Jul 30, 2019

How to Leverage Data to Rise to the Challenges Presented by Changing Retail Space

Retail isn’t dead. It’s simply in transition. As large businesses that ruled in the early aughts file for bankruptcy and historic outposts shutter, newer and more innovative retailers have entered the marketplace with innovative solutions to fill the gaps. How have they gotten ahead? They’ve used data and digital tools to learn more about their customers, monitor trends, cut middlemen and attain financial success. Below, we discuss how data can position you for power at retail.

Understanding Customers

Gone are the days of coming up with products that you hope will perform well in the marketplace. Modern retailers are using intuitive software to collect data on their customers, including demographics, tastes, and income. With that information, they have the power to tailor new products and licensing programs to fit those tastes. The same information helps marketing teams and store designers create more targeted ad campaigns and in-store experiences to further enhance the consumers experience with the product.

When your customers feel like you truly “get” them, they feel more inclined to give you their attention and patronage.

Supporting eCommerce

Another thing of the past? The need for physical retail space. Today, several top brands and retail outlets exist online-only, operating via website, or (more recently) social media.

Instead of investing in brick and mortar locations these companies have put their money toward data-focused solutions. Those solutions can help eCommerce retailers find their niche and make changes to their sites to grow the traffic. When you use a good data solution, you can see where traffic is coming from, how many people are logging onto your site, what sites they visited before yours, and how you can improve your method of getting your product in customers hands faster.

Direct to Retail

Direct to retail is a hot trend in brand licensing. If you’re unfamiliar with the concept, DTR happens when a retailer and brand owner come to an agreement directly with each other and the retailer becomes the licensee as well as the seller of the product. (Think a collaboration between a movie studio and high street retailer). In return, the retailer pays a royalty for the franchise, the same as any other licensee. They effectively cut the middleman and yield larger profits.

Licensors who succeed at DTR are extremely selective. They won’t strike deals with shops that won’t amplify their programs or appeal to their target audience. Data helps DTR-minded brand owners make more informed choices. They can access their own historical data to see how their IP has performed in the marketplace if consumers seem interested in further extensions and, where consumers have expressed the most interest (i.e., regional stores with a local flavor vs. national chains). With that information, they can decide where DTR would perform best.

Discounts and Promotions

When you employ data solutions, you gain unique insights into the times of the year when shopping matters most to your customer base. An easy-to-use dashboard will show you when brick and mortar sees the most foot traffic and when online clicks are up. As a result, you can use that data to determine when sales would be most effective, make up for lags and attract new interest.

Data is power, and retailers should remember to keep that in mind. In a world that is becoming more digitized by the day, intuitive solutions that collect and aggregate data can make you a power player. Data allows you to become more proactive, make better-informed decisions, and steer programs to meet consumer needs during each stage of production. Retailers who have been forced to shutter were (mostly) ones that minimized data’s importance. While individual expertise may be unrivalled, there is no better way to establish yourself as an insightful retailer than to become one backed by the power of data.

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