The main objective of the retail is that collecting, analyzing and getting more loyal customers to its business through its research data that is collected via devices and platforms. But most of the data they were collecting have no idea how to analyze and make use of it. Retailers are expected to run a multi-channel marketing frequently.
The retail industry is one massive industry which has abundant data that helps in understanding the customer’s behavior, interests, needs, consumer loyalty, incomes, preferences, background etc., Retailing is all about getting the product that is needed by the consumer at the right time and place.
What is Business Intelligence?
Business Intelligence (BI) consists of technologies and strategies that are used by the organizations for analyzing the raw data and to convert it into useful information that helps in decision making, tactical and strategic to be more effective. This helps in understanding the trends and to extract insights.
First and foremost the retailer should know his set of audience/ customers and their buying patterns, influencing behaviors and demographics. BI helps in combining the information you had on your target market in CRM and social media.
Business Intelligence Advantages:
Analysis of sales performance:
BI consists of collective data of all the stores, sales in different departments, targets set for the stores and their results. By analyzing all this data they will know which store is performing low and can concentrate on its product development. The sales channel is one important component for retailing.
Planning and Forecasting:
Predicting target customer needs, wants and behavior are important to satisfy their demands and make them a loyal customer. With the patterns they have of the buyer will help in anticipating the trends in shopping. This can help in inventory management and merchandise across all stores.
Through the promotional activities, the companies can track the feedback and ranking through social media interaction, email marketing, search engine rankings etc and can plan accordingly to satisfy the demand of the consumers.
Profit & sales analysis:
Easy to know about the product demand and point-of-sale and trends
Bulk purchases and seasonal products trends can also be known
Can know about the customer expenses, receivables, inventory etc
Can understand which products are trending and profitable than others.
Businesses can create various buying patterns by analyzing their buying history and profile of the customer.
Reports like knowing what products are going in combination and which products were not at all bought can be easily known.
Marketers coming up with up-selling and cross-selling campaigns to reach a number of customers can bring effectiveness to their products.
With the help of Business Intelligence retail chains can know the holistic view of its entire operations. It’s easy to know the well performing and underperforming stores. BI dashboards can give us customized reports of every store sales, inventory, and performance. It can also track employee performance. Can learn the missing opportunities the businesses hadn’t known.
BI can help us understand the successes, challenges, and operations and can help us react before the business runs into losses with better decision-making methods. Retailers should also know what type of data collection are they going to use like for example if they want to know the conversion rates and foot traffic they should consider different functions. Other data can be about the type of products that are mostly sold based on demographics and behavior.
Top 10 Business Intelligence tools in the market:
- Actuate Business Intelligence and Reporting tools
- Clear analytics
- Board Management Intelligence
- Good data
- IBM Cognos Intelligence
Domo is a customized platform which brings together the data and people and helps us understand what’s happening in the organization and creates a visual data/information for the employees
This tool can make the most complex data into a simple information for decision making. It has got an in-chip technology which runs the data ten times more than the usual traditional system. It has the ability to import large sets of data without any compromising in the results.
Actuate Business Intelligence and Reporting tools:
It’s also known as BIRT which is open source, pure Java reporting tool and flexible. Within the Eclipse foundation, it is the top –level project and is an active open source community.
It is a SaaS end to end BI platform. It easily merges because of the on-the-fly authentication and authorization which can connect any data source. It can graphically design widgets from the scrape.
It is an Excel-based solution with a requirement of training. This doesn’t require any learning as employees with minimum excel knowledge can handle it and also the business can execute in full operational mode. The key features offered by clear analytics helps in generating, automating, analyzing and visualizing the company information.
Board Management Intelligence:
In a single graphical software, BOARD combines the CPM and BI functions. The capability of BOARD BI toolkit is ad-hoc querying, multidimensional analysis, reporting and dashboarding. And the CPM capabilities are forecasting, planning and budgeting. BOARD improvises the decision making and productivity and decreases costs.
Good data consists of an OAP (Open Analytics Platform) which actually backs the IT’s need for Security, Data governance, desires of businesses for the discovery of self-service data. This tool creates an agile, fast, secure and protected for IT which combines any size of data found in organization and cloud.
To make proactive decisions businesses should have the real-time data. With that real-time data, the historical data should also be combined to increase the loyal customers and their satisfaction and by saving time and cost.
This tool helps in understanding the consumer for medium and small businesses without having to send their sales force away from the obligation of selling their products.
IBM Cognos Intelligence:
This software provided by IBM helps businesses to find information in different perspectives and various platforms and can compare with the real-time data and trends and gives a considerable view of the business.
With the increasing market demand and consumer choices the retail industry is forced to transfer from a traditional approach to interactive and immediate strategies through social media to know the consumer behavior, interests, preferences and needs to stand in the competition. Business intelligence helps the retailers to predict trends, understand consumer behavior, and analyze internal organizational activities. This helps in minimizing operational costs and introduces new product lines. Now retailing without business intelligence has become pointless.