On-Demand Analytics – Changing the face of retail

Out-of-stock, poorly timed inventory levels and other lost sales opportunities present a problem for retailers.

They frustrate consumers and cost retailers and consumer product companies.

A growing group of companies are targeting this problem. Companies can create a highly sophisticated picture of what’s happening at every step of a product’s journey to the consumer purchase by harnessing the store-level sales data that retailers make available to suppliers and incorporating analysis and other relevant information like weather patterns.

The promise of demand data analytics – the catch-all phrase for such services – is that a better understanding of how, why and when people buy coupled with more knowledge of the supply chain and store-level execution will help stores stay stocked with the right stuff at the right time.

TrueDemand is one of the companies hoping to capitalize on the situation and has established a Bentonville office to better serve its growing Wal-Mart supplier clientele.

The company created software that takes Retail Link data, the sales data that Wal-Mart Stores Inc. provides to its suppliers, and analyzes it on a daily basis. Then, it creates company-specific, daily reports that predict out-of-stocks and prioritize actions at the store level to help prevent them.

Shiloh Software has become a market leader of data mining tools. It takes information from Retail Link and integrates data from a number of other syndicated data providers like NPD Group Inc. and ACNielsen, and other information like weather forecasts, U.S. Census Bureau data and store-level traits like whether it’s by a university or in a largely Hispanic community.

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At Cequity, we believe customer intelligence will be the biggest competitive advantage enterprises will have in the next decade or two. Successful enterprises of tomorrow will be the ones who can organize and leverage this information at speed to optimize their marketing performance, increase accountability, improve profit and deliver growth. Cequity insights will bring to you trends and insights in this area and it’s our way of sharing best practices so as to help you accelerate this culture and thinking in your organization.
July 2008
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