Retail industry is in the business of selling consumer products and services through multiple channels of distribution. Primarily, Retail is an end-user facing business. Retail businesses sell products like grocery, bakery products, prescription drugs, stationary, toys, and even beauty products. Since the retailers sell to end consumers, this is volume based business where a large number of customers buy many products in smaller quantities. Retail businesses are of various types depending upon the channel through which they sell. Some examples are corner shops, retail stores, service centers, vending machines, door-to-door sales, and online retail.

Although the term retail is more commonly used for selling physical goods, it also refers to retail service providers. Some examples are retail banking, private coaching, private clinics, private law firms, and even retail insurance. The retail service providers usually address the needs of end consumers (and not of businesses).

Retail Industry Challenges

Retail, as an industry, is constantly changing, partly because of the end-consumer proclivity to look for lower-priced higher-value products. So, there is always a high level of competitiveness among retail businesses that are relentlessly trying to follow consumer buying trends and new channels of sales. Over the last decade, leading retailers have readily embraced latest technologies, specifically advanced data analytics services, to gain sustainable competitive edge over their rivals. The technology enables them to understand their ideal customers, consumer habits, favourable geographies, profitable channels, and in general customer intelligence. Those not applying these technique are finding themselves on the losing side. The ones employing these technologies find that it enables them to offer customised services to their most profitable customers and grow.

Veravizion Case Study in Retail

The Client Objectives

The client was a firm specialising in trading retail products such as home electronic appliances all over India and abroad too. The client was employing multiple channels to sell their products. In addition to understand the customer better, the clients wanted to know most effective geographies, channels, and salespeople with respect to annual sales.

Case Challenges

The client had systems in place to gather data at all the points of sales hence there weren’t much of challenges on data front. Nonetheless, being a traditional multi-generational family business, there was a reluctance among the stakeholders to employ analytical techniques from an external entity. It was a case of “what can an outsider tell me about my business” scenario.

Key Actions and Results

  • Data cleaning and modelling using customised data modelling techniques
  • Detailed analysis using specialised tools; application of business best-practices to generate relevant insights for the business
  • Key insights and recommendations shared with client for strategic decision making
  • Continuous collaboration with client to keep him updated of the progress

The engagement enabled client to learn of quantitative insights about their business that they had not realised earlier. The actionable insights from the case helped client make appropriate facts-based decisions to grow in their core business. It also helped them to diversify into related retail businesses where they could leverage their existing resources and brand.

Image credits: photo by Markus Spiske

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