Why is customer data and analytics beneficial for retail?


Technology has been an enabler for most businesses to achieve better outcomes. The retail business has witnessed tremendous disruptions across various aspects in terms of operations and processes, thanks to technology. Today, the retail sector is the best example of how a business can evolve and one of the major reasons for this has been the customers – they adopted technology, and with that, not only their purchasing behavior, but also different stages of their shopping journey evolved, leaving retail companies no choice but to follow suit.

Tech-savvy customers being the drivers of the retail evolution led to one of the biggest advantages for retailers – the ability to acquire customer data, and translating that data into powerful insights that enabled in better decision making. Listed below are some of the important and tangible benefits that customer analytics based decisions have:

Streamlining retail campaigns: Retailers can channelize their marketing efforts and optimize costs.

Having competitive pricing: Retail brands can price their products based on demand and customers’ expectations and market trends.

Enabling customization: Retail customers can be provided with a combination of features or service that satisfy their needs.

Reducing wastage: Retailers can manage their inventory better by proactively anticipating customer demands.

Facilitating faster delivery: Knowing local demands and trends will enable retailers to set-up the right supply chain management system to fulfill customer orders.

Fostering customer loyalty: Offering the products at the right prices enhances customer satisfaction and leading to loyal customers.

Increasing profitability: All the above factors will lead to higher profitability for the retail business overall.

In today’s retail scenario, the customer is key. Retailers can ensure increase in profitability and sustainability of their businesses by focusing on the customers, knowing and understanding their needs and fulfilling them as and when the customers’ desire.

Malls – One-stop retail shopping destinations!


The Christmas festive season is almost here, as is the end of another year and we look for the best in the New Year. The past 2 years have probably been one of the biggest testing times for the retail industry, especially for physical retail. In the wake of the last year, which seen many known retail brands going bankrupt or shuttering stores, debates on whether physical retail would witness an apocalypse because of the rise of online shopping have been happening across the industry; but it seems like the predictors of the doom of physical retail have been silenced, thanks to the reinvention of retail.

Malls still face a threat from e-commerce shopping due to rising number of consumers preferring to shop online. The major reasons being a wide range of options available online, more discounts on online purchases, convenience of shopping from home while avoiding crowds and even reducing the chances impulse shopping. One of the major debates were whether malls would survive the online shopping or e-commerce onslaught, but the numbers are in favor of shopping in a mall. A recent survey indicated that more than 60% of consumers would visit the mall for apparel shopping as opposed to shopping for clothing online, and another 39% prefer to go to the malls, not only to explore multiple retail brands in one location, but also try on and compare clothing options. Malls offer strategic advantages which are still a hit among consumers.

One of the biggest clicks for shoppers visiting malls is the tangibility of products. Brick-and-mortar retail has thrived on the ‘touch-and-feel’ feature that shoppers love when it comes to purchasing apparel, footwear and other items. Moreover, most retail brands would be present in malls and this allows shoppers a fair opportunity to explore different brands belonging to similar categories and then take a conscious decision on what to buy, from where. Another major advantage that malls offer is socializing. Consumers prefer shopping with family and friends or even interacting with store associates to help them find the right product, as they find it easier to seek opinions and then make a purchase. In addition to this, malls are a one stop destination for shopping, entertainment and eating, thus offering wholesome experiences to shoppers for their time and money.

The bottom line is that malls and e-commerce will continue to coexist as consumers will always look at multiple options to satisfy their shopping needs. However, the catch is to ensure customers get what they want and retail brands are able to do that no matter which channel they use.

Tips for Fashion Retailers to Succeed in this Age of Retail

Last year and at the start of this year, the retail industry has seen many retail giants shuttering and some more lined-up to follow the same fate as the year progresses. Even well-known fashion retail brands such as J. Crew, Abercrombie & Fitch, GAP and a few others were among this list. While all this can seem to be gloomy and dampening for the brick-and-mortar retail businesses, as a matter of fact the situation is not as grave as it perceived.  Besides, as some fashion brands including Nordstrom and H & M have already opened new stores, there are others like Aldi who are set to expand with new stores in the market.

Due to the stimulus of digitization, on the one hand, the influence of online shopping and mobile will definitely continue to have an impact on the shopping habits of the consumers. But on the other hand, brick-and-mortar retail still has that one factor that online hasn’t been able to provide; and that is the ‘touch and feel’ experience. This is something that shoppers really fancy, especially when it comes to fashion and comfort. However, this solely is not enough for physical retailers to sustain and succeed. So below are a few tips as to what fashion retailers must do to succeed in this age of retail.

Fast is in

When it comes to fashion, trends are constantly changing. Every season, or every festival there seems to be new styles that come up. To add to this, people are also influenced by their favorite celebrities and look forward to ape their style. Thus, fashion retailers have to be quick in getting their assortments to match up with the new trends in demand, and ensure that this keeps happening as and when trends change. Fast fashion is all about being fast and keeping pace with the consumers who with a blink of an eye can shift loyalties or switch channels if they don’t find what they are looking for.

Data driven design

An important aspect of constantly staying up in the game to match the demands of the consumers as well as ‘be in’ with the trend is to know and understand both these factors. Data analytics play a key role in enabling retail brand owners to get a firm grasp of these attributes and then infuse the findings into the design process so that the end products fit the bill when it comes to customer satisfaction. Similarly, the store and planogram designs can be influenced by the insights extracted from the analytics in order to improve the overall experience and boost sales.

Amplifying the store

For fashion stores to succeed, it is necessary to have the right product, at the right place, at the right time. This means the location of the stores plays an important role in boosting sales. However it is extremely necessary to also consider factors such as rents and overheads of having stores at prime locations. In order to strike the right chord between the two and reduce risks of overheads, retail owners must use their stores as fulfillment centers for online orders, offer showrooming, offer value added services, and so on. Employing the right omni-channel retail software to integrate online and mobile channels with the stores will allow fashion retail brands to enhance their overall presence and also amplify their stores’ sales and enhance customer experiences.

Targeted brand marketing

Gone are the days where heavily relying on celebrity endorsements on television or print media advertisements would drive customers to flock at the stores. While such traditional means are still necessary, fashion retail marketers must channelize the marketing of the brand through more personal and targeted mediums. Using social media or mobile channels to communicate brand messages or using geo-location based marketing to attract shoppers, running tailored promotions or building relationships at the individual level within the stores, are some of the many approaches fashion retail brands must leverage to make the right impact.