Magazine / Business Intelligence May 5, 2022 11:15:00 AM

Business Intelligence for large-scale retail: Big Data and new objectives

Business Intelligence in Large-Scale Retail makes it possible to transform customer actions and behaviors into real and measurable results. And this is made feasible by remodeling products and services in the shortest possible time, in the continuous search for the best customer experience. To do this, large-scale retailers can now exploit technologies and platforms such as Business Intelligence (BI) to follow (and not chase) the customer even when they move from the "all-digital" experience to the physical store, personalizing communication and making all production and distribution processes more efficient at the same time. 

Business Intelligence and Large-Scale Retail: the data- driven approach is a win 

A look at the most recent investment data for the retailer and Large-Scale Retail sector shows how the Top Players are moving in this direction. The expected 2020 investments of the 50 Top Retailers in Italy recorded a + 2% compared to 2019:  

  • 25% improvement in back-end processes 
  • 40% eCommerce and omnichannel 
  • 35% Digitalization of in-shop processes

The pandemic has highlighted how responsiveness is one of the most important values for any industrial sector, including large-scale distribution. 

The Large-Scale Retail management must be able to control the quality of the services offered, in addition to the performance of suppliers, and to meet customer needs, maintaining efficient omnichannel procurement throughout the year. With an eye to profit and the margins of competitiveness over competing: a complex mission without the right tools. 

All this is made possible thanks to the wise use of data, which must be continuously updated and verified, to truly become a value for the brand. 

Business Intelligence is an indispensable tool at this stage, especially in a sector, that of large-scale retail, where the variety of assortment, price fluctuations and timeliness of distribution are the very basis of the business. 

5 reasons to introduce Business Intelligence in a company in the Large-Scale Retail industry 

Big Data analysis allows the large-scale distribution sector to make the entire supply chain more efficient, thus facilitating a faster economic return and allowing management to have more accurate forecasts. But the huge amount of geo-localized data, such as customer, store and distribution center data, can only be managed optimally by advanced platforms and tools, capable of highlighting patterns, behaviors and any critical issues. These are all activities impossible to manage using just traditional spreadsheets. 

In particular, Business Intelligence, through processing and aggregation, allows the transformation of "raw" data into easily interpretable information. 

Here are some practical application cases: 

1. Sales and marketing. BI allows the analysis of customer behavior on the various touchpoints, allowing the marketing sector to optimize its promotional campaigns, improving conversions both in-store and on any e-commerce. An equally important factor is the analysis of sales to highlight cross-selling and up-selling activities. BI tools can improve communication to customers on products already purchased and propose any new purchases, all while always having the management of supplies under control in real-time. 
2. Customer Care. The visualization of data on the management of returns, pre and post-sales assistance, both on physical stores and in the all-digital part of the e-commerce, allows to improve the entire customer service chain and to develop new post-sales services. 

3. Discounts and promotions management. This activity requires continuous verification with both physical and online stores but, above all, with the logistics part of the warehouse. In the case of the sale of fresh food, the management of expiration dates becomes essential. Thanks to the analysis and visualization of data offered by BI, managers are able to optimize the distribution chain and promotions, thus improving the customer experience. 

4. Suppliers and contracts. The BI models offer a clear view of relationships with suppliers, compliance with contractual terms (time, quality, quantity, etc.) and the status of orders. An unmissable tool for maintaining continuous control over the entire supply chain. 

5. Store performance. Thanks to BI models, Large-Scale Retail managers can quickly view and compare data on sales and profitability of each store in the chain, sharing information enriched by analyzes and graphs in real-time with in-store managers. Data exchange is vital for increasing performance. The BI tools also facilitate the management of personnel (sales, warehouse, assistance), highlighting any shortcomings of the workforce. 

In summary, Business Intelligence in the Large-Scale Retail sector can offer decision support, mitigate errors, reduce expenses and highlight new business opportunities, helping to outline new services and products. Thanks to flexible self-service analyzes, speed of information and processing, BI allows millions of pieces of information to be translated into operations. An investment, that of the digitalization of processes, essential to anticipate the needs of an increasingly fickle customers. 


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