Retail business intelligence software allows retail organizations of all sizes to engage with and utilize advanced-level data analytics. The platform provides users with an in-depth look into different aspects of their retail business.
With retail BI solutions, business owners and retailers can obtain actionable insights from raw business data to figure out which aspects of their operations are succeeding, which ones are lacking and how to make changes for improvements.
Often used interchangeably with retail analytics software, retail BI solutions are not something new. A lot of retail businesses have already been leveraging data for years, trying to obtain valuable insights into their customers and website visitors in an effort to improve customer experiences and service performance. These retailers have access to large amounts of information that comes from many different data sources, i.e. CRM data, purchase transactions, customer loyalty programs and more.
In the consumer age, however, ensuring high customer engagement and satisfaction has become more difficult than ever. This is the age where consumers are well informed and demand to know everything possible on products and services before they make a purchase. Some of them even want to consume information in real-time.
Retail business intelligence software solutions also help organizations to improve their customer experience. SMBs are relying more and more on retail analytics and BI solutions to provide a comprehensive view and better understanding of customer preferences and buying behavior.
BI solutions are an essential platform for retail organizations that wish to compete in the retail industry.
Small business owners and retailers can leverage real-time data from various software platforms to integrate with their BI and retail analytics solutions to get a better understanding of business performance. By utilizing various data sets and insights, decision-makers and owners of retail businesses will be able to identify which of their items are selling well, when these items sell most and which demographics buy which items.
Retail business intelligence software and analytics solutions are designed to integrate with existing retail platforms, including retail management systems, retail operations software and point-of-sale (POS) applications.
Unlike in the past few years, business intelligence (BI) technology is no longer restricted to multinational corporations and organizations with larger budgets. With the advent of cloud-based BI solutions, startups and small businesses can benefit from comprehensive reporting and analytics functions that are often included in many reputable BI products in the market. This means SMBs will have the capacity to process large volumes of raw business data and to visualize insights from those data.
The insights gathered from retail BI and analytics software can provide a competitive edge to small- and medium-sized retail businesses, which typically includes finding new customer leads, identifying resource leaks and inefficiencies, as well as optimizing resource usage and implementation.
Retail BI and analytics software can be difficult to categorize, especially since many business process solutions in the market, such as POS and CRM systems, do offer business intelligence and analytics as one of their many features and capabilities. One of the key functions of retail business intelligence software is to provide small and medium retail businesses the ability to analyze sales, inventory and customer data through BI technology.
There are three main insights that can be gained from analyzing key datasets provided by your retail BI software. These are sales reporting and analytics, which will help identify top- and low-selling items; inventory management analytics, which helps to maintain inventory stock levels and customer data analytics, which will help identify your most valuable customer and customer segment.
While retail business intelligence and retail analytics are terms often used interchangeably, a few fundamental features tie them both together regardless of whether you’re delving into sales, inventory, supply chain or customer data. Some of these core functions and capabilities include:
The ability to collect business data for analysis and the capacity to store them securely are important functions. Add to it the capability to automate the entire process, from collection to organized storage and you have a fully functioning BI and analytics software system for your retail business.
Your retail business intelligence software will help you save time and energy by automating the data collection, organization and storage process.
Best-in-class retail BI solutions are equipped with robust reporting and analytics capabilities. They enable users to generate data sets that can be used to create easily digestible reports and retail analytics for managers, decision-makers and stakeholders.
Data is gathered from various sources, including inventory, POS systems, CRM, supply chain apps, day-to-day transactions and customer interactions. All the information is automatically stored by the BI software for future reference and analysis with just a click of a button.
Fully integrated software like customer relationship management (CRM) platforms, sophisticated point-of-sale (POS) systems, enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions and lead management software may come with reporting and analytics capabilities, although there are standalone dedicated platforms that are limited to their core functions. There are full-featured platforms and there are limited standalone systems with integration capabilities.
Some business intelligence platforms come with highly advanced reporting features that are capable of taking historical data to perform predictive analytics. This is a very important function as it allows you to identify more opportunities for your retail business, future trends and potential vulnerabilities in your operation, all based on collected and analyzed business data.
Dashboards are common in any kind of software platform. This is where information is accessed and viewed by users, where navigation of the software typically starts and how key operations are generally initiated. With retail business intelligence software, dashboards are designed to make retail analytics and reporting a lot more user-friendly.
Dashboards take reporting and analytics to the next level and make them even simpler and more efficient for you to quickly identify key takeaways from your business data. Dashboards in BI software platforms are often dynamic and highly customizable. Any changes made to the data sets will automatically update the information on the dashboard in real-time. It will then instantly provide the key findings from reports into easily digestible and often interactive visualizations, such as graphs, tables and charts.
Many point-of-sale (POS) systems with reporting and analytics functions provide mobile dashboards for retail businesses and entrepreneurs. With this kind of business intelligence solution, it will be way more convenient to keep track of inventory, sales and customer data even when the user is out and about.
Sisense is an ideal solution for retail businesses dealing with voluminous data. One of the main reasons why Sisense stands out is its ability to process large amounts of business data incredibly fast. It is essentially a business analytics solution capable of operating at a terabyte-scale. Utilizing a 64-bit machine with multi-core CPUs and parallelization architecture, this BI system is capable of providing actionable insights from the most disparate data sets in mere seconds. All that power without the need for dedicated IT specialists and data scientists.
With the help of business intelligence solutions, retail businesses are slowly gaining a competitive advantage over competitors that don’t utilize BI technology at all. They provide many benefits to retailers, including:
Comprehensive and effective retail analytics can help you identify a number of improvement opportunities in your entire operation, including your supply chain from the sourcing and purchasing side to in-store product availability and inventory management.
Nowadays, retail businesses are using a wide variety of data sources to feed their retail marketing efforts. These sources include social media, web-data, loyalty data and point-of-sale. Business owners and decision-makers use the data obtained from these sources to make informed decisions regarding customer loyalty programs, sales promotions, pricing and assortment management.
Retail business intelligence software is capable of predicting purchasing trends using historical and existing business data. This is very useful to retail businesses when it comes to developing an effective merchandise strategy prior to large purchasing cycles.
Regardless of what industry you operate in, it is important to know who your customers are. In the online retail sector, it becomes even more crucial due to the highly competitive nature of online shopping and the fact that most online consumers today are highly educated and are fully capable of comparing products and/or services to see which has the best bang for their buck.
The potential for robust business intelligence solutions to provide a positive impact and loads of benefits to retail businesses is undeniable. On the customer aspect, retail analytics can give you insights into which customers are actually spending a ton of money towards your business, which of them are loyal to your brand and which ones might need more enticement and nurturing. Having this kind of information can help you develop a sales and marketing strategy that is specific to what your customers want and need.
Moreover, retail BI solutions can also be beneficial to the infrastructure, logistics and facility aspects of your business. As previously mentioned, best-in-class BI and analytics software have the power to perform predictive analysis. This means the system is capable of forecasting future trends based on current and historical business data, consumer behavior and purchasing patterns.
Knowing this information will allow you to do more efficient supply and demand management and avoid product shortages or overstocking. Having the ability to balance your inventory based on relevant data sets will have a positive impact on your ROI or return on investment. This will also provide you with an incredible opportunity to put more emphasis on customer needs and expectations when it comes to your products and/or services.
When used effectively, retail business intelligence software allows retailers to visualize large amounts of data and make better business decisions depending on the analysis and findings from the data sets. Through an intuitive platform, the software provides users with a comprehensive view of data, trends and solutions to marketing and business decisions.