Introducing the Vizlib Industry Supercharge series, a collection of articles focusing on how Qlik’s analytics engine and Vizlib’s visualisation products can help you get the most from your company’s data. We’ll look at manufacturing, retail and ecommerce, healthcare, and more.
In this first article, we are looking at retail and ecommerce. And in this demand-driven sector, there’s a saying that “money makes the world go round.” If that is the case, then customers are what powers it. After all, no one can survive without purchasing food, clothing, utilities, or even items for hobbies and pleasure. It’s one of the reasons that the retail industry fell by 2.9% in 2020 due to COVID and strict lockdowns across the world, but bounced back by a staggering 9.7% the following year.
Gone are the days of setting up a small storefront on the main road of a town and waiting for customers to walk in. Now, it’s more important than ever to ensure that your retail or ecommerce business (or both, depending on your model) is driven by data. After all, you need to make sure that you’re stocking the items your customers want, have a decent profit margin while not being undercut by the competition, and give your customers the best possible shopping experience.
Your retail business can stay a step ahead with user-friendly business intelligence (BI) and data analytics. Let’s take a look at how both Qlik Sense and Vizlib’s value-adding products can help your business to thrive in an ever-changing world.
Design an effective eCommerce dashboard
We don’t need to tell you that every click, every movement of inventory, and every transaction should leave a digital footprint accumulating in a treasure trove of data, ready for analysis, and to generate business value. All of this vital data will sit inside your point of sale (POS) or ecommerce storefront. With a well-defined and visually stunning data dashboard, your employees can drill down for information that you might have missed otherwise.
An effective dashboard should be similar to a well-designed homepage. Just as you would easily navigate through a website – or the well-laid-out design of a store – a dashboard should be clear, and interactive and use high-level data points as a launchpad for exploration into the finer details.
The first step is to empower your employees to freely explore your store’s data to find genuine insights. You can achieve this by incorporating Vizlib Self-Service, the ultimate ad-hoc reporting solution for Qlik Sense. All of the organisation’s employees (from non-technical to data superstars) will be able to explore their data independently and discover meaningful insights faster.
The second half of the customer journey
Once a customer has clicked the ‘buy now’ button – or picked up an item in your store – how does their order get to them? Do you use a fulfilment company or your own warehouse? Who handles the logistics side? And does it reach the customer on time?
Logistics is a core part of ecommerce, but sometimes it’s left up to a courier or warehouse fulfilment company. Yet, it’s essential that you keep a close eye on logistics – your store’s last chance to impress customers. The solution lies in the data.
With Vizlib KPI Designer, you and your team can create customised ecommerce KPIs in your Qlik Sense dashboards. And help managers easily track the progress of major processes and workflows at a glance!
Perfecting the personalised customer journey
It’s no secret that customers have limited attention to give to brands. With the number of ads, offers, pop-up notifications, and emails bombarding them on a constant basis, it can be difficult to grab their full attention. That’s why retailers need to track and serve personalised content and offers to keep customers engaged. Generic marketing strategies may not cut it anymore.
In order to perfect and curate the customer journey, each and every department needs to work together – every team, from customer services to the warehouse, plays a part in getting this right.
Vizlib Teamwork helps to bring your team and data together. All users can kick off discussions within their dashboards, highlighting interesting data points with contextualised comments and bringing the right people into the discussion. By integrating real-time conversations inside the dashboard, teams can ask and answer questions in minutes, saving time and making better decisions that improve how and when the customer is targeted.
Capitalising on holidays and events
Holidays and regional events can be your biggest sales days for the year. Of course, no one really wants to work on those days, but they can be absolute cash cows that may even fund your business for the rest of the year.
For example, even during the height of the COVID pandemic in 2020, the Chinese ecommerce giant, Alibaba, saw a record $84.54 billion in sales for Singles’ Day. Depending on when you are reading this article, Singles’ Day might seem like it’s months away, but that doesn’t mean you cannot start preparing for it now. In fact, you’ll find that many Western retailers begin their own Black Friday preparations already in May.
This is where past sales data and stock movement can be your biggest asset against your rivals. With the use of an associative engine, like Qlik Sense, it’s easy to drill down your data to find out which stock doesn’t move at any other time of the year or use your sales power to leverage better discounts with suppliers and manufacturers. And by using Vizlib Collaboration, anyone in the procurement team can comment on points of interest while sharing insights.
Do you want to learn more about gaining a competitive advantage in a changing world with data analytics and visualisation? Then download our free Retailer’s Guide.