Running a retail store, online or brick-and-mortar, with efficiency can be difficult. With the right software solutions and company policies, you can use big data and analytics to increase proficiency across the board. From engaging with customers to managing your inventory and supply chain, the right data can guide you to increased productivity and profits. You can even find solutions companies to partner with and get the right analytics and reports to fit your unique needs and business plan.
Find a Solutions Partner
There are software solutions companies out there who can provide you with everything you need to increase efficiency in your online and brick-and-mortar retail stores. These solutions include streamlining your supply chain, tracking inventory and customizing client experiences to give you better control on all aspects of your company. To help you find the right retail solutions partner, it is important to see how each one harnesses big data and runs analytics for the aspects you need help with. This means looking at the solutions offered and asking how they can be customized to fit your company.
Before online shopping became widespread, customer engagement meant working with those who came into your brick-and-mortar locations to find the products and services that they were most likely to purchase. These days, customers have the upper hand with the ability to comparison shop, read testimonials and go over product details from their desktop computer or mobile device. This means that customer engagement relies on gathering the data about which items are the most popular, where people are shopping and what features they are looking for and determining how to change your offerings to meet those criteria. The right analytics solutions can give you regular reports on the market to help guide your retail company in the customer’s direction.
Supply Chain Efficiency
Analytics can also help with the efficiency of your complicated supply chain by gathering data on each link and showing you where you can streamline the whole thing. This can include reducing shipping costs and increasing teamwork between your company, those who supply you and your customers. Some solutions even give you real-time visualization of your transportation operations and costs to better streamline and manage this link.
Sales numbers and market analytics can help you better manage your inventory by predicting which items you will need to stock up on and which ones can be eliminated to make room for new products. By using software solutions and analytical reports for inventory, you can also spend less time trying to figure this out yourself, track inventory from suppliers and in your warehouse, or trying to push products which just won’t sell.
One thing that brick-and-mortar stores have to worry about more than online ones is staffing. You will need to be able to predict the amount of foot-traffic for a given week and ensure that you have enough employees on hand to deal with the crowds. You will not want to over or underestimate this staffing because both can cut into your profits with employees being paid to stand around and do nothing or with customers deciding that lines are too long and walking out without buying anything. You can predict traffic patterns for your stores with customer counting security cameras at the doors, exporting those reports and analyzing them for patterns. Online stores can also proficiently schedule staff by tracking and analyzing online traffic to ensure that orders are taken, filled and shipped effectively.
Analytics and the right solutions partner can help you streamline nearly every aspect of your online or brick-and-mortar retail shops. You can find tools to harness big data for everything from customer engagement to scheduling and make your processes more efficient. This can save you time, increase profits and reduce costs across the board. The trick is to find solutions partners who know how to harness the plethora of information out there to provide you the right analytics and reports for your needs.