It’s a new year, full of new possibilities — and potential pitfalls — for brick-and-mortar businesses. So to help you get started on the right foot, we’ve pinpointed a few key ideas around big data and retail that you can look forward to using in 2016.
1. Leave old strategies behind
Everyone knows that the holiday season is huge for retail sales, and when it’s over, it’s time for another block-buster end-of-season sale, right? Not true, actually! Promotion rollouts based strictly on product demand analytics beat traditional end-of-season sales 90% of the time. This case illustrates an underlying shift in how stores need to do business in the coming year: reactively, adaptively, and intelligently. Big data will continue to be a key resource in enabling retailers to make that strategic shift.
2. Having data is only half the battle
The other half is using it. A 2014 RetailWire study found that there is a direct connection between monitoring the impact of shopper insights and a positive ROI: Big data may be a powerful tool, but it’s worthless if it doesn’t get used. Plus, the full range of positive impacts those analytics can have on businesses are still emerging — and the best way to find out what they’ll be is to make sure you’re utilizing and monitoring your big data resources.
3. Stay two steps ahead
Gartner estimates that by next year, 70% of the most profitable businesses will rely on predictive big data analytics. Will yours be one of them? Whether you’re using analytic insights to optimize your visual merchandising, your staffing, or even your supply chain, big data will be key to ensuring you stay ahead of the curve and improve your bottom line.
4. Turn your unknowns into ROI
Point of Sale data, digital campaign email open rates, and mobile device sales can all be tracked, but what about things that are less tangible, like product engagement? With new tools like video-based activity metrics, big data analytics are bringing actionable insights to even the most abstract parts of the customer journey. 2016 is the year for brick-and-mortar businesses to take advantage of these new tools to improve their bottom line.
This year will undoubtedly see a lot more developments and surprises in the world of retail analytics and brick-and-mortar insights, but every retailer can get off to a great start by making sure that they are taking full advantage of the big data resources at their disposal.