Is Your IT Platform Ready for the Future of Retail?

Multi Channel, Cross Channel, Omni Channel, Click & Collect, Digical, Beacons, Big Data – A large number of terms are used when discussing the current trends within the retail trade, and one thing is for certain; IT will be an important factor. Many retailers face some major changes in their business, but the big question is: Is the basic IT platform geared for the retail trade of the future?

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New and Merged Sales Channels Place Severe Demands on IT

In recent years, many retailers consider adding a web shop to their physical store or vice versa. Moreover, a lot of speculation is going on about merging these sales channels.

Experience shows that it takes a lot of readjustment across the entire organization to implement a multi channel and cross channel strategy. This demanding readjustment may seem even bigger and more immense if the basic IT platform of your company is not fully prepared.

A successful multi and cross channel strategy requires efficient data management, transparency across the company data, a shared analysis platform and last but not least tools for analysis of what works and what does not.

Aggregation of Data across the Organisation

Everything from purchase of products, stock management, marketing, sales in a single channel and aggregation of information about each individual customer places heavy demands on management and processing of data. Data from these many different sources are probably stored in various systems, and most likely, they are useless in their present form.

In order for you to handle and optimize a multi channel sales strategy, it is vital to have an IT system that can consolidate, combine and enrich data from all kinds of data sources. It will allow for a thorough examination of data, which lets you combine data from different sources. For example, you will be able to optimize your marketing efforts if you know the effect of marketing campaigns across your sales channels.

Shared Analysis Platform

Much too often, each department have their own individual spreadsheets on which they base the analysis of their own area. However, that does not provide the overall understanding across the organization.

Personally, you may already have more different spreadsheets – and in various versions. And so does probably more of your colleagues throughout the entire organization. Comparing or – even worse – combining these spreadsheets requires many resources in order to solve the puzzle, and you can never be sure how accurate the figures are.

The retail companies who are the most successful with multi channel strategies have often changed from these approaches to business analyses. Instead, they operate based on a shared analysis platform. Such a platform combined with employees with a good digital and analytical understanding, will make it a lot easier to act based on the large amounts of data saving incredible amounts of valuable knowledge.

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Know Your Customer – What Works and What Does Not?

If you aggregate and structure your data correctly, you can ideally build a profile for each customer. You only present the campaigns relevant to the customer, regardless in which channel they operate. This sounds fantastic and is what everyone is dreaming of right now.

To be able to utilize data in this way, your company must focus 100 per cent on the customer and how you can continually identify, advice and provide service for the customer. This requires a targeted strategy and utilization of the data generated on the relevant platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, Trustpilot, Google Analytics, Customer Club systems etc.

Customers know what they want – they want access to your website from the store, they want to be able to exchange articles bought online in physical stores, and they want the same price in the store as online. These things make sense to the customer, and they will prefer the stores that meet these expectations. You can handle such increasing expectations from customers in different ways, and by using your data intelligently, you will find out how to perform the optimum customer experience and at the same time strengthening your business.

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Want to know more?

Want to know more about how to get the best possible insight into your retail data? – Then take a look at our solution for Retail companies.