Brands Want to Help Retailers Add Value Through POS Data
Retail has changed. With the intensification of competition, the rise of e-commerce, and the importance of creating a unified customer experience both online and offline, retailers and brands have been given an enormous opportunity to reinvent the way they do business. The best retailers (e.g., The Home Depot, Walmart, Sephora) have embraced these challenges with open arms, partnering with their product vendors to succeed in an industry facing significant upheaval.
For brands, it’s clear that one of their main priorities is to establish and nurture more meaningful relationships with their retail partners. A majority of survey participants (68 percent) indicated they're already bringing POS data into buyer meetings, yet 57 percent of these same brands want to do more with POS data to help strengthen buyer relationships. It appears that the message from retailers to vendors is being heard loud and clear: anecdotal evidence isn’t enough. Retailers expect their buyers to be looking at the data and providing value-added recommendations on a regular basis.
Even though brands have indicated they would like to do more, it’s clear that there's still a sizable gap between what brands want to do and what they can do. Participants in the study were quick to highlight the problems they face with EDI feeds and retailer portals, with 82 percent of survey respondents reporting that they're currently experiencing issues with their EDI data and/or retailer portals. For example, 57 percent of respondents told us that they find retailer portals difficult to navigate, with an additional 52 percent citing that portals aren't effective when it comes to comparing metrics across time periods. As retailers continue to put pressure on vendors to make better use of shared POS, inventory and loyalty data, it’s important that these retailers challenge themselves to make sure that their portals are easy-to-use and conducive to finding valuable insights.
The data from the survey suggests that the answer to the problems of EDI and portals is in purpose-built solutions, which gather raw data from retailers and allow for POS reporting and analytics. For instance, we found that those vendors currently using purpose-built POS analytics solutions are twice as likely to consider themselves ahead of the competition. With this in mind, it comes as little surprise to see that the majority of the respondents in this year’s study are looking to move away from applications such as Microsoft Excel and towards purpose-built POS reporting solutions.
With retail evolving rapidly, brands and retailers need to work together to embrace joint business planning and greater collaboration. This study confirms that leading brands are looking to do more with their POS data, even though they're challenged with the task of turning this growing amount of data into meaningful insights. With 92 percent of brands indicating that they can be doing more with their POS data, now is the time for brands to invest in better tools to turn this mountain of valuable data into insights and recommendations that offer value to their retail partners. We believe that in doing so, both brand and retailer stand to win by improving margins, reducing costs and driving growth.
Christopher di Grazia is a demand generation manager at Askuity, an analytics software platform that helps brands turn complex retail data into actionable insights and better business results.
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