In the new COVID-19 era, retailers are experiencing tough times. BI tools can help companies to improve their marketing strategies and get better customer insights.
Companies are losing revenue, customers are shifting to online shopping and becoming disloyal to brands. In other words, the stakes are higher than ever before for retailers around the world.
This made the role of marketing extremely important, almost crucial to businesses. Now companies depend on right marketing tactics and instruments to try to recover revenues. In this article, we argue why companies should have business intelligence (BI) to thrive in the future.
Retailers are in trouble, need better customer insights
According to a McKinsey Digital report, there was almost a 17% decline in US retail sales in April. That was the largest ever recorded drop in a single month.
Meanwhile, the shares of online shopping have increased across all categories. Amazon, for example, reported a 26% increase in sales in the first quarter of 2020 compared with the same period last year.
In addition, in the new reality, customers are very disloyal to brands. Instead of sticking to familiar shopping patterns and brands, consumers have changed their behaviors during uncertainty. After surveying the shopping habits across four countries, McKinsey said that on average 40% of consumers tried new brands or retailers. US consumers were particularly disloyal, as 46% of them switched brands.
Like it or not, this is the next normal in customer experience. This also means that marketing departments now have the special responsibility to step up. Old tactics are no longer effective. There are ways, however, and marketers need to start implementing them as soon as possible for businesses to stay afloat.
BI tools as a solution
In its Reimagining Marketing in the Next Normal report series, McKinsey came up with four key enablers to help marketers:
- Organizational design and culture
- Agile ways of working
- Better talent management
- Data and technology
In our case, we’re interested in the role of data and technology in improving marketing operations. The idea is that companies need to get a 360-degree view on customer data to enable a better customer journey.
The truth is that we’re only at the beginning of a great shift. Everything we know from consumer beliefs, habits and needs will change over the next few years.
This means retailers can no longer depend on monitoring past sales. By the time you finish gathering weekly Excel files into a monthly sales report, it’s already too late. The wind is already blowing the other way.
Modern BI tools may come as a solution. Near real-time reporting and AI capabilities are ideal to capture the ongoing consumer insights and focus on identifying changing behaviors to get a full picture of the shifting consumer decision journey.
BI can provide real-time numbers, decode consumer attitudes on social media, and show future trends. In addition, BI can provide a more granular analyses of data, especially big data. This data can turn into insights, which could help to refine marketing messages, product offerings, and get better sales.
The days when companies used past months reporting and conducted consumer attitude surveys once or twice a year are gone. To thrive in the new era, companies must keep a close eye on the daily evolution of trends in the consumer behaviors.