The new, not-so-secret weapon for retailers is data. WGSN Head of Market Intelligence Lorna Hall reveals the key ways it’s transforming sales and the consumer experience
Data is trending for retailers right now and for the bosses of most shops the topic is as hot as a best-selling handbag.
Why? Because the data breadcrumbs consumers drop online and from their smartphones can make them more sales.
Here’s three ways retailers are starting to use data to optimise profits:
1. Making it personal -Noticed anything new about your favourite retailer online? Does the homepage have more items or offers to your taste? If the answer is yes, then you’re likely to be shopping with one of the growing army of online retailers who personalise their home page to you. Retailers like Very.co.uk have looked at how you use their site, analysed the items, and promotions that you are most likely to act on and served them up without you having to dig for them. Very even greets regular shoppers with a personalised banner message. Owner Shop Direct reckons data led personalisation initiatives will add a £20m sales uplift to the business this financial year.
2. Prioritising for profits– Topshop tracked the Wi-Fi most of us have switched on, in our mobile phones to track whether it should continue to open earlier than other retailers in London’s Oxford Circus. The results showed conversion was so low in that first hour it did not pay to be open.
3. Data driven lifestyle changes – UK bed retailer Dreams used data to work out how to identify when people were in the market to buy a bed. In the past it had assumed that this was when people moved house but by digging into data it found it had been marketing to them too late. Apparently we all buy a new bed before we move because we don’t want our new neighbours to see our grubby old mattress. Since changing when it marketed to shoppers the retailer has seen positive like-for-like sales growth, which it largely attributes to the data giving it the understanding of when the customer wants to buy.
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