Revolutionizing Indian Retail Sector with Data Analytics
Can Analytics help enhance the Domestic Retail Industry?
A fast-growing economy, deep penetration of the internet, and rising adoption of technology across industries are few ways India of today can be described. It is experiencing transformation in various sectors including retail. The growing population increased connectivity, and overall consumer awareness makes India a lucrative retail market. According to India Brand Equity Foundation (IBEF), in 2012, the Indian retail sector has grown from US$ 518 billion in 2012 to US$ 950 billion in 2018. The Indian retail hasn’t always been like this, the market has seen a complete transformation from the next-door Kirana stores to the organized retail sector we see now.
Technology has been the biggest driver of this change and will be for the next-gen changes. Right from the supply chain to every consumer touchpoint, the digital transformation has generated a new perspective. The need to understand the customer and their preferences is unprecedented given the competition and customer expectations. The omnichannel retail experience is required to represent a unified view of any brand, improve the buying experience, and increase sales. The utilization of POS systems and cloud technologies led to optimum data gathering. Retail data analytics became essential to making not just the marketing strategies but also helped make internal changes in the organizations and became the backbone of decision making. As per a PWC retail survey, 90% of their respondents leverage analytics to make growth strategies. This data analytics is not just helping in deriving future strategies and but also making the consumer experience better and improving ROIs.
How retailers can advance to the next level with analytics:
Striking the right balance between mass market and personalization
The Indian Kirana shops have been always providing their customer base with personalized experiences that the retail chains were lacking. As the data regarding products and sales keep increasing along with its significance, all the new products and offerings also were provided based on the data intelligence generated. Along with this came the approach for the mass, i.e. mass products, mass marketing, and mass experience. The personalization got lost somewhere between this.
The customer of course needs and demands a personalized experience which the retailers are now achieving with data engineering. Consumer behavior can be understood on a singular level and the personalized experience and offering can be shaped. This clears the remaining barrier of reaching customers with the right product on the right channel at the right time. This way the right balance between personalization and scale can be achieved.
Give the power of data right in the hands of retailers and ground-level executives
With the emergence of new-gen data analytics and business intelligence platform, the traditional approach of only IT professionals analyzing the data has changed a lot. With self-service and ad-hoc reporting, the power of analytics can directly come into the hands of the retailers. This way, the employees who are directly interacting with customers or the ones who are making marketing and sales strategies can analyze the data on their own. They can answer their domain-specific questions by themselves. Based on a case study, the Tata Croma experienced a 217% increase in conversions by utilizing data analytics.
With the consumer demands changing and evolving in real-time, this access to the single source of truth has become even more critical. The experts now have the ability to react to these insights quickly by shortening the process of data analysis and skipping the process of going to IT specialists for recurring demands. They can now simply use drag and drop and utilize the dynamic visualizations to understand consumer behavior, improve merchandising, streamline supply chain and inventory and enhance revenue.
The success of this approach has been demonstrated by Marico. Back in 2015, Saugata Gupta, managing director and chief executive officer of Marico stated, “Business analytics, digital, and automation is helping to transform our core operations, improve our consumer insights and innovation processes as well as help us take better decisions.”
Time to go tech-forward
Data analytics is certainly the way to move ahead, but it is high time retailers start using the new technology and devices like IoT, beacons, RFID tags, sensors, and much more. With this, tracking the consumers and collecting relevant data becomes easy. The retail managers can improve merchandising, enhance in-store conversions, and personalize shopper’s experience further.
As per Pepsico’s Analytics Head, analytics contributed to enhanced forecasting, marketing expense reallocation, pricing strategy, right assortment mix, and much more. Of course, analytics on its cannot make all the changes unless coupled with the right decisions based on insights and experience. Now, analytics doesn’t give retailers the first mover advantage but has become a necessity to keep up with the competition and the consumers. An experience can only be called absolutely omnichannel if the consumer experience remains personalized, consistent, and excellent overall the channels. And this cannot be achieved without analytics. The retail future certainly seems much brighter with insights-driven innovation and data-driven organizations.