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Is Data Indispensable for Retail Industry?

Posted By RCVF Admin, Monday, October 29, 2018

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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.


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.


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!  


Tags:  analytics  Data  ecommerce  e-commerce  Technology 

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It All Adds Up: Analytics, Assortment Data Bolster Business

Posted By Administration, Thursday, August 13, 2015
Updated: Wednesday, August 12, 2015

by Peter Zaballos, SPS Commerce

Without a doubt, the holidays can – and will – provide a critical stress test and opportunity for today's leading retailers and suppliers to capture the hearts and wallets of consumers. Websites must stay up-to-date with the latest product details. Shipping needs to sail smoothly. And retailers' shelves, both in-store and online, need to stay stocked.

With consumers using multiple shopping channels 24/7, the increasingly rapid pace of consumer demand is affecting retailers across the board. Not only do consumers want more ways to shop, they want more choices, and their merchandise faster and cheaper than ever before.

As retailers and vendors prepare themselves for a profitable holiday season, they must plan now to best feature their products to engage the consumer online and monitor sales across all channels. They also need to know when products are shipped to the consumer, what items are flying off shelves and what merchandise they can do without.

Analytics Boosts Sales: Return Becomes $75,000 Opportunity
To deal with the breakneck pace of omni-channel sales, retailers are looking to advance their analytics and improve vendor collaboration by sharing sales data that can reveal insights to boost performance in time to capture sales.

One example that deftly demonstrates the importance of analytics and collaborating with suppliers – and how such insight can increase retail sales – is a recent occurrence between a retailer and sunglasses maker Oakley.1

When one of its retailers requested to return more than $100,000 worth of popular merchandise due to lagging sales, the team at Oakley knew it had a problem. The question was: What? They believed there was more to the story than what met the eye. Luckily the retailer provided Oakley with point-of-sale (POS) data, empowering this vendor to team with the retailer to discover what went wrong, and better yet, how to fix it to garner more sales.

From these insights, the Oakley team discovered two key facts: First, of the 40 items sold by the retailer, only about 10 – mostly newer apparel products that had yet to gain a following – were responsible for a dip in sales across the entire line. Second, Oakley's sunglasses sales were strong, but Oakley's distribution center had been out of stock when the retailer last reordered.

"That information becomes so vital when buyers call and say that the product isn't selling," said Michele McGriff, Oakley's director of U.S. sales and planning operations. "It shows that we understand their business and that we're looking at and leveraging their sales data in a way that will help them drive their business."

Oakley and the retailer arranged to sell the remaining apparel and accessories, while the retailer placed a $75,000 order for Oakley sunglasses. Oakley also took steps to ensure that its distribution center would have these sunglasses in stock.

Such strong collaboration shows the power of analytics, which led to a solid win for both the supplier and the retailer – and ultimately the consumer.

Assortment Garners Sales: Collaboration Grows Online Revenue to 40%

And it's not just analytics offering a boost. Enhancing how products look online and in-store, including comprehensive product details and availability can be tremendously beneficial for companies looking to make a marked improvement in their omni-channel presence.

Today's leading retailers and distributors are looking to suppliers to easily share their latest product attributes, including detailed item information, pricing, images and video, and marketing content. Consumers are looking for an increasing amount of information before purchasing an item, and they'll shop whichever retailer provides it.

One North American retail organization automated their assortment and item management to become a leader in their market.

Over the past decade, the company gradually transitioned from relying on its old school print catalog to becoming a robust e-commerce retailer with rich, dynamic item data and search capabilities. The overhaul in its strategy has made the experience much easier for its shoppers, and today web sales account for about 40 percent of the company's sales, which continues to grow thanks to efforts to re-engineer its web presence through an assortment strategy fueled by shared product information from its vendors.

Bottom line: Retailers, distributors, and suppliers can benefit handsomely by deploying assortment and analytic strategies, especially with the holiday season almost upon us along with increasing demands from consumers. Employing assortment and analytic initiatives will not only help suppliers and retailers stay relevant, but ahead of the pack.


Peter Zaballos is Vice President of Marketing and Product at SPS Commerce, which perfects the power of trading partner relationships with the industry's most broadly adopted, retail cloud services platform. Share your omni-channel insight with Peter at @peterzaballos.

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Tags:  Analytics  Collaboration 

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