The data opportunity for retailers this Christmas

With Christmas just weeks away, December will be one of the busiest and most high pressure time of year for most retailers.  

Obvious? Yes. But today’s customer expectations are rising and so are the stakes for brands to deliver a consistently positive customer experience, even during peak times. 

The retailers that succeed will inspire customer loyalty and confidence, establishing relationships that will continue long after the tree has been put away. 

Take Christmas grocery shopping as an example. We recently surveyed 1,000 UK consumers and found that over 60 percent of shoppers expect to purchase their groceries just one week before Christmas day, with the majority (88%) hitting supermarkets on 19 December.

And nearly 80% feel “very confident” that supermarkets will be able to provide the products they want in-store this year. The bar is indeed high.

According to our research, what’s concerning for retailers is that, in spite of high customer expectations, one-third of UK shoppers claim their vendors actually ran out of the goods they wanted last year. 

Visual analytics is a big deal

With the countdown to Christmas on, the most successful retailers know how to anticipate demand and deliver flawless service by using data and visual analytics across the business. 

In retail, where data is large and diverse, using visual analytics as a solution for businesses to see and understand all of it is pivotal.  Going one step further, successful retailers are working collaboratively with data by empowering teams to analyse it and share findings with the use of visual analytics. 

Working in collaboration with data provides a big-picture view to the business, allowing employees to quickly spot insights and then share these with other departments to take action.  

As customer expectations grow, retailers can harness busy seasons like Christmas to deliver an exceptional experience 

Here’s an example of that in action – the Coca-Cola Bottling Company, which creates and distributes not only Coca-Cola but 250 unique brands to over 38 million people. 

They are working with a vast amount of data and using visual analytics across the organisation to spot demand and supply trends, see potential issues and respond quickly.  

How can this be used?

For example, the operations team can quickly spot increased demand for certain products in specific stores and react quickly to update relevant departments to deliver more of the popular brands to specific stores before there is a shortage - ultimately ensuring the customer walks away with the beverage they want. 

For Coca-Cola, it’s a company-wide priority to deliver an excellent standard of customer service and this reflects how they work and collaborate with data, especially during peak seasons.

Another great example is Majestic Wine Retailers.  The company has instilled a “test and learn” culture that is driven by their data and designed to optimise customer experience when demand is highest.  

With the parties and merriment, wines and spirits are in high demand and so the need to anticipate, track and ensure product supply is crucial.  Being able to respond quickly by seeing and understanding their data helps Majestic deliver the best experience at Christmas and throughout the year.

As customer expectations grow, retailers can harness busy seasons like Christmas to deliver an exceptional experience that will bring customers back well beyond the New Year. 

Retailers that rise to the occasion are using data and visual analytics in order to not only make sense of it all but to collaborate across departments.  

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