- by kq4ym, Data Doctor
- 1/26/2016 8:16:11 AM
It will be interesting to see how small retailers adjust to using analytics. The big folks as noted are not all unanimously jumping aboard, so it may be a much slower adoption for the small guys, which may leave the question of will they be at a very large competitive disadvantage at some point?
- by SaneIT, Data Doctor
- 1/19/2016 8:15:34 AM
@Ariella, you bring up a very good point, online retailers get this because they don't see same faces in their stores every morning, they don't see the traffic driving by and they don't see the customers walking in their doors. If established retailers acted a little bit more like online retailers where slow lines and poor customer service mean you never see a customer again maybe the machine based prompts to adjust would have more weight. I think big retailers get this at a high level and Walmart comes to mind here, closing 269 stores (less than 1% of their stores) that are their lowest performers or don't fit their strategy while at the same time opening more than 300 stores in the same year. If they get it at the top why can they not get the message to trickle down to the front lines?
- 1/18/2016 10:15:12 AM
@Jamescon Some retailers offer incentives for your email, usually something like a $5 gift card or 20% off of a purchase. The thing that gets me is that I am on so many email lists that don't stop coming even when I deliberately unsubscribe. Why pretend to offer the unsubscribe option if you won't respect it?
- 1/18/2016 10:13:01 AM
<They miss the bigger picture because they had a record sales day, the number of sales they missed doesn't occur to them or is greatly minimized. > That's an important point, @SaneIT you can think you're doing great because you made a lot of sales but don't realize how many more you could have made if you had better staffing. As a customer, I've often walked out of places even after making selections if the lines looked too long to me. A comprehensive picture of how the physical store is doing would have to include data on abandoned carts - something online retailers seem quite concerned with, as indicated by email reminders of something left in the cart.
- by Jamescon, Editor
- 1/18/2016 9:32:21 AM
@Tomsg. Good observation about retailers collecting data and then seeming to do nothing with it. Go back 20 years when Radio Shack always asked for customer phone numbers. I never understood that. I figured that they used reverse directories to send out catalogs but I know I never got a catalog or other mailed promotion from them. Of course, Radio Shack and don't mean much in this day of cell phones, considering that my cell phone number indicates that I probably live 100 miles from where I actually do.
Last year, a retailer demanded my email address "To make it easier" for me my shoes if they didn't fit. The shoes fit and he didn't get the email.
I suspect that there is a disconnect among executives in retail spaces. Could it be that the person who thinks it's a good idea to collect lots of data isn't in a position to make use of that data by integrating it with realworld applications?
- by SaneIT, Data Doctor
- 1/18/2016 8:15:16 AM
Predictive is good but I think there can be a disconnect between the technology, process and people. Anyone I know in retail tend to have battle stories about how much business they did in dollars with a minimum number of people, there's a sense of pride there at some point that they can get by without more people. They miss the bigger picture because they had a record sales day, the number of sales they missed doesn't occur to them or is greatly minimized. Unless you let the machines do the scheduling and make the decisions of who is working in a specific area you'll keep bumping into the human factor that focuses on right now and getting through the moment.
- by SethBreedlove, Data Doctor
- 1/15/2016 5:49:21 PM
I wonder if Macy's is using any of these technologies. The retailer has experienced huge declines in sales; some departments have declined as much as 50% - 90%. They've made large cuts in staff and plan more. Some departments don't even have sales people in them in thier San Francisco Union Sq. stores.
- 1/15/2016 1:36:24 PM
@SaneIT If they were using predictive analytics correctly, they would have more cashiers on duty to begin with at busier times. For example, in my local grocery stores, Thursdays tend to very busy on a regular week but Sundays can be so if they are right before a holiday. They already know this -- even from just human observation. But as there are only a limited number of machines, when things get really busy, there will inevitably be lines.
- 1/15/2016 1:33:06 PM
@tomsg I notice that, too. For example, some stores ask for your zip code to track where their customers are coming from, but I never see any follow up to that information in terms of marketing to my area.