The critical element is making this information actionable. We have experience being involved rolling out scanning among multiple retail locations. The information provided by many POS systems and in-store traffic monitoring systems is awesome. The problem is that when you know everything about everything you end up knowing nothing! Information overload is common among retailers and more so with smaller retailers who do not have the people resources to mine the data. Traffic analytics is critical for proper staffing and inventory levels but having the information in an actionable way is the key. Simple exception reporting tools are vital because without action there is no ROI.
As an example, a small retailer that owns or manages more than one store will often find inconsistent and even contradictory traffic data, store by store, from the POS monitoring system. An initial conclusion may be that something could be wrong with the data monitoring! In fact, when traffic monitoring shows contradictory information this offers the best opportunity to get to the true root cause, because there will ALWAYS be important variables that have been overlooked. Data monitoring does not lie. Inconsistencies could be the result of a nearby direct competitor that is running a major promotion and it is just as likely that something else is going on. The data is the tip off; better look at this more closely and find the cause!
For instance, it may be assumed that shelf stocking and facings are nearly identical store by store, when it is possible that one store may not have replaced and faced a high traffic SKU…a shelf or display is empty. Inventory shown to be at the store remains boxed in the overstock bins in the back room. This shows up as poor sales and results in significantly lowering ROI. Exception reporting will identify this issue immediately and tells the small owner/manager that restocking is not being done properly.
POS Monitoring systems are invaluable and necessary. Whenever monitoring shows up an inconsistency there is always a reason! Exception reporting is a valuable tool and tips off the small retailer to look closely into the store to identify the cause.
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