Is Data Indispensable for Retail Industry?
by Pulakesh Barua, dataZen Engineering
Let’s see what opinion the Retailer themselves have. However first, what influence does Data actually make in your Life?
It’s quite simple! From the time your Alarm goes OFF in the Morning to the time you put it ON the Night before, you are surrounded by Data, which are little bits of Information all over. But it is downright impossible for any human to consume all the Information and process it at the necessitated time, especially if you are considering a purchase decision for everyday use.
Importance of Data in Retail
Let’s talk about how a business that deals with its customers face to face and their relationship to Data. Some mastered it better than others. Promotions were involved and presented via brochures, handouts, direct mail, catalogs, trade shows, channel publications etc. The data you seldom provided were the most valuable asset for them.
Today, Data is the retail industry landscape changer since consumers began to research and buy products online. It is now part of any business decisions: a valuable commodity.
WHAT DRIVES BUSINESS CASE EFFICIENCIES TODAY?
A new term has evolved called e-tailer. This is generally towards growth, a competitive advantage for improved item availability, buy, pick-up or delivered, return anywhere for a unified customer experience. However evinced, time and again an improved execution warrants good Data. Better inventory control with enhanced cost control so to speak.
Then comes promoting products and services now for the NEW – The Digital Customer
Examples of Raw Data needed for e-Commerce Digital experience included pricing, logistical and technical information. Essential value proposition includes: WHAT – Find and aggregate Data from multiple sources of truth, HOW - Speed up Data aggregation with simple tools in real time and WHY – It is for this very new consumers whether buy online and get delivered, picked up at the store or some location with access code at a floor space in close proximity.
It is more of selling your Data about your products and Services than the product itself. You want to keep track of your sales, your profit and loss, information on units of the products and account details involving all your Business Transactions; Data is involved through and through. Yes, including supply chain and all the associated intricacies involved with it comply as factors.
Be it large transactions, partnerships, advertisements or even promotions… Data plays a huge role whatsoever. Industries of all sizes realize that Data Loss is an information loss. Whether it be a humungous record or the tiniest information, everything has an importance when it comes to running a successful business.
Thought about what Omni-Channel Retail really mean?
It is actually a cross channel Data, which content approach businesses are starting to leverage for their customer or user experience. All aspects of the channel work in tandem to cooperate. And in return, businesses have a direct relationship with a consumer.
For example, you can find a particular brand in various websites and applications via which you can make a purchase. That’s good but not good enough, right? We want a detailed knowledge about the specification of the product or its service. And we want ourselves to be heard in case we want to share any opinion on it. And that is exactly what Unified Commerce World brings to us - Full Transparency. Not only has it a dedicated web presence but it can be approached from anywhere, anytime. Now, that’s Data in work behind the scene whether it is a traditional Database system approach or with more sophisticated like Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning.
E-tailers have comparatively grown in modern days and they are successfully running their operations since they have a committed line to their customers. They receive raw Data and utilize it in various forms be it in their advertising, publications or simply sending a dedicated thank you note.
WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT ASPECT OF ANY BUSINESS TODAY?
Hands down it is the Customer Satisfaction!
According to a Survey held in 2016 by BRP (Boston Retail Partners), Unified Commerce prioritizes Customer Feedback the most; the outcome being that majority of the Retailers plans to implement a Unified Commerce platform by the end of 2019.
Now that’s Awesome!!!
You and I can now directly be involved in any purchasing affair we take part in. Our Feedback will be valued and as time goes by results will only get better. Again, undoubtedly it is the Data that clearly drives all this.
However it will only happen when our Feedbacks receive a Retroaction and that action or response in turn will only materialize when proper Data management is involved. Keeping a record of Customer Feedbacks and taking requisite actions will lead to a better and Prospering Retail marketplace. Believe it or not, the new digital customer more often than none reads the response to a customer satisfaction or dis-satisfaction as part of his/her purchase decision.
Tracking out any particular information in time takes up a lot of effort and initiatives. Our brains can process almost 400 Billion Bits of Information per second but then we are just average people doing day to day activities every second too. Just imagine our Brains working every fraction of a second without stopping for once to deal with this massive amount of Data.
So, let’s not put ourselves into merciless conditions and rather take help of one of the Brilliant Inventions of a Human Brain. Babbage gave us the Computers; Alan Shugart gifted us Storage Devices. Store away bits of Information you get lawfully with consent and it’ll certainly prove fruitful someday. And these Important Information forms the basis of Data that drives everything in any industry. Considering these aspects, one can only conclude that we can see significant importance of Data in retail from a brick and mortar to unified commerce. With the help of many technology options to choose from, go ahead by taking your Retail Business to the Peak and Zenith.
Data as a must currency to invest instead!