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Beth Schultz

When the Analytics Shoe Fits...

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Joe Stanganelli
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Perpetuating biases?
Joe Stanganelli   1/30/2012 1:18:26 PM
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On the one hand, this isn't much of anything new.  Figure out what sells the best, and stock more of it.  That's how retail has been done for ages.

On the other hand, I wonder how much these analytics may actually be poisoning the well for DSW.  If DSW does not carry much for, say, a size 10, but has a lot of would-be customers who are a size 10, what will wind up happening is that the size 10 customers get dissatisifed with what DSW has available for variety in their size, and most will take their business elsewhere.  In this regard, the analytics efforts, if not properly undertaken, may merely perpetuate DSW as a niche provider of the sizes it was already biased towards providing -- particular sizes that may or may not be in the most demand.

(Similarly, I wonder how much the converse is true -- that is, whether "too much variety" may turn off certain types of customers).

To combat this, participating DSW locations would have to strive to maintain an equal stock of all sizes in all shoes for a given period of time, to ensure that the variables of variety, availability, and customer frustration are eliminated (or, at least, minimized).

Shawn Hessinger
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Re: Historical Analysis and Future Consumption
Shawn Hessinger   1/26/2012 11:46:02 PM
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Hi Kicheko and Beth,

Yep, video analytics is yet another way retailers are seeking a better sense of customer needs. As we've reported previously, "retail winners" already see the value of analytics across the board and retailers throughout the industry are seeking to deploy solutions. It's probably worth another look in the future.   

BethSchultz
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Re: Historical Analysis and Future Consumption
BethSchultz   1/25/2012 9:41:48 PM
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Seems like ages ago! We'll have to do an update soon. 

kicheko
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Re: Historical Analysis and Future Consumption
kicheko   1/25/2012 2:57:14 PM
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Beth, - Thanks for those links, quite an extensive coverage on video analytics.

BethSchultz
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Re: Historical Analysis and Future Consumption
BethSchultz   1/25/2012 7:52:29 AM
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Hi Kicheko, if you're interested in more of what retailers are doing in-store to better understand purchase patterns and stocking issues, you might want to check out some of our earlier blogs on video analytics. Blogger Tom Davenport introduced the topic here, and we ran several additional pieces, including this Point/Counterpoint.

kicheko
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Re: Historical Analysis and Future Consumption
kicheko   1/25/2012 4:35:57 AM
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Its interesting to see companies use customer feedback to make business decisions such as stocking. However this too can be quite challenging when it comes to actually mapping customer feedback and suggestions to sales. Either way though, it does bring the retailer closer to the market situation. even if they won't necessarily be accurate, they will find their stocking is relevant.

Daniel
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Re: Historical Analysis and Future Consumption
Daniel   1/25/2012 12:44:51 AM
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"Customers share a lot of information with us -- their likes and dislikes -- and our task is to support them in return for their loyalty by providing them with what they want, instantly"

Customer feedbacks can help them to cater their needs in future. Tastes are different for different peoples and most of the things which are in common can be analyzed and sort it out for an end result.

BethSchultz
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Re: Historical Analysis and Future Consumption
BethSchultz   1/24/2012 10:13:45 PM
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@Broadway, perhaps what's need is some sort of predictive modeling applied during the hiring process. Knowing you're building up an analytics strategy, what type of worker is most likely to embrace data-driven processes/decisions at the store level? Or, some way of measuring and analyzing the negative effect for employees' failure to follow through on BI learnings at the store level, etc.!

BethSchultz
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Re: Historical Analysis and Future Consumption
BethSchultz   1/24/2012 9:57:39 PM
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Shawn/Broadway -- sounds like the CEO and other top execs need to step in and make sure everybody, from the lowliest store clerk on up, understands the importance of the efforts to gather, analyze, and act on data. I remember  John Lucas, who had been director of park operations at Cincinnati Zoo (but has since left to become a consultant) writing about how management made sure even the summertime college-aged workers understand the value of what the attraction was trying to do with analytics and why their role in helping collect data -- say at the point of sale -- was critical. The same would apply to retail. 

Shawn Hessinger
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Re: Historical Analysis and Future Consumption
Shawn Hessinger   1/24/2012 5:39:17 PM
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Broadway,

Aye, there's the rub! Among challenges listed by retailers in terms of using analytics is amazingly being able to react to what they know. One way of interpreting this is that the knowledge gathered does not necessarily filter down fast enough to operations level. 

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