Industry Insights

Supermarkets rely on Business Intelligence to remain competitive

In the current economic climate customers are demanding more from retailers and, in particular, supermarkets. In order to remain competitive all of the major supermarkets are analysing vast amounts of data generated on a daily basis with business intelligence software. Wal-Mart collects approximately 2.5 petabytes (2.5 million gigabytes) of data every hour from customer transactions. Analysing this volume of data would be impossible without data warehouses and a business intelligence solution. For almost a decade supermarkets have been analysing loyalty card data which has provided significant insight into customer purchasing habits. In turn this has driven them to create targeted customer communications aimed at particular groups and has also fed into marketing, forecasting and budgeting. A business intelligence dashboard can provide regional, and even shop specific information, which helps supermarkets create specific campaigns, making it a vital component when planning future activity.

Accurate analysis of data

In the past few years supermarkets have diversified their product ranges into areas including books, clothing, electrical goods, pharmacies and financial services. Whilst this makes it even easier for customers to access more goods and services from one location, it has increased the pressure on supermarkets as data from all of these areas needs to be accurately collected, analysed and fed back into the decision making process. There is also a lot more choice than in the past and if a product is not available, or the price is too high, customers can and will go elsewhere. By regularly monitoring key performance indicators with a business intelligence dashboard, supermarkets can quickly adjust their strategy which will impact sales. Supermarkets regularly advertise about their prices in comparison to competitors, but nowadays customers are more price savvy and do not have to rely on supermarkets for this information. There are a number of well known price comparison websites for insurance, holidays, utilities, and groceries. Some supermarkets offer price guarantees, such as Asda who promise to be 10% cheaper on comparable goods, but several independent organisations now offer price comparisons across all groceries.

Real-time business intelligence

All of these contributing factors mean that supermarkets need to frequently analyse their data and access to a real-time business intelligence solution, such as the Panintelligence dashboard, is critical to their business. This enables them to respond to changes in a timely manner and remain competitive in a very tough industry.

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