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How Data-Driven Decision-making Gives Retailers a Competitive Advantage

Besides the more common trials retailers face, like economic headwinds and stiff competition, retailers must also deliver on shopper expectations. In the current logistical climate, supply chains now hold more importance; if vendors cannot acquire the necessary products, consumers will shop elsewhere.

While retailers may not always have the most comprehensive assortment of available products at every location, they are still responsible for building and maintaining a strong relationship with customers to protect engagement and make sure sales do not decline. This is part of the many facets that are reliant on the best data and insights, particularly as retails grow in both the digital realm as well as physically. For retailers to stay competitive, data will be crucial to answering questions- even the ones they were unaware they had. 

Retailers Need Actionable Data, Real-Time

One can shop both online and in-person. Before buying an item online or in a store, consumers can stop by a store, examine it, and make sure it is what they are looking for. They might even ask in-store if they can have a different size or color shipped to the store or their home from your online stock or another store. As a result of these developments in retail, consumers now have the freedom to shop wherever they want, whenever they want.

The way consumers interact with the shopping experience is particularly important for retailers in this hybrid evolution. It has never been more crucial to view and capitalize on the data when inventory management and store performance goals are critical.

Physical establishments also rely heavily on data to succeed and thrive. Having physical stores that are engaging places where customers can engage with them is imperative for retailers in today’s competitive landscape.

Whenever a consumer has queries or concerns, then they want to be able to get an answer quickly and efficiently. Additionally, they want confirmation they will be able to obtain their purchase as quickly as possible when they order something for delivery or in-store pickup. Retailers can meet that demand more effectively by operating their in-person stores as supply chain hubs than they could if they relied solely on warehouses.

All of these goals can be achieved with the help of data. Personnel can make wiser choices with the consumer or back in the office with the help of analytics that are powerful and straightforward. A retail store must be able to serve both consumers who come in and those who order online, so data plays a crucial role in deciding where to open new locations. In order to decide where the best site location could be, retailers can perform spatial analysis of an environment that includes analysis of customer distribution and analysis of customer behavior.

Data-driven Engagement, Customer Satisfaction, and Adopting a Customer-Centric Approach

Data is limited to its usability, regardless of how important it is. Data won’t meet expectations if it can’t be used by those who need it. This will allow personnel to better supervise what is available and in stock, to oversee sales, determine the demands of consumers, and more.

The retail sector is evolving. Retailers are becoming places of interaction as well as supply chain hubs, effectively establishing their seat as a venue where consumers can do more than try and buy products. Adapting to consumer tastes and buying behaviors is a significant step in the advancement of industry. Data and analytics are the only way for them to create these modifications and meet the expectations of customers.

Within a populous market, data reveals the best path to take. Data provides the groundwork for progress that isn’t based off of postulation for businesses at a time when many don’t know what to do.

Considerations for Becoming More Data-driven

To grow a business approach that is more influenced by analytics, you can take a few different courses you can take. The following are some tips on how you can approach your day-to-day schedule with a more systematic attitude.

1 – Observe patterns everywhere

At its core, data discovery is about finding patterns within, or correlations between, different details. It is from these interactions that conclusions and insights are able to be formed.

Being mindful of being more analytical, in work and in your personal life, is the first step to becoming more data-driven. It might sound simple, but it requires practice.

Look for patterns in data around you, whether you’re reading financial statements at your desk, enjoying a cup of coffee in a shop, or traveling to and from work. Build a habit of deducing insights and making conclusions regarding why those patterns exist once you have noticed them. This will help you to develop a more data-driven mindset.

2 – Base every decision on data

Avoid making decisions based on feelings or impressions, no matter how personal or business-related they are. Instead, take an analytical approach.

Assess the knowledge you already have at your fingertips for use in making your final judgment. If no information is available for you, see if you can gather for yourself. Take the data that you have, evaluate it, and take advantage of the insights to guide your decision-making. The intention behind it is to practice enough that analysis becomes an integral component of the decision-making process.

3 – Identify the meaning in the data

An integral part of data analysis is data visualization. The meaning of numbers is not apparent without understanding the context in which they are used. You can quickly identify trends and conclude data by constructing visuals such as graphs, diagrams, tables, and charts. 

One example is you can sketch out a simple graph to see repeating financial routines and then conclude it. This information can then be used to create a budget.

4 – Leverage the right software to make it easier

It can be fun and rewarding to mine data for insights, especially if you have statistical training, a little coding experience and a lot of time and processing power. For the rest of us, the right tools make the job a lot easier. Look for tools that can integrate data from all of your processes and offer pre-built reports and dashboards as well as the opportunity to build custom reports when you want to dig further into specific correlations or insights.


Basing your decisions on data comes with many rewards, but it is still good to remember you don’t always have to go all in immediately. You can become more data-driven and thrive in your organization by taking modest first steps, tracking your performance, and adjusting as you go.

Competitive retailing is all about improving your decision-making process to better drive the outcomes you want. By embracing today’s data and analytics tools, including artificial intelligence and machine learning, you’ll be able to make the right decisions that will help you meet the north star for any retail company: the consumer.