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Data, and specifically the insights uncovered from this data, have been used in the retail sector for a while now to shape decisions around stock strategies, pricing, and customer experience.
As the shopping experience moves increasingly online, and sellers are able to be much more adaptive, these insights are becoming even more important.
We’ll look at the power and centrality of insights, and how your organization can harness these insights to boost your business.
The Power of Insights
According to research from ConnectedFutures and quoted by Forbes, “51% of C-suite executives at large enterprises in both North America and Europe say analytics will only continue to grow in importance for maintaining and growing market share over the next two years”.
This shows that analytics and insights are becoming a mainstream competitive advantage. In the past, words like “data” and “insights” were thrown around boardrooms largely as buzzwords. Today, however, organizations are realizing that their very futures depend on these insights.
There are a number of important areas where having the right insights can be leveraged by an organization to get ahead:
New Business Opportunities:
Analysing data for insights can reveal opportunities that weren’t necessarily obvious. These opportunities may come in the form of cross- or up-selling, where patterns and trends are uncovered when it comes to goods or services that are purchased together; they may be in the form of identifying new markets for existing goods, new geo’s, or new product opportunities; or they may lead to strategic business opportunities such as optimized loyalty programs.
Advantages Over Competition:
Knowing more about what your competitors are doing is a valuable insight in and of itself. Armed with this knowledge, companies can ensure that their offering – which includes everything from price point to product image – is simply better than that offered by their competitors.
The correct insights can assist organizations in reducing inefficiencies at every level. This may be in reducing expenses, reducing stock of slow-selling items, or reducing spending on marketing campaigns that are not resulting in a satisfactory ROI.
Insights provide early warnings, both in terms of opportunities, as well as threats. For opportunities, for example, insights can provide an early warning that a specific product line is going to be hot this season, allowing businesses to stock up on this product, or even begin pre-selling before the stock arrives. Early warnings can also be used to identify stock that isn’t selling or even identify areas where competitors are slashing prices or offering deals.
Understand Customers and Paths to Purchase:
Joe Urbany, professor of marketing at the University of Notre Dame, talks about the disruptive element of customer insights. By leveraging insights to better understand customers, Urbany sees tremendous opportunities. He estimates that even the top companies have 20% to gain when it comes to understanding their customers better. On a practical level, using insights to better understand customers’ paths to purchase means that companies can position themselves in such a way that customers will choose them when it comes to the final purchase.
Personalization has in some respects become the “holy grail” for modern marketers; the good news is that with the correct insights, personalization can become a reality. Companies can ensure that they recommend customers products based on their basket or previous shopping patterns. They can even make different customers experience a website differently, and take performance from “good”, to “amazing”.
Finally, companies can use insights to fuel growth by leveraging these insights in strategic planning, based on data-driven decisions. With these insights, organizations can make more accurate predictions, break down silos, and channel focus into the right areas.
Insights As a Competitive Advantage
Michael Poyser nails it when he writes, “As part of understanding customer behavior, the need for successful, targeted, and effective strategies is critical – especially for those retailers competing in a crowded marketplace, against both traditional retailers and the likes of e-commerce giant Amazon”.
For today’s companies, insights are more than just a competitive advantage – they are the competitive advantage.
Not Just Insights
Getting the right insights from the right partners is the key to unlock these advantages. With Market Beyond as a partner, organizations have access to actionable, real-time insights, that include everything from macro trends to granular information on specific products. Paths to purchase before customers get to your site and after they leave? Market Beyond has you covered there, too.
Get in touch to explore how you can get the insights your organization needs to boost success.