The Benefits of Leveraging Transparent Data for Marketing & Intelligent Merchandising (Part - 1)

Mihir Kittur, Co-founder and Chief Innovation Officer, Ugam,

Today’s Retail and the Need to Leverage Data and Analytics

Today’s Retail and the Need to Leverage Data and Analytics Today’s Retail environment is fast and furious.

On eBay in the US
  • Every 39 seconds a tablet is bought
  • Every 11 seconds a ladies purse is bought
  • Every 5 minutes a car or truck is bought
And wait, all of this is on Mobile alone.
Retail has also become furious thanks to a more empowered shopper, information transparency and cut-throat competition. How can retailers succeed in a world of data explosion, empowered consumers, and competitors who prioritize market share over profits?

Retailers today have so much more data at their disposal than they did 10 or 20 years ago. Today’s customer, posts information online on whether or not they like a product (e.g., reviews on Amazon, Facebook likes and dislikes), shares potential or unusual uses for a product, provides feedback on pros and cons of a product, etc. Furthermore, they use certain keywords in search engines to find the products that they need, and compare prices online. All of this data is available to those who are willing to capture it, mine it and deploy relevant insights. Utilizing this free, democratic data can help retailers transform core business functions and become more responsive to consumer demands. They can capture consumer signals in real time to make better marketing, merchandising and pricing decisions.

But all this available data can be overwhelming without the right tools to organize and make sense of it all. This is why retailers need to invest in data and analytics capabilities that help them make sense, shape and react to consumer demands and at the same time be mindful of how competitors are reacting in this transparent world. Data analytics and intelligence tools allow a retailer to aggregate past transaction data, while leveraging newer, richer sources of data like search, reviews, social signals, and competitive pricing data to make informed decisions that will drive revenue and help create long-term happy customers.

Retailers can use this data intelligence to:
  • Market more effectively to customers;
  • Make decisions on ways to improve a product or better describe a product (which will in turn increase sales and show that the retailer is listening to customer feedback); and
  • Make suggestions to a customer about products they might be interested in purchasing in the future.
In summary, shopping is no longer a one-dimensional activity where a retailer blindly sells a product to a customer with no idea of the customer’s perception of that product. Retailers now have the ability to connect with their customers on so many levels. The ability to mesh these capabilities together in a more coherent manner can enable the delivery of the right product to the right customer with the right offer across the right channel at the right time. It’s the optimal approach to long-term growth and success.

To read the next blog post in this series, please click here.

The Author:
Mihir Kittur is a Co-founder and Chief Innovation Officer at Ugam. He oversees sales, marketing and innovation and works with leading retailers and brands with insights and analytics solutions around their category decisions to improve business performance.


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