Defining Data, Information, and Actionable Insight for Your Retail Business

March 7, 2018 | Elaine Arnold

Retailers are challenged to turn data from multiple sources into actionable insight to improve operations and launch targeted marketing campaigns at scale. For years, only ‘big box’ retailers could afford to tackle this challenge by making big investments in technology.  Thankfully, new developments have made it much easier for SMB retailers to consolidate data in order to derive actionable insight to help them grow their businesses and compete with the big guys.

In this article, we’ll begin by defining data, information, and insight for retail business owners.

Data, Information, Insight

You can check out this Forbes article for further clarification, but to quickly summarize:

  • Data: Facts that are typically in the form of numbers or text. In the terms of your retail business, a data point will be the total sales at the end of the day.
  • Information: Data organized in a way that provides context. For example, a chart that shows the daily sales over the last 60 days.
  • Insight: Insights are generated by analyzing the information and identifying a trend. For example, based on the sales trend information, you can conclude that your slowest day of the week is Tuesday.

What makes insight “actionable” is that it gives you the power to create a plan to impact the trends you observe from your data. For example, now that you know that your slowest day is Tuesday, there are several actions you might consider:

  • Adjust staffing to align more with the actual traffic flows at your business
  • Plan on using this slow day to complete more back of the house tasks like cleaning and organizing, or even empower staff members to help create and post social media content
  • Incentivize customers to visit your store during slow times with special time-sensitive offers

The example above is a rather simple bit of insight from data that you can probably gather from your POS system. Here at AppCard, we help businesses to derive actionable customer and marketing insights.

Actionable Customer & Marketing Insight

The problem for most retailers is that customer purchase data and customer contact information exists in several different systems: POS, loyalty programs, email marketing systems (Mail Chimp or Constant Contact), and even SMS providers. With these separate data points, it’s impossible (or at least, very difficult) to gain insight about SKU-level customer purchase trends or marketing efficiency.

Let’s say you have a new product from a brand that you carry at your store. Are you able to:

  1. Identify customers who have purchased from that brand or purchased similar products in the past
  2. Deliver a personalized message to those customers with a special discount
  3. Automatically apply the discount from the marketing campaign to the transaction at the POS for qualifying campaign members
  4. Measure how many campaign members came in to purchase the new product as a result of your marketing campaign
  5. Measure much revenue your store generated as a result of the marketing campaign

No? You’re not alone, but AppCard can help. If you are looking to start a data-driven customer retention and marketing strategy, schedule a demo of AppCard to learn how we can help.

About Elaine Arnold

Elaine is a Senior Customer Success Manager at AppCard, the personalized marketing and rewards platform. Elaine specializes in helping independent grocers to engage their customers with data-driven marketing campaigns to grow their business.