Insights Blog

How COVID-19 rocked retail – and 3 ways you can fight back

How Covid-19 rocked retail – and 3 ways you can fight back

Blog snapshot

Our latest blog will dig into the big questions facing retail analytics, showing you:

  • Insights from retail professionals into the challenges they face when trying to make faster decisions
  • Three key steps you can take to get more value from your data

According to our new research, since the pandemic hit 87% of U.S. retail organizations have come under pressure to make decisions faster than ever. And what’s become clear is that rapid decision-making based on real-time information and reliable retail analytics, isn’t just a way to quickly create more value – it’s a crucial strategy for long-term success. 

Bricks and mortar retailers have faced a tough few years. Before the COVID-19 outbreak, the industry was already witnessing the slow decline of the high street. It also faced challenges incorporating technology and adapting to always on, ever-discounted online shopping. Then came the pandemic, which accelerated the factors putting pressure on the industry, and forced retailers to act fast. Really fast.

Where did all this new pressure on retail come from?

At the start of localized lockdowns, shopping behavior seemed to change overnight. Panic buying pushed supply chains to breaking point and supermarkets saw a surge in demand for online offerings. At the same time, demand for curbside delivery and click-and-collect options forced them to adapt their business models in record time.

Why were so many retailers ill-equipped for change?

A big problem for many was the inability to access data – with 35% saying they couldn’t tap into new data sources. This made it hard to get real-time insights, so meant stock information or price changes couldn’t be automated.

It’s hard to pin the blame for this on a single factor. But our research shows 39% of retailers attribute it to cloud deployment challenges, with a further 34% saying a lack of self-service analytics was holding them back.

The good news? There are ways you can overcome these challenges – and cut your decision-making cycles.

1. Define a retail data analytics strategy

It’s important to treat data as an asset and define how your entire organization uses it – with repeatable and common methods, practices and processes to control and distribute it across the business.

2. Get faster access to data by optimizing your infrastructure

A good place to start is by improving scalability (in terms of the number of users and queries that can be supported), boosting data quality and removing silos.

3. Continually improve data literacy

Data literacy is more important than ever. If more employees in your organization can understand and interpret data on the fly, they’ll be able to make quicker, more informed decisions – and that can only be good for a business.

What now?

To find out more, read our full report and get in-depth guidance on how you can thrive in retail in 2021 and beyond.

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