The retail buyer’s experience doesn’t look like it did 10 years ago. In fact, it hardly looks the same from the year before. This is partly due to constant buyer demand and ever-changing buying trends. As a result, businesses could no longer use intuition to predict sales outcomes and instead have come to rely on retail analytics software tools to reduce the risk of human error. The right business analytics tools for retail businesses can be a game changer.
Anticipating and predicting outcomes becomes a less Herculean task, and you’ll be able to take action on your insights by executing and developing a detailed action plan. Combine data sources, perform code-free analysis and more with the latest retail tools for business analytics. But when you’re picking out your software tools, you should keep a few of these suggestions in mind.
Compare Top Business Analytics Software Leaders
Table of Contents:
Retail Analytics: How Will They Help My Business Grow?
Let’s say you attempted a recent campaign that delivered moderate results. Response from customers wasn’t quite what you were hoping for and you’re unsure why. Your data is too messy for you to go through in your head, and your visibility on patterns is next to none.
How can you manage your next campaign to avoid this same outcome? With a good analytics tool for retail, you can quickly look at your historical data and gain a better understanding of what your customers are really after. You can make better fact-based decisions using analytics, and retailers can improve important business ventures. Say, for example, you notice that a lot of your buyers aren’t converting during the checkout phase. With analytics tools, you can see what percentage of them are abandoning their shopping, where they are in the buyer’s journey and why they’re giving up on converting.
Your services, advertising and customer value can be maximized, which means you can spend more time focusing on your growth.
Okay, but How Will I Know Which Retail Analytics Tool Is Right for Me?
First, identify how big your company currently is. Then you’ll want to ask yourself a series of questions to get a better idea of what kind of system you need:
- What current programs does your retail analytic software need to integrate with?
- What are the customizations like?
- Will a certain software tool provide scalability?
- Will my ideal software be modular?
- Will it be accessible to all levels of employees or just some?
You might already have a set of programs in place for your retail business, like inventory tracking software or timesheet software. In order to take advantage of your pre-existing software’s metrics and analytics, think about how a suite of software can integrate with your current platform.
Because no two business’s needs are exactly the same, ask questions about potential customizations that might be available to you in order to adapt software to your specific needs. Scalability might play a factor in this, as customization can account for your business’s growth in specific areas. It could even prevent you from having to eventually buy a new piece of software to fill in the gaps left when you outgrow your old software.
On the other hand, customization can make upgrading very difficult. If you have customized analytics software, any update from the retailer might break your current system or delay new feature implementations. While customizing can be useful to achieve a goal that isn’t explicitly defined by your software, it also has a few pitfalls. Carefully consider whether or not you’re willing to branch off from the manufacturer’s vision. If you find yourself doing too much tweaking, it might be time to start looking at different analytic software.
If you find yourself with needs that don’t seem connected to one another, i.e. you need advanced reporting and publishing mechanisms but you don’t need high-level R integrations, consider opting for modular software.
Software modularity is important, and it’s not just because it might be a cheaper option. Modular software has the potential to provide all of the business analytics features you need and none of the ones you don’t need. It functions by providing users access to software “modules” that can be installed at-will on to the primary product. Furthermore, modular software provides you with the ability to customize your software as needed and to shuck things that don’t serve your particular business goals.
Finally, ask yourself who will be accessing your retail analytics tools and reports. The level of skill required to successfully navigate an interface or a data report could heavily affect the overall amount of use you get out of your retail analytics software.