August 5, 2020
For multi-location retail businesses, leveraging data and retail analytics is the key to making smarter decisions. Multi-location operations are inundated with data from inventory levels, supply chain movement, consumer demand, sales, and more. This information flows into the business from a variety of separate and unconnected sources, such as a point-of-sale system, customer relationship management tool, or financial software. Business intelligence centralizes all that information in a way that can easily be understood, and a strong data culture is what enables a business to leverage those retail analytics to improve.
For example, let’s say a business has multiple stores in the same city in different neighborhoods, and one of the locations regularly outperforms the others. As a leader of this operation, you want to know what drives this shop’s success and how to use those findings to help the other locations. Different locations will have several variables that will affect sales, including, but not limited to leadership, employees, demographics, inventory strategy, sales campaigns. Without a data strategy to measure and evaluate this data, you could be missing key areas that determine the success and failures of the location. For example, the most profitable location may also be employing a different inventory strategy to reduce loss. Once this inventory strategy has been identified as a critical metric for success, it can be applied to the other locations.
Data culture empowers every team member to access and analyze relevant business intelligence information to make smarter decisions. Many leaders, managers, and individual contributors use their instincts to make decisions. While instincts might have short-term success, they are not reproducible, teachable, or sustainable and do not lead to long-term success. If the leader, manager, and contributors have access to the right information, they can start asking and answering questions that will move their ideas from theories into actionable insights. Providing measurable analytics can provide a template for repeatable success.
There really is no end to the variety of questions that a well-honed data culture can answer using a holistic view of retail analytics provided by business intelligence. Some of the questions we’ve seen our customers answer include:
Using retail analytics effectively is about technology, tools, and reports. However, the best-performing multi-retail location operations rely on a strong data culture to ask questions that get the right answers. As a result, they experience better sales, better operations, and happier employees.