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Business Intelligence / Data / Analytics

In order to be successful in today’s omnichannel retail marketplace, merchants must collect information from numerous internal and external sources, then analyze that data. New solutions can help to optimize incoming data in order to deliver the business intelligence and analytics needed to move retail businesses successfully into the future. This section offers feature articles, special reports, industry viewpoints and the latest news to help retailers make sense out of the growing influx of information.

Retailers Improve Customer Retention And Merchandising With BI Tools

FEAT BI imageIn today’s retail climate, merchants are encouraged to gather as much data as they possibly can to understand the internal and external strengths and weaknesses of their company. Retail organizations face the high-pressure challenges of optimizing supply chain and inventory management, all while attempting to be more customer-centric and drive shopper loyalty.

By leveraging business intelligence (BI) solutions, retailers such as Coach, Diamond Candles, Groupe Dynamite and Oberweis Dairy can analyze a variety of data points and convert them into actionable insights that improve decision-making processes and performance across all channels.

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IDC Releases Retail IT Predictions For 2015

IDCRetailRetailers must continually implement new technologies designed to provide the best experience for both shoppers and company employees. To help merchants down that road, IDC Retail Insights shared its Top 10 Decision Imperatives for 2015 and beyond. Each imperative includes four parts and correspond with predictions for the several years as outlined by Greg Girard, Program Director at IDC Retail Insights during a web conference:

  1. The imperative itself, or the action to be taken to achieve a desired business outcome;
  2. IT impacts, actions and consequences;
  3. Specific practical advice provided by IDC technology experts; and
  4. Drivers and external factors that bring attention to the decision.
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Data-Driven Retailers Turn To BI Solutions For Optimal Decision Making

FEAT BI imageCompetition in the retail industry is increasing at a rapid rate, with the customer now in more control of the buyer-seller relationship. Because of this more competitive landscape, retailers need every edge they can get in understanding their own business’ strengths and weaknesses.

Retailers such as Coach, Diamond Candles, Groupe Dynamite, Oberweis Dairy are taking the initiative by implementing Business Intelligence (BI) solutions that are designed to help businesses make sense of information resulting from different processes throughout the company. The more information retailers can collect, analyze and understand about various areas of their organization, the easier it is for team members — from the C-level to the store associate — to make proper business decisions and achieve the goals they have in place.

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How Predictive Analytics Enables Efficient Omnichannel Retailing

VP site only Retalon head shotIn the past five years, huge changes in the retail technology landscape have revolutionized customer behaviors and expectations. Consumers are increasingly moving online to make purchases, and this trend is only going to become more significant. Online sales have increased the past four quarters, reaching $75 billion in the second quarter of 2014. And as pure e-Commerce retailers like Amazon have gained momentum, brick-and-mortar retailers are being forced to re-think and re-design their online channels.

As the number of online and mobile shoppers is increasing, so are customers’ demands. If a consumer can’t find the right product through the sales channel that they choose (be it a physical store, mobile shopping, or online) or even the right size or color, they will go to your competitor before you can even pick up the phone to call a neighboring store to check their inventory.

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Noerr Programs Spreads Holiday Cheer With Seasonal Pop-Ups

Pop-up shops have become a mainstay in the retail industry, with businesses of all sizes opening up locations throughout the year.

Some retailers rely on pop-ups as a core part of their businesses. Noerr Programs, for example, provides pop-ups in regional shopping centers around Christmas and Easter. Due to its growing success, Noerr Programs has even experimented with other holiday-themed shops around Halloween and even Shark Week.

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Epicor Acquires QuantiSense

1epicor-quantisense
Epicor Software Corporation
has announced that it will acquire QuantiSense, a provider of cloud-based and on-premise analytic solutions for the retail industry. The deal is expected to close on Oct. 31, 2014. 

With the purchase of privately owned QuantiSense, Epicor will be able to expand its range of solutions for midsize and large chains, adding advanced retail analytics and business intelligence to its retail portfolio.

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SAP Partners With IBM To Expand Cloud Services

sap ibm logo
SAP 
has selected IBM as a premier strategic provider of cloud infrastructure services for its business applications. With the partnership SAP aims to accelerate customers' ability to run their businesses in the cloud. 

The SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud offering is now available through the IBM cloud, allowing the company to expand into new markets, domestically and globally. 

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Ensighten Acquires Anametrix To Add Marketing Analytics Technology To Platform

Anametrix
Ensighten
, a global omnichannel data and tag management provider, has acquired Anametrix, a cloud-based, multichannel marketing analytics platform. The news comes following Ensighten’s March 2014 purchase of tag management company TagMan.

The acquisition of Anametrix is positioned to help Ensighten build out its data-driven marketing offering, which initially enabled brands to collect, own and act on data generated across the customer journey. Organizations also will be able to unify and analyze data across paid, owned and earned media to make better marketing decisions. The solution will combine data from dozens of digital and offline sources, including web sites, mobile apps, social media, digital campaigns, CRM and internal systems.

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Nearly Half Of CMOs And CIOs Think Internal Collaboration Has Improved

RR Accenture ImageAs many as 43% of CMOs and 50% of CIOs think their relationship with each other has improved over the past year, according to research conducted by Accenture.

However, 45% of CMOs believe there still needs to be more collaboration with CIOs and only 23% of marketers believe the level of collaboration between CMOs and CIOs is at or approaching the right level.

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Pier 1 Imports Redesigns Business Intelligence With Microsoft

More than half (56%) of retailers are seeking to deliver cross-channel personalization, and 31% are building more one-to-one tactics, according to research from the e-tailing group.

To achieve this level of relevancy, retailers must be equipped to collect, aggregate and analyze Big Data. Home décor and furniture retailer Pier 1 Imports is partnering with Microsoft to become more customer-centric. 

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Microsoft Power BI Delivers Detailed Data To Retailers

SS MicrosoftPowerBI imageTo create effective marketing and personalization strategies that align with customer desires, retailers need to leverage the power of data. According to a Microsoft-sponsored IDC study, retailers have the opportunity to gain $94 billion from the “data dividend” through the next four years.

Microsoft’s Power Business Intelligence (Power BI) suite is designed to enable retailers to visualize data and give employees access to insights that can drive deeper customer engagement and loyalty through differentiated customer experiences. Combined with the Microsoft SQL Server platform, Power BI provides real-time access to enterprise data — whether it’s sales trends micro-segmented by demographics and geography, or predictive modeling for accurate forecasting.

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Capitalizing On Retail Big Data

Dolphin head shotIncreasingly, retailers are collecting large volumes of transaction data at the point of sale. This data makes pinpointing consumer behavior easier than ever, as retailers obtain real time data about consumer preferences, whether it is the latest fashion trend, a hot new food item, or packaged good.

With Big Data, retailers have the ability to stay on top of the competition and respond quickly to consumer demands. But point-of-sale transactions aren’t the only source of Big Data. Retail supply chains and internal processes are also generating large volumes of data. If retailers want to succeed in a competitive marketplace, they must not only collect retail data, they must also understand how to control it.

As more retail companies grow through mergers and acquisitions, expand into new territories, or launch new product lines, they must consider how data and processes work together to support the businesses’ near term and long term goals. Here we present some simple rules that retailers can follow to help them capitalize on the valuable data they have while staying in control.

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Cutie Pie Photo Studio Sees Success In A Snap With Pose POS System

Cloud-based POS solutions provide retailers with the tools and features they need to become more agile and responsive to customer demands. 

Cutie Pie Photo Studio, a small business based in Wisconsin, has improved back-end efficiencies and captured a more comprehensive view of the business since implementing the cloud-based POS solution from Pose.

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In The Wake Of The Target Fiasco, Where Retailers Need To Focus Data-Security Efforts

VP site only BeachheadThe massive breach of Target's data security systems in late 2013 surprised many customers who have come to take the safety of electronic transactions for granted. To insiders following consumer data theft, however, it came as less of a revelation. To them, the Target breach merely served as a painful reminder of the relative weakness of data security systems in the American retail industry. As retailers have expanded their operations across a broader variety of platforms, they have too often neglected to establish necessary safeguards on the information transmitted across those platforms. Where customers see greater convenience, sophisticated hackers see new opportunities.

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