Based on a recent study, by 2022, the retail analytics market is likely to hit $8.64 billion. Certainly, the growing retail business size and the increasingly informed customers need the power of data to optimize the business. The customers are now really looking to have an omnichannel experience merging the online channels and in-store experiences. The retail analytics, of course, transforms the regular operations, supply chain, inventory management, and consumer behavior analysis but it significantly improves the merchandising space. Even a single glance at a product on the retail shelf begins the consumer journey one way or the other. The whole time before the customer actually makes the payment, the retailer and brands have time to influence their purchase. With effective merchandising strategies, consumers can be enticed to make the purchase. With BI, this can be achieved, and merchandising can go to the next level.
Few ways in which analytics can transform merchandising:
Brands need to fight for shelf space share with competitors all the time. In between that introducing a new product and getting space for it can also become a challenge. This can be solved by utilizing the sales and merchandising data, where the retailers can see the best performing products even before the trend is clearly visible to store managers. Using merchandising analytics, brands can spot these trends and hence convince stores to increase the shelf space for better sales and customer satisfaction.
For better branding
The consumer trends keep changing regularly in the retail domain. How are brand showcases itself and how a brand is perceived can change over a period of time? As branding affects sales directly, the companies need to stay at the top of consumer perception of their brand. By utilizing merchandising analytics, brands can see how they are performing in terms of branding, foresee any upcoming potential issue, and rectify it on priority.
FMCG brands being available at multiple channels and locations, need to present an aligned image everywhere, and to achieve this, brands create and employ guidelines at every possible stage. With retail stores not completely under their control, they need to timely check the guideline adherence. Utilizing merchandising analytics, brands can collect essential data to ensure that these guidelines are followed properly.
Retailers many times face the situation where a product is completely out of stock on the shelf and while replenishing it comes to notice that the product is also out of stock in the inventory as well. To tackle these instances, retailers fill the space with another product available in a similar product category. This can have a negative impact on the sales of the top-performing product which just went out of stock as its shelf space is taken up automatically by a competitor’s product. Also, while the main product is out of stock, customers may pick up the other product which will showcase the decline in sales for the top-performing product, hence creating wrong data for further analysis. The FMCG companies can use embedded analytics to solve this problem by identifying in real time if there is a stock out situation in a store and rectify it quickly by working with the retail store.
Improving marketing campaigns and their results
Brands are running various marketing and sales campaigns at various locations; it is crucial to understand how effective they are, and they have been in the past. Based on this analysis, marketers can make the required changes in campaigns, assortments, and offerings and elongate the campaign period wherever it is performing well in terms of sales.
The ultimate goal of using merchandising analytics is to optimize resources and increase sales by effective merchandising and positively influencing the customer experience. With google analytics empowering every segment of retail, it has now become imperative for brands to win the war of merchandising and for retailers to provide excellent customer experience via desirable product mix and assortments. For a truly omnichannel experience, merchandising analytics is a must, therefore.