your dashboard. Our favorite feature is the visual item reporting, which gives you a breakdown of the data you’re aiming to find via images. Literally see a list of which products have the best sell through that week, or a visual list of the best-selling items for the month.
Want to know how many people walked by your store and how many came actually came through the doors? What was their level of engagement once they entered? These are all integral metrics for brick-and-mortar merchants, but can be difficult to monitor and track.
Walkbase brings a level of customer knowledge to brick-and-mortar retailers that is usually reserved for ecommerce merchants through Wifi, Bluetooth beacons, cameras, and beam counters.
Merchants can use Walkbase to access a user-friendly dashboard to make informed decisions around store performance, hours of operation, and staffing. You can test how new store layouts impact customer engagement and sales, and also identify in-store patterns that you can apply to other locations or news ones as you scale.
Pentaho is a more robust platform for larger multichannel retailers that are challenged to make sense of data coming in from multiple channels to drive revenue and growth.
Use this solution to better manage operations and minimize inventory issues, understand buying patterns, and price your products accordingly, quickly identify retail locations and employees that aren’t meeting your targets.
datapine is business intelligence software that allows merchants to analyze and visualize retail data from multiple sources to help you make better sense of it. Build your own dashboard using their retail template and dive deep into customer patterns. Strategically plan for inventory and execute more targeted marketing campaigns. The platform also makes it easy for users to share their dashboard and reports.
Google has an entire family of products that can help you better understand and apply customer insights. Execute market research with Surveys 360, gather website and app metrics with Google Analytics, and use them to create personalized experiences for your customers with Google Optimize.
Canopy Labs is a software that pulls in your customer data from point-of-sale systems, email service providers, CRM systems, and website analytics into one central location for analysis. The software then generates information that tells you what your customers have done, and what they might do in the future. Get a better handle on the customer journey, make thoughtful product recommendations, use predictive technology to trigger email marketing campaigns, automatically segment customers and spot potential churn risks.
If your store accepts credit cards, you could be missing out on valuable customer data. Tranzlogic is a turnkey program that has partnered with merchants and payment systems to provide you with information like the age, location, income, and preferences and hobbies of your customers. Accessing the data requires no installation or authorization from your customers.
Gain visibility into shopper behavior like average visit duration and engagement level and measure the success of proximity marketing campaigns with beacon technology. Beaconstac makes it easy to get started by simply choosing a kit ranging from three to nine beacons and then picking a plan that suits your needs.
Qualtrics is a research platform that provides a multichannel view of the customer experience by tracking their journey from browsing to purchasing to sharing feedback on social media. The platform collects data from surveys, website analytics, call centers, employees, and social media to create a baseline and help facilitate informed conversations with customers.
Big data, big opportunity
Big data is a necessary evolution for retail business of any size to continue to compete. While it might seem a daunting and expensive task, today’s tools include ones that are both easy to integrate and easy on the wallet.
How will you leverage customer data for your store? Share your experiences in the comments below.