Real-Time Insights – The Next Big Step For Retail

The power to analyze information as it’s created allows retailers to reach solutions to business issues promptly, instead of weeks or months after the fact when opportunities have been missed.

Real-time data is the next big leap for retailers. It will help lead organizations to quicker, data informed answers. The possible solutions real-time data can offer are limitless – hindered only by fear of imagination.


Access to daily information isn’t reserved for retail giants like Amazon and Walmart. In fact, there are more brands that have access to the current reasonably info through an electronic information interchange. This format permits retailers to send location, quantities, value and inventories to suppliers. This covers data on a store by store level all the way down to individual items, that are known by unique codes – barcodes. Data sets accessible through these information exchange are created and offered daily, weekly, and monthly when it should be made available instantaneously. This would open the door to dissecting it in real time for deeper business intelligence.

Out of Stock

Running out of stock with items directly translates to lost sales, and even lost customers where they seek out competitors for the items you don’t have. Knowing your inventory and your demand forecasting can help predict periods of increased demand. Analytics through real-time data monitoring will help prevent out of stock situations and is critical to capitalizing on sales and reducing downtime.

When companies have access to real-time insights they can set alerts to investigate problems when metrics fall below a predetermined point. An out of stock crisis may come up during spikes in social media activity targeting specific items as they gain popularity or even by changes in the seasons. The ability to analyze real-time data gives retailers the information need to identify problems well in advance so they can begin working on a well thought out plan to remedy the situation and to prevent future loss of sales.

Product Promotion

When introducing a new product, it is key to track and evaluate the success of the launch. The preferred way to determine if a product rollout happens according to plan is to analyze granular sales data. Understanding the product sales metrics during an introductory period can help pinpoint if the problem lies with the retailer or the supplier.

Stores and their partners should always review advertising efforts and evaluate their effectiveness. To boost effort and sales strategies the organization needs to perform an in depth analysis and track the results of a promotion. Problems can take on many forms and need to be resolved as quickly as possible. Recognizing a problem is the first step toward finding a solution.

Retailers can then do store audits for a deeper understanding into the issue and to identify how the problem manifested. Was it because of placement, out of stock, compliance, or something else?

Real-time retail insights is the next step towards a more efficient, lean operating retail operation. Analyzing data sets on demand, retailers can cut back on the delay between first observation of a problem and finding its solution. Advantages of utilizing real-time in store data across point of sale, loyalty, supply chain, CRM, and more can have profound impacts on a business.