Business Intelligence in Retail
TODAY IN EVERY BUSINESS the most challenging job is to make yourself efficient enough for surviving in this volatile market place. The only solution to this problem is to have as much actionable information of the respective field that gives an insight to the current market trend, thereby advocating an intelligent business decision. Business Intelligence tools and software are now used in all most all-major industries and so in the retail sector. BI tools like data warehousing, data mining, and OLAP can help in keeping an eye on different retail organizational functions and hence can play a vital role in analyzing customer behavior, that in turn assists to meet their ever-changing needs.
Business Intelligence can prove its excellence in identifying the best customers and vendors, thereby making strategies keeping in mind their preference. Analysis and report can also help retailers in better finance and human resource management. As far as customer relation management is concerned, the use of business intelligence technology supports better understand of customer buying behaviour to drive sales and profit by reducing operational costs i.e. important for long-term survival.
Some of the primary factors necessary for adopting BI software and tools by retailers are: increase competition, more and more use of plastic money or credit card payment, and popularity of Internet as a medium of buying and selling have enhanced the flow of data that retailers need to manage and hence BI becomes pre-requisite. BI assists in everything from business planning, product, price, promotion, placement and all these can be done by efficient analysis of data and getting an insight into the customer’s behaviour.
Types of retailers using BI & its operational benefits:
Businesses Intelligence is now greatly used in merchandising, marketing, logistics, store operations, and call center staffing etc. in which retailers are adopting BI tools and software for analyzing operational data to maximize the rate on investment (ROI).
Merchandising – Retailers always want to exploit the utmost value of BI by analyzing the past performance, customer behaviour and demand pattern that helps in pricing product for maximum profitability taking account of the seasonal demand change. Better data analysis maximizes profit that also enables in efficient use of manpower in all production sectors by minimizing any additional cost.
Marketing – This is the job to understand customer’s behaviour to wards a particular product. Retailers study market trends by dividing areas into different segments or categorizing product according to different groups of customers. This better-defined targeted campaign reduces operational cost but increases sales thereby revenue.
Operation – A better forecasting of any change in customer’s demand can lead to enhance productivity by managing product price, promotion and manpower.
Hence, a good business intelligence solution can provide solutions for a variety of activities including sales transaction, customer data management, price management and many others important for better merchandise and market decision. The most important thing is that it provides better understanding of customer’s ever-changing needs leading to quality product and customer satisfaction. So BI proved to be beneficial for retail industry that enables to conduct all day-to-day business activities more efficiently and profitably.