With the holiday season in full swing, most retailers probably think it's too late to make adjustments to marketing, promotions, inventory and distribution to maximize shopping season success. After all, holiday plans have been in place since August. And, based on their supposed sophisticated data analysis, most retailers are confident they already know which toys, gadgets, clothing and colors will be "hot" this year. But do they?
The problem is that consumer tastes and trends change far quicker than five-month intervals. All it takes is a single tweet or posting by an influential trendsetter or blogger and the entire season's forecasts, plans and promotions could be irrelevant, sending retailers into a scramble to get products to the right outlets and into consumers' hands. As alluring as BI visualizations can be, the reality is that trends don't start with a dashboard; they start with people, and they can turn on a dime.
To truly increase revenue, mitigate inventory risks, manage costs, and better engage with customers over the final sprint to finish the fiscal year in the black, retailers need real-time analytics that can give them the up-to-the-minute data they need to make instant adjustments to business strategy. But, conventional BI analytics fall far short in delivering this on-demand insight, taking weeks or months of investigation and trial and error. Analysts must spend a tremendous amount of time formulating and asking questions of the data and hoping the answers they get are accurate and reliable — to say nothing of whether they've asked the right questions in the first place.
Fortunately, a new approach to BI analytics called smart pattern discovery is automating and accelerating the process of BI analytics, making it possible for front-line business users — like merchandisers, inventory managers, distribution teams and marketing — to get real-time insights into what's happening right now. In this slideshow, BeyondCore CEO and co-founder Arijit Sengupta explores how retailers who are armed with this on-demand data can make split-second adjustments to capture a bigger slice of the holiday spending frenzy and make 2015 their best year ever.
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