Retail sector generates and collects enormous amounts of data. Each POS is from a few to tens of thousands of transactions a day, each visit online store is several thousand bytes of customer data, and each interaction with the customer in social media is a potential beginning or effect of the sales process. Countless warehouse and logistic operations, payments, CCTV camera recordings, data from ERP, CRM, mobile applications – all of this information is asked to be associated with each other and used to build a competitive advantage. This will allow, for example, to better target advertisements, improve service processes, effectively involve customers in thoughtful sales scenarios or, finally, identify places for cost optimization.
Big Data – success hidden in data
Using Big Data by retail chains brings a number of benefits. These include:
- Collecting and processing data about customers, their behaviour, purchasing preferences and organizing this information in order to prepare effective marketing strategies,
price optimization based on current and forecast trends in popularity of brands and product groups in connection with customer data, their location, purchasing preferences and data on prices offered by competitors,
ensuring an adequate level of inventory through dynamic supply chain management based on the expected volume of sales of particular groups of goods or SKU items over a specific time period,
improving the quality of service by collecting and analysing customer feedback in traditional channels and social media,
optimization of the distribution of goods on the shelves by collecting information from cameras and motion sensors and modeling them in the form of templates of customer behavior in the store.
How to accurately predict consumer behaviour? How to guarantee perfect customer service? These questions are key issues for all professionals who are not only involved in retail trade. Properly implemented, high quality software will certainly help to answer them.
PowerBI vs MovStat
Systems that are worth special attention are PowerBI and MovStat. PowerBi is a solution provided by Microsoft.
Tools built on the Microsoft PowerBI platform enable complete integration and validation of data from different sources (systems, devices, files). They can also transform this data into information about multidimensional contexts (time, geographical, behavioral, product, business). With the help of convenient visualizations and automatic notifications available within the PowerBI platform, managers can launch and manage business projects to achieve the business benefits described above. What is more, PowerBI is an IT tool operating in a modern SaaS architecture (as a cloud service). Placing it in a secure Microsoft Azure location ensures its protection against unauthorized access and loss of data.
Example of a dashboard with the most important indicators and charts for managers in retail segment
MovStat, in turn, is a proprietary product made by programmers and engineers from Netizens. It is a system that analyzes anonymous data on the movement of people in public places. The solution is based on video streams from cameras and continuously converts the data into numbers. The data then takes the form of statistics, in the form of intuitive and eye-pleasing visualizations.
“MovStat adds its contribution to the digital revolution in retail. Shop managers can present, among other things, the customers’ main shopping paths, the most popular areas and products, customer interaction with the display and goods, and analysis of the queues forming. The added value of this system is also a quick preview of conversions for both people in front of and inside the store. With such precise information, the managers – after summarizing it – can better plan the store’s infrastructure, improve staff management, verify the quality of customer service or respond faster to emerging challenges,” explains Paweł Herman, International Business Development Manager at Netizens.
The author of the article is Bartłomiej Łatka, Sales Director at Euvic IT, the company responsible for technological solutions for the retail sector. Euvic Group works closely with Microsoft at the level of GOLD partner.