Moving into 2022, the world is experiencing a gradual return to normalcy, but some of the experiences that became mainstream during the pandemic are likely to cement their influence in the post-pandemic world. The retail industry witnessed ground-breaking disruptions powered by digital innovations. Online retail adoption exploded across the board.

Consumers rapidly went online, from groceries to gadgets, appliances, and fashion. The shift to online became synonymous with convenience and unlimited choices. By 2025, studies estimate that the share of online retail will be nearly 24.5% of all retail sales worldwide.

But is going online enough for retailers seeking sustainable growth? The answer is No! This is a challenging environment for retail brands to succeed in. Winning customer loyalty is harder than ever, and standing apart in the face of so much “noise” has become a formidable task.

Retail brands have come to understand that at the heart of post-pandemic customer engagement and loyalty improvement initiatives lies the most critical component to drive retail success— data. For retailers, the post-pandemic market requires a more holistic deployment of their data. It calls for deep diving into the finer details, probing external sources outside their core information systems, and defining new meanings and patterns for interleaved data points.

This new direction of understanding data can be traversed meaningfully with data analytics. Let us explore 5 ways in which data analytics can help retail brands win the post-pandemic market:

Understand Customer Behaviour Faster

For long, retailers prepared their business strategies based on historical trends in sales and operations. They had enough information to predict customer behaviour that usually took its own sweet time to show a marked change. However, the pandemic accelerated the pace at which customer preferences changed. In a matter of days, all historical trends and data points became irrelevant in helping retailers get a grip on how to run their business during the pandemic.

Data analytics can help generate insights faster. This can break down the barriers to understanding the nuances and dynamics in customer behaviour by connecting the dots between data points generated in real time from different customer-facing channels. For example, running analytics on cart-abandonment rates in an eCommerce website can help retailers identify the reason behind the same. It could be a faulty payment option or a usability challenge in the checkout experience. Data analytics can precisely point out the reasons behind the behaviour and invite faster action.

Re-Define Competitive Pricing

As retailers expand their horizons to new areas and markets, it is essential to study the demographic and competitive landscape within those new markets before creating a pricing strategy designed for conversion. Luckily there are research data and information available on how different customer segments react to competitors’ pricing strategies. By leveraging data analytics, retailers can unify this wide gamut of information to expand pricing points, derive new product bundles that match customer expectations of value and improve bottom-line profits through economy of scale for low-margin products.

Improve Sales and Marketing

Better business in the post-pandemic age depends on identifying what excites your customers and prepping your sales and marketing strategies. Data analytics can uncover insights that help direct marketing efforts to the right channel based on impact and engagement. Retailers can tweak their messaging, optimize their targeting, and refine their choice of ad-delivery channel for maximum impact based on data-driven insights. After acquisition also, data can help the platform recommend add-on products or service offerings based on the likelihood of conversion. Data analytics can help marketers adapt quickly to changing demand scenarios and thus help retail brands improve their marketing spending with faster ROI.

Seamless Operations and Infrastructure Resilience

Combining data from multiple sources across the broad spectrum of operations makes it easier to predict inventory and supply chain needs. This helps retailers provision their stock. This is crucial to avoid stockouts as well as under-stocking. When a substantial portion of sales moves online, the IT infrastructure comes onto the critical path. Analytics helps the IT team to identify peak infrastructure utilization periods and accommodate demand spikes seamlessly.

Embrace AI Faster

AI holds forth the promise of enabling greater operating efficiency and empowering new business models and revenue streams for retailers. Adopting AI requires a systematic approach to structuring and organizing data sets, creating or re-engineering processes to be more data-centric, and eliminating silos and hurdles in data harmonization. Adopting analytics helps retailers implement these fundamentals and clears the path to embrace innovations like Artificial Intelligence. With strong data foundations, it becomes easier to model and apply science to it to pave the way for autonomous decision-making.

Making progress in the post-pandemic world requires retailers to have a more holistic view of their data landscape and a clear direction for acting. From making infrastructure changes to deciding on pricing, analytics can go a long way in helping retail brands cut for success in the new normal. However, what matters in this journey of data-centric decision-making is the choice of analytical platforms and crafting a tailored data strategy to accommodate the unique characteristics of your business.

This can make or break your data science initiatives.

What if your selection came with an opportunity to discover more about the potential of analytics? Wouldn’t it be a competitive advantage to know early which shelves will empty faster in which markets? Wouldn’t AI help drive your retail brand forward? Experience such guaranteed results with your analytical investments with Emergys.

Our consultants bring decades of expertise combined with the best technology solutions that help your retail business embrace the world of predictive business intelligence. Staying in step with your customer is the key to succeeding in a fiercely competitive and highly disrupted post-pandemic market. This is where we can help weave magic. Get in touch with us to know more.

Emergys Blog

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