If you’re in the business of retail, you should also be in the business of data collection. You can vastly improve and inform your retail strategy by collecting data on customers, sales, promotions, and more.
Most retailers aren’t utilizing the power of data analysis to its fullest — they may look at a few statistics here and there, or the results of one consumer survey, but there’s a wealth of data left unused by a majority of retailers. Failing to collect relevant consumer data is like ignoring advice and insights straight from your consumers about how you can sell to them.
Has your business been leaving useful consumer data in the dust? Now is your chance to remodel and upgrade your strategies. Jumping on opportunities to get more key data can help drive your retail strategies far ahead of your competition. Take a look at the importance of data collection in retail, and how it can boost your business.
WHY IS DATA COLLECTION IMPORTANT?
Collecting — and interpreting — data may seem like a long, daunting process. However, it saves you money in the long run, by helping guide your retail strategies to maximize returns. If you understand your customers’ interests and buying behaviors, you can create highly targeted marketing campaigns that compel them to act. If you know when demand for certain products spikes, you can be sure to have those items in stock and on display to increase profits.
It’s not enough to estimate these types of trends. You may assume a certain seasonal winter item will be popular during the winter, but if you don’t have historical data proving demand for that product, you’ll end up with too much (or too little) in stock.
There are a lot of moving pieces to your business — it’s important to collect specific data for a multitude of different factors, so you can see what’s helping and what’s hindering your sales. When you’re informed by data, you can tweak things like promotions, inventory orders, shipping speeds, and more to build a more efficient retail business.
In short, collecting data now will help you streamline your processes and marketing campaigns in the future — saving you money.
DATA YOU SHOULD BE COLLECTING
Retailers often become hyper-focused on point-of-sale data, but data collection can help your business far beyond that. Important data points to start with include:
- Shopper Demographics
- Shopping Trends
- Trend Analysis
- Impact of Promotions
- Inventory Movement Trends
- Stock Replenishment Cycles
- Demand Spikes
- Periodic Sale Comparison
- Fast and Slow Moving Products
- Store-Help Induced Sales
- Shopper Feedback
- Order-to-Deliver Time Lag
- Product Visibility Impact
Once you’ve collected the data, it’s important to know what to do with it. When you know how to correctly interpret the data you’ve gathered, you can gain valuable insights that allow you to take action and improve your bottom line.
Taking action on your data doesn’t just occur within your own company. You can share useful data with your suppliers, to improve collaboration and set yourself up for sustainable growth. You might be surprised to learn that 43% of retailers don’t share any data with their suppliers; where the majority of retail businesses are missing this opportunity, you can capitalize on it. Sharing data will help create a faster and more profitable decision-making process, as well as improve your customer experience. It’s a win-win for everyone involved.
HOW TO COLLECT AND ANALYZE YOUR DATA
Data collection, for large amounts of data, occurs in several stages:
- Collecting data
- Storing data
- Organizing data
- Analyzing data
- Visualizing data
- Taking action and producing results
Collecting data is one thing. With the technology we have today, you can do it practically automatically. It’s the following stages that take time, work, and care to drive results in the last stage. That’s where research companies come into play — with libraries of digital tools, platforms, and methodologies, a third-party company can help you research shopper demographics, collect customer feedback, and analyze trends in your industry to develop data-driven insights.
Big data is key to competitive growth within the retail industry. The question is, will you take on this challenge to rise above your competition?
Use our ultimate guide to Product Detail Page research to get ahead of the curve: