Intelligent questions any retail business decision-maker should ask

Retailing, in its many different forms, is probably the most competitive industry as companies strive to serve customers better in terms of the experience, pricing and delivery. They also need to ensure that they do so profitably.

All this requires in-depth knowledge of the customers’ current and future needs, while keeping track of operations to ensure that costs are kept down. But not at the expense of a lower quality of service.

This is the reality that retail operators of any size face, whether these are based online or are traditional brick-and-mortar. Or, more likely, a combination of both. And yet, the insights they need to take the right decisions are often not available.

This often leaves decision-makers frustrated as they are unable to get even the most basic information they need or, worse, having more than one version of the “truth” at their fingertips when they need it. To make matters even worse, they feel that the IT teams are not necessarily treating this as a priority, leaving decision-makers with a feeling of a lack of control over the areas they are responsible for.

Having said that, retail businesses do generate loads of data through their CRMs, databases, inventory systems, delivery data, PoS terminals, and emailing systems, amongst others.

But data alone will not drive sales and profitability.

Insights are needed that can be extracted from the data and that allow the right decisions to be taken.

Business Intelligence in Retail

These insights can only be generated if the most basic of questions can be answered using a company’s BI capabilities, allowing you to have answers to these questions when and where you want them.

Such questions include:

  • What is my Sales performance this year, compared to last year? Is my business growing?
  • Comparing in-store and online sales, which channel is performing better, and why?
  • Am I maximising the Average Transaction Value by providing the right products at the right price per sales channel?
  • Do I have a healthy Net Profit Margin?
  • Which stores are performing the best and why?
  • What is my Operating Profit per Sales Channel compared to my Profit Margin?
  • What is the Shrinkage in my stores?
  • Which are the worst products and at which location?
  • Is my staff performance and scheduling optimal?
  • How well do I know my customers and their purchasing behaviour?
  • What impact do my marketing campaigns have on sales performance?
  • How fast is stock moving? Which products need a bit of marketing assistance to be moved and free up space?
  • How readily available is the right intelligence to the people who need it to make the right decisions?

These are very simple questions to ask which can help you understand if you are making the most of the data that is already being generated. Answering these questions requires tracking more complex KPIs which can only be tracked if the right BI tools are in place.

At Cleverbit Software we help companies like yours transform their data into their most significant asset by helping you collate data from across all your systems, mine it, and then transform it visually into maps and graphs that your team can interact with. This will allow everyone to gain insights that will improve decision making and will lead to an improvement to the bottom line.

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