Why Retailers Should be Tapping into Cloud Analytics to Understand Buying Habits

By Steve Paddock, founder and CEO at CLOUDWRXS

It’s no secret that for a number of years now, shoppers’ habits – and priorities – have been changing, swapping the bricks-and-mortar experience for online stores. The COVID-19 pandemic has proven to be a catalyst for this change, accelerating its impact.

The threat of closure and staff redundancies has meant that retailers have turned their focus to honing e-commerce services as a means to survive and grow throughout the crisis.

With the state of the economy still uncertain, and local lockdowns a lingering threat, it is yet unknown what the full economic impact the pandemic will mean for retailers and shoppers’ habits. In order to begin the recovery process, it’s vital for businesses to understand what makes their customers tick – it’s time for retail owners to take stock of the data.

Don’t rely on guesswork

Delving into cloud analytics to discover the psychology that drives buying habits has never been more important. Relying on retail analytics and hard data rather than guesswork, enables you to make smarter decisions toward higher profits and improved customer satisfaction. The data can help to identify trends and highlight just what tempts shoppers to buy your products.

The current pandemic will have impacted  shoppers’ attitudes towards buying, with many consumers spending less time leisurely browsing the shelves and instead, shopping with purpose. The need for a greater understanding into these changing habits has rapidly increased over the past few months. Using analytics, retailers will now need to find out just how they can capture the attention of this ‘new shopper’, quicker.

Using the cloud to manage and monitor your data in one place gives you a distinct advantage in getting the most from your analytics. The more accurate your data is, the more reliable your insights will be.

Forward-planning

Not only will applying analytics be beneficial for building a relationship with your customers, it will play an important role in forward-planning for retail owners. Using data on trends for example, will help to influence purchase decisions so that your stores match consumer demand. Adding to that, the insights provided might influence your marketing and promotional decisions, based on which products are proving popular and certain times.

Accessing data that reveals the reasons behind customer habits will enable a business to better focus spend, ultimately helping to aid the recovery process and lower operating costs in the long run.

Data insights will help you and your team answer some significant questions, from ‘what was our best-seller last month?’, ‘which customers spend the most?’, to much more complex and insightful behaviour analytics such as interpreting conversion rates and predicting customer churn, to the understanding and lowering of customer acquisition costs.

Data can also be used to personalise the instore experience, provide a seamless customer journey across all sales channels and vastly improve trade promotion optimisation.

Answering these questions will almost certainly help you get on the front-foot when it comes to making key stock decisions.

A changing landscape

The landscape of retail, and indeed the wider economy, have dramatically changed in the last five months. The high-street in particular, which relies heavily on footfall from passers-by and office workers, took a huge financial hit when they were forced to close their doors.

While some shutters are still closed, and local lockdowns remain in place for areas across the country, it has become abundantly clear that in order to recover, retailers can no longer afford to ignore the hard facts and figures that their data is telling them.

Business leaders should invest in cloud analytics to collect and monitor data, and use it wisely in order to feed positive, effective actions that will help secure their future. By harnessing analytics, you will be able to ensure your ecommerce store is flexible and tailored to the ever-changing needs of your customer base.

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