The retail industry is becoming increasingly reliant on accurate retail data to maintain lean, agile, and profitable operations. As the retail industry undergoes major changes in the way consumers search for products and make purchases, a reliable source of data is indispensable for keeping up with the pace of innovation and finding new streams of revenue.
Going into 2019, retailers are beefing up their data analysis capabilities to gain a competitive edge. In this pursuit, there are a number of ways in which retailers are leveraging retail data, and a few specific types of data that have proven most useful.
The Ways Retail Data Will Be Used in 2019
While every operation differs in their need for insight into the market, their competitors, and their own operations, there are a few common ways in which retail data will be primarily leveraged in 2019.
- Retail data for store operations and product assortment: retailers are leveraging a wealth of in-store analytics and point of sale (POS) information to help drive higher sales. This information informs proper staffing levels through events, the holidays, and throughout the year, while also helping determine the types of products that should be sold and where they should be showcased.
- Omnichannel data to share with suppliers: 2019 will be a year in which retailers focus on merging digital and physical streams of revenue to create a seamless experience and greater insight into operations. This information can then be shared with suppliers for smarter inventory and logistics management.
- Data for personalization and loyalty programs: today’s consumers demand unique and personalized shopping experiences. The wealth of information retailers collect will continue to be leveraged to offer consumers exactly the experience they want. This includes giving privileged treatment to customers who’ve proven to be loyal to a particular brand.
- Retail data for monitoring store traffic: in-store beacons and other technologies are providing insight into the amount of foot traffic a store receives, the flow of customers through the store, and the dwell time of these customers. This data can be used to promote more site visitors while improving the in-store experience.
- Market research and analysis: the retail industry changes quickly. Retailers will continue to need access to deep level market research for analysis to inform their short-term and long-term strategy for growth.
- Retail location strategy: as retailers find success in 2019, they’ll need to plan for physical expansion into new territories. Retail data from a variety of sources can inform their assessment of various geographic areas and shopping centers or major malls, helping them find the ideal location for continued growth.
Retail data will play an important role in the overall strategy and operations of most retailers in 2019. There are a few different types of data that will be particularly useful, however.
Most Relied on Types of Retail Data Used in 2019
Going into 2019, the types of retail data being used the most reveal the fundamental needs and priorities of retailers for the coming year. One emerging form of data offering retailers deep market insight is mobile device data for Trade Areas. Retail technology providers can now offer demographic data and track retail activity patterns by harnessing data from consumers mobile devices.
This allows retailers to intercept customers without interrupting them, gathering invaluable information in the process. Large sample sizes, which can be segmented by time and location, yield highly accurate results, allowing retailers to make more informed decisions when it comes to their long-term retail strategy. Targeted marketing campaigns, outdoor advertising, site selection, and demographic reporting can all be effectively executed based on mobile device data.
The other form of retail data that will be heavily relied on by retailers in 2019 is major mall and shopping center data. Often, this data includes location details, site plans, tenant lists, contact information, leasing plans and more. Some databases are available in a subscription model with thousands of major malls and shopping centers included in their dataset.
This data serves as the foundation of a retailer’s geographic and market analysis. It’s absolutely vital in the retail site selection process, but also a useful tool in competitive analysis and for finding new opportunities. It can be segmented in many different ways to gain a broader perspective of the retail landscape as a whole.
Going into 2019, retail data will be an increasingly important part of a retailer’s strategy. Those left without the insight they need will be navigating a volatile industry blindly and will struggle to keep up with their more informed competitors.
Retailers are constantly finding new ways to exploit retail data for higher profits and new streams of revenue, while various sources of retail data become more important to have. In 2019, watch for retailers to be leveraging retail data to their advantage more than they ever have before.
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