Retail is Changing, Take Control of Your Performance

This shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone, but retail is changing. Whether you’re strictly e-commerce or a traditional brick-and-mortar, digital is transforming how you do business.

The line between physical and digital brand experiences is becoming increasingly blurred. In fact, new research suggests a “halo effect” in retail performance. The study found a correlated boost in website traffic when retailers add a new store. It’s an interesting finding that underscores commerce’s fluidity across channels today.

Digital transformation in retail has been widely discussed, but how to effectively take control is trickier. While meeting customers’ expectations and adapting to this “shop anywhere” mentality is viewed as a best practice, getting there can be more difficult. It’s a shift from a product focus to a customer focus. And focus cannot be approached blindly.

The trick for taking control of your retail performance is to make strategic decisions, backed by your data.

To quote Forbes, “retailers need to focus on their digital value chain – one focused on collecting data (about products, customers, and locations), turning that data into insights, and then turning those insights into action.”

But what does this mean?

Tracking Performance with Data Analytics

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The data that today’s retailers can access is unbelievable. From SKU performance to location-specific metrics, turning this data into real insights is at the core of retail’s digital transformation.

In the above data analytics example, we dive into four key metric reports that provide different insights into the health of a retail business. These retail analytics will help influence the business’s future purchasing, marketing, staffing, and expansion.

Key Reports for Retail

Store Performance

This report shows a high-level view of a retailer’s sales across all store locations. You can compare sales per square foot to determine if customers respond better to more intimate shopping spaces or wider product selections. You can see which locations are best utilizing their square footage and how to repeat that success at your other locations.

Department Performance

Do you sell more women’s clothing or men’s footwear? What department should you expand? What SKUs are performing, or not?

This retail report analyzes each department’s sales across all locations. You can even dive into a specific product and compare sales by store. The benefit here is tracking department performance and drilling down by line item. With these insights, you can more clearly determine where to grow your inventory and sales staff.

Business Development

Thinking about growing your retail presence? Arm yourself with clear performance indicators backed by current U.S. census data mapped against your sales performance. Strategically expand in regions seeing positive sales performance, and know when it may be time to shutter a slow store based on real insights.

Profit and Loss

See your year-over-year revenue flow easily in this P&L report. Dive deeper by retail location to see compare each store’s revenues, where there are opportunities to cut expenses, and how to repeat successes.

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You can also find us – and this retail example – on Microsoft’s Partner Showcase.

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