Have you ever made a purchase and then felt like every online ad and promotional email you saw in the following days was trying to get you to buy more of it? Maybe you bought new running shoes and then received ads for running shorts. Or you ordered your favorite protein bar and were receiving offers to try their new protein oatmeal. Suddenly, it seemed, your browser understood your buying habits better than you do.
That’s because these retailers have access to good data and know how to bring you back with relevant products you might actually want. They’ve turned your one-time purchase into a springboard for future purchases and brand awareness.
You don’t need to be a global powerhouse to make use of data. You just need to get access to it and be willing to listen to what it’s saying. With the right data partner, you can use data to build a strategy that will grow your business, help you operate efficiently, and reach your goals. But first you need good data.
Here are 3 reasons why your data matters to your business:
The numbers are only half the story
On the surface, data is a report with numbers and percentages, but everything you need to know is in those figures. You just need to ask the right questions and learn from the answers. Find out what story the facts and figures are telling you. What do my shoppers want? How are they shopping? What are they looking for (and not looking for) at my stores? What trends are you seeing?
You might know you have a problem if sales are down, but you don’t automatically know why. You might not even realize you have a problem if you’re not looking at the right figures. You could also be missing a bright spot in your sales that has the potential to bring in even more customers. Perhaps gluten free products are outpacing expectations—you don’t want to be short on inventory because you didn’t recognize the positive signs. When you get access to strong data and work with someone, like SPINS, who can help you find the story within the numbers, you can begin to understand the reality of your present state.
Now You Can Make Changes
Obtaining data was the first step in understanding your business and possibly finding an opportunity for improvement. Now it’s time to decide what course of action makes sense.
A sudden drop-off in sales of a reliable product could mean shopper preferences are shifting. Do you need to adjust your relationship with that brand or does that brand need to market itself differently? Insights let you make decisions based on facts, not guesses, and most importantly they allow you to have productive conversations with brands. When you can point to a report, you can both have a clear conversation about what needs to happen next.
Once you’ve assessed and interpreted the data, you have the opportunity to turn your discoveries into a plan. Your plan might require quick action or it might require patience as you monitor trend lines, but now you’re operating with a clear sense of direction.
Shoppers Aren’t Static
Retailers like you know better than anyone that shoppers change their behavior constantly. Healthy fats and gut health are two topics you see in every wellness outlet and on many packages now. Ten years ago shoppers weren’t asking “Is this keto?” Five years ago hardly anyone was throwing collagen peptides into their smoothies. And 1 year ago no one was expecting an epidemic to change every aspect of our lives—including how we shop. Your business has to stay current to survive—and it needs to be ahead of trends if you want to stand out from your competition. Your smartest path to success is to frequently access data and learn from it.
Although data might feel like a broad, imposing topic, it belongs in the hands of decision makers like you. The power of a good data partnership is that all of this information becomes accessible to you. These are your shoppers and your shelves in your store and you deserve to know what’s working and what’s not. Data is the answer.
Partnering with SPINS gives you the data answers you need for the most innovative, diverse and relevant assortment aligned to your brand meeting and exceeding your shoppers needs.