The shift in focus is nothing short of dramatic. This is because investments in Big Data to define and determine corporate strategy have shown significant ROI. About 78% of respondents in the study said that they have seen a positive economic return from investment in data analysis for the strategy area, the highest figure for any function or process. Richard Baker, Chairman of DFS, a UK furniture retailer, notes that “leading companies are using data to run their whole business thinking, not just promotional activities.”
This means retailers will use Big Data and analytics to answer questions such as:
Growth: Where are we today? What should our roadmap be so that we reach our 5-year target? What are the changes we need to make within the organization to reach our goal?
Financials: How can we use data to balance risk with our vision for growth? How can we improve promotional spends by leveraging data to target hidden opportunities?
Customer: How can we deploy data and intelligence to enrich customer experience? How can we deliver an omni-channel experience that results in improved sales, service and higher loyalty?
Store: What can be done to optimize store operations using data in order to improve inventory, reduce shrinkage, and manage returns – simultaneously with labor optimization and a memorable in-store experience?
Merchandize: How can we innovate around products, markdowns, replenishment accuracy and seasonal volumes to meet customer demands?
Supply Chain: How can we extract more value from suppliers/ distributors and channel partners?
Technology: What technologies are best suited to forecast business needs so that we reach our growth targets?
Big Data is slated to gain center stage in retail once it begins to shape financial decisions, risk management, diversification, people and resource management and conformance to legal and regulatory requirements.