By Alexandra Orloff
Retailers in the GCC are looking at more mature markets, where analytics systems have been in use since the 1990s, however Middle East retailers are now ready to seek greater use and insight into business processes.
With an ever growing competition and lingering effects and challenges of the economic downturn; the retail industry is looking for new ways to improve their performance using use analytics. The areas to monitor are entry market, stores opening, product category, generate bigger value, inventory practice and faster response to competitors’ shift.
Middle East retailers are increasingly using data analytics to get a better understanding of their customers, differentiate themselves from competitors, and fuel their growth.
However, there are four imperative principles to implement retail analytics:
1. Structure the capability around available customer data.
2. Implement gradually and don’t over-commit to technology.
3. Institutionalize and formalize the use of data in business processes and across the organization.
4. Get executive sponsorship and hard-wire analytics into the organization.
Though regional retailers already have a substantial amount of data from POS systems, surveys, market research, and other sources; Booz recommends that retailers develop analytics gradually through limited pilot deployments, as there is still a lacking in expertise
It is vital to understand that the journey only begins in the Middle East, and retailers should use at the time being rather fundamental solutions which can offer major results. “However, as retailer’s system evolve toward more advanced forecasting and inventory policies, they will need to evaluate each subsequent wave of analytical development on its own merits and determine whether the investment continues to offer sufficient value’, said Karl Nader, senior associate Booz & Company.
Study by Booz & Company : Retail Analytics: The Route to Improved Profitability for Middle East Retailers