Retailers are in a powerful position to use their insights to better target customers and improve operational efficiency thanks to the swathes of data generated in the digital age.

It’s clear that with great data, comes great power – but only if used correctly. The right retail business intelligence solutions can help drive rapid improvements across an enterprise, and the sophistication of this technology continues to develop all the time.

Terms such as big data management, business intelligence (BI) and data analysis are well known in retailers across the globe, but we’re now entering the embedded analytics era, where analytics platforms and data capture applications combine to sit at the heart of an organisation.

Access to such advanced business intelligence has the potential to change retail in multiple ways in the second half of 2017.

Change 1 – Better-performing stores

The growth of digital retailing and its disruption amongst traditional brick-and-mortar retail is well documented, but physical stores themselves can now take advantage of advances in technology to access information that gives them a 365-degree view of their organisation.

Retail store business intelligence can help staff make critical commercial decisions based on the most relevant KPIs, in real time. These data insights can ensure retailers offer stock levels based on demand, understand the performance of the latest promotions and run sufficiently-staffed stores.

Change 2 – Happier, more productive staff

Improvements in retail business intelligence solutions will reduce some of the traditional time-consuming manual tasks around stocktaking and inventory management that retailers have contended with for years.

Retail trade associations across the globe are putting the building blocks in place to generate more productive and fulfilling jobs for the industry – and technology is helping them do this, freeing up staff to focus on the all-important consumer-facing activities crucial to modern brick-and-mortar retailing.

Change 3 – Improved customer experience

Retail business intelligence solutions are enhancing internal operations every day, but a well-organised retailer internally creates a foundation for a successful enterprise in the eyes of the customer.

Access to up-to-date stock inventory data, for instance, is a fundamental requirement in modern retailing. Customers visiting stores want information and access to products, but if their desired items are not in stock they want to know how and when they can buy them.

In many instances, they’ll want staff to order products to their home or for a later store collection, and the most sophisticated retail store business intelligence systems will enable the retail employee to meet these demands and secure a sale.

Change 4 – More customer loyalty

The growing business intelligence in retail industry circles, will all contribute to a fourth change: the holy grail of increased shopper loyalty.

Ultimately, that is what all retailers are looking to achieve, with happy, regular shoppers much more likely to increase their spend and recommend their experiences to others. Retailers now have the business intelligence tools available to help them consistently delight and retain their customers.

Retailers have spoken for years about the power of the big data they have at their fingertips, but now is the time to put it to good use. It doesn’t matter how big your data is, it’s what you do with it that counts.

Find out how to drive forward your retail operation with business intelligence with iVend Retail’s reporting and analytics tools.

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