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How Retailers Can Find Their Competitive Advantage With Signal Liquidity

May 26, 2021

Blog
Author
Joerg Koesters Joerg Koesters
Joerg is Head of Retail Marketing and Communication at SAP.

With ten years of change coming in one year, retailers have dramatically accelerated their digital transformation timelines. Retailers not only find themselves suddenly managing a remote workforce and consistent supply-chain disruptions but must now serve their customers in new ways. Customers have adopted new ways of shopping and expect seamless digital experiences that include quick deliveries, strong recommendations, and personalization.

Extended lockdowns and store closures have proven for retail that necessity is indeed the mother of invention. Without physical stores, customers have moved online, and consumer-sentiment analysis shows that entirely new consumer groups are willing to try out digital products and services for the first time. As customers begin navigating their new shopping reality, retailers have had to improve their online offerings.

While many traditional retailers now find themselves competing with global giants like Amazon, all retailers have new opportunities to engage and provide value to shoppers. This is where data can offer value by providing a wealth of new insights and a 360-degree view of your customers.

 

This Is Where Data Comes In

In a digital landscape, customers are no longer nameless. Retailers have ever-growing databases that now include customer names, buying histories, and preferences enabling them to tailor shopping experiences to an individual level.

These tailored experiences are powered by what's called signal liquidity in what customers want to buy, what they are looking for, searching for, and even what they didn't buy. Scott Galloway explains signal liquidity using Netflix. Every hour of Netflix you watch provides Netflix with three signals – what you picked, how long you watched, and if you watched the next episode. With these signals, Netflix can tailor your experience, make recommendations, and achieve an incredible 97% renewal rate on subscriptions.

Retail can use signal liquidity of shopping behavior – which has increased dramatically in the last 12-15 months – to improve assortments, make better decisions about what to have on stock, what to replenish, and how to better serve customers. Offers that support trends in preferences are also now easier to implement and iterate, as is understanding what offerings work best together and what doesn't.

 

Data’s Journey from ROI to Competitive Edge

Data's ROI for retail is stronger than ever, but there's also more data than ever before. To handle this data and extract valuable insights, retailers need to improve their process and analytics capabilities.

The cloud solutions of SAP's Unified Data and Analytics make this possible. They cover the entire data journey, helping retailers transform data into the answers they need. These tools, which are the database and data management cornerstones of SAP Business Technology Platform, give your data purpose.

Many retailers struggle with complex and unintegrated data landscapes. Critical data around customer experience and webshop sits in one solution, while merchandise management, POS, and historical data sits in other solutions. SAP's Unified Data and Analytics unites all these data sources into one central access layer with seamlessly integrated analysis and reporting. Once data is united, retailers will find it easier to get a 360-degree view of their customers, find relevant data, and make quick decisions.

Unlocking your customer's signal liquidity is especially powerful when connected in real-time to KPIs that provide insights into performance. Retailers can analyze data like POS in real-time to understand different regions, store locations, and merchandise categories. Online shopping offers a range of additional data points and valuable insights around search, article views and clicks. Shopping basket insights can optimize assortments, placements as well as pricing and promotions. The ability to capture and integrate data for every critical decision along the entire value chain will separate winners from losers in the market.

SAP's Unified Data and Analytics unites data and analytics solutions seamlessly, so switching back and forth between applications is done at the press of a button. With enterprise-ready and easy-to-use modeling, more employees can build models and effortlessly generate visualizations and reports before sharing them. Retailers can leverage insights to get a better understanding of sales data for planning of assortments, leading to higher sales with lower cost.

 

Unite, Trust, and Champion

The amount of data facing retail organizations will only grow as adoption across digital platforms increases both as a result of lockdowns and people becoming more accustomed to online shopping. If retail can harness this data efficiently and give data purpose, they will have new opportunities to engage with and provide value to customers.

Callaway Golf, a market leader in delivering innovative sporting products, faced a disconnected data landscape. Some business units used Excel spreadsheets and others using legacy solutions for their planning and analytics processes. Data silos made it difficult to form a clear picture of the enterprise’s data and planning. With SAP's Unified Data and Analytics solutions like SAP Analytics Cloud, Callaway Golf was able seamlessly connect data sources and bring their data together to provide a single source of truth across the organization. This way, Callaway Golf dismantled data silos and aligned planning processes across the enterprise.

SAP's Unified Data and Analytics will give your data purpose. With data management, quality control, and analytics in one strategy, you can harness value from your data and uncover signal liquidity. Unite your data under one unified strategy and trust your data-driven insights to make an impact for you and your customers.