Unlike in the past when big data was a preserve of the fortune 500 companies, today’s business landscape demands of every business model- big or small- to pay great attention to its customers’ and products’ data. This data is scattered and hard to access, necessitating strong data management strategies, particularly for the modern retail businesses. This, according to the 2012 KPMG report, is the surest way of understanding and satisfying the modern customer. Here are some of the strategies that you can use to manage your retail data.
1. Using the POS Software in the Cloud
If you operate an online retail store in tandem with an offline store, you need a management tool that can synchronize data from the two stores and accurately record vital information that will then help you to better understand your clientele. Cloud POS software is one such tool. It integrates your customers’ data, product specifications & prices, pending & delivered orders, and stock records into one easy app to use. Besides enabling you to browse through all that data from your smart mobile devices, cloud POS software enables you to track your store’s day-to-day sales by recording every customer’s credit card swipe. That’s without mentioning the many benefits that your retail store gets from having a cloud database.
2. Using the Social Media Analytics.
You can gather a lot of valuable data in regards to customer satisfaction and behavior from the social media by using the many social data analytic tools that technology has placed at your disposal. The tools track the number of your social media followers visiting your website, the products they are interested in, and whether or not they consider visiting your physical store. After getting a finalized data analysis from these tools, you can then use it to improve your services or redesign your marketing strategies.
3. Using the Inventory Cards System.
If you are operating on a shoestring budget, investing in a good data management software would not be financially viable. You can opt for the cheaper alternative of using the inventory cards system- the already printed inventory cards which you can purchase from your local office supply store. These cards come with well-labeled spaces where you fill a product’s price, available stock, inventory code, and supplier details among other data entries which help you to track a product from the day it entered your store till the day it leaves. The inventory code can be as simple as numeric or alphabet characters which you assign a product the day it arrives. After every sale, you update your inventory cards by indicating that a given inventory code has left your inventory. This process could be tedious but it’s a good place to start.
4. Outsourcing Professional Data Management Services.
This is where you hire a data management company to collect and analyze data on your behalf. Because you will not have to invest in expensive data management technology, neither will you have to waste your valuable time worrying about data management, this is another cost-effective way of managing your retail data. You will pay a small fee for the service but it’s totally worth it in the long run.
5. Developing a Tiered System of Storage.
All data is important, yes, but all data isn’t equal in terms of relevance, confidentiality, and significance. A tiered system of storage is a system in which- guided by the three aforementioned factors- you organize your data in tiers. The most relevant data, e.g. your store’s sales data, can go to one tier which is stored separately from another tier, say the billing data.