Using Big Data to Improve Sales

John Krautzel
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Big data is not just for large corporations. Modern technology makes it easy for every business to increase sales through data acquisition and analysis. Many retail operations fail to take advantage of the wealth of information available for improving sales numbers. Check out these big data sources along with tips on interpreting and using the data to help your sales grow.

Purchase Information

The checkout process provides big data about what sells and when it will sell. Analyze your retail purchase history to find out when business is best, and be sure to focus on daily, weekly and seasonal trends. Use this information when setting store hours and scheduling personnel. If your top hours are from 6 to 8 p.m., have more sales staff on hand for that time period. If sales are slow from 6 to 7 a.m., consider opening later. Yearly records provide information on when seasonal items start selling for better stocking and assistance in creating seasonal displays. Add staff at the appropriate time for the holiday rush, and be ready to reduce hours when sales typically wane. Sales information also helps with managing cash flow during those times when business is slower than average.

Inventory Records

Look to big data from your inventory tracking program for information about the seasonal movement of merchandise. Inventory information in conjunction with purchase information provides a better picture of seasonal trends. Use this information to stock appropriately and avoid running out of hot items while discounting the items that are past their prime season.

Internet Analytics

Internet analytics give complex information about website visitors, email campaigns and social media activity. Look to big data from searches at your website to see what interests your customers. Track the websites that drive traffic to your site to determine the effectiveness of your advertising campaigns. Big data from your email marketing analytics provides information on which subject lines get emails opened and what topics lead to click-throughs. Check out social media analytics to see what kind of activity gets visitors talking. Analyze the success of coupon codes, contests and special promotions.

Loyalty Programs

Smart electronic loyalty programs are a great way to gather even more data about your customers. Digital loyalty programs make it easy for customers to participate, and their sales information gives you concrete information on what works and what does not. Use this information wisely to create loyalty campaigns that pull people in and keep them coming back for more.

Big data from point-of-sale systems, inventory tracking, Internet analytics and customer loyalty programs provide useful information for improving sales in your business. Integrate the available data to learn more about customers, sales and seasonal trends. Apply this information to make better decisions about staffing, hours, stock and advertising.


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