How Data-Driven Ideation Is Helping Brands Cater To Consumer Needs

How Data-Driven Ideation Is Helping Brands Cater To Consumer Needs
Retail

PSFK researchers explore how specific data applications can be used to improve retail business practices

PSFK
  • 7 february 2018

It’s easy to tell retailers to come up with better ideas to serve customers, but it’s another thing entirely to actually figure out how to gather the ideas that can then be translated into actionable improvements. By utilizing data—including usage or service history, customer data and supply chain logistics—retailers are able to respond to a number of problems, from back-end issues like inventory inefficiencies to customer-facing pain points like long lines or insufficient seating at restaurants.

To understand how retailers are using data-driven ideation to formulate new ideas and put them into action, PSFK researchers found examples in the marketplace that help paint a picture of this emerging trend:

Cava 
Mediterranean hot spot Cava Mezze uses a system of sensors (Raspberry Pi) to monitor everything from customer wait times to food-safety practices. Insights from the data continue to boost Cava’s “ROI of experience” by decreasing long lines and wait times, improving seating accommodation and back-of-house operations such as food quality.

Patagonia 
Outdoor outfitter Patagonia partnered with cloud-based platform 7thonline to optimize wholesale inventory based on customer demand. The platform monitors customer purchases, including product and location (in-store and online), to understand demand from an attribute level and predict preferred styles, colors and sizes. With this data, Patagonia is able to understand inventory productivity, assess inventory position and reduce inventory aging.

“There [used to be] a lot of pulling data history to determine what was our number one color, what percentage of that style did we think would be sold in our number two color, etc.,” Amanda Koper, Patagonia senior director of global planning and merchandising, said in an interview with NRF. “Now, we can rank the colors and the analytics pull from a wider breadth of data, giving us insight on the number one color for similar products and suggesting how much volume to anticipate… We’re finding that there’s real financial strength in data.”

But data-driven ideation is just one aspect of how retailers are using data in new ways to better serve customers and increase efficiency. For even more insights this topic, check out our research report Capturing Data In Retail Environments.


Lead image: Rush hour via Shutterstock

It’s easy to tell retailers to come up with better ideas to serve customers, but it’s another thing entirely to actually figure out how to gather the ideas that can then be translated into actionable improvements. By utilizing data—including usage or service history, customer data and supply chain logistics—retailers are able to respond to a number of problems, from back-end issues like inventory inefficiencies to customer-facing pain points like long lines or insufficient seating at restaurants.

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