NRF: Building a Digital Transformation Dashboard for Retail


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Or rather (to be entirely clear): How could we successfully deploy an Executive Dashboard that becomes the best possible tool for retailers aiming to manage their own digital transformation?

Just to cut to the chase, I propose seven steps:

Step 1: Lay out the key mechanisms through which consumer empowerment is disrupting your particular market (insofar as they are connected to your own mission within the company).

These could be:

  • The impact of mobile POS that connect to centralized, cloud-based systems (vs. store-level infrastructure)
  • Connecting digital signage, iBeacons and mobile
  • Turning stores into Click n’ Collect facilitators while maintaining the showroom experience
  • Embracing new loyalty marketing techniques while guaranteeing consumer privacy, confidentiality and data security
  • Simplifying the checkout and payment process across online and in-store experiences


Step 2. Ponder the Key Performance Indicators (the “What”) and multi-dimensional charts (the “Why”) that will allow you to monitor such key mechanisms as they start feeding into current levels of consumer satisfaction, stock efficiencies or other high-level business objectives.

For instance:

  • KPIs (What?): Percentage of stores counting on mobile POS, average order value, In-store average time spent, average cost per online visit, conversion rate, cross-selling index, percentage of In-store pickups (vs all online orders), percentage of customers declining acceptance of new privacy policy, etc.
  • Charts (Why?): Average order value by channel, cross-channel customer engagement by product line, In-store pickups by location, failed checkouts by payment type, etc.


Step 3. Establish goals for each of your internal stakeholders, leveraging predictive modeling to ascertain potential future outcomes based on historical data (ie. keeping goals realistic).

Step 4. Use such goals (and alerts) to direct data analysts to the areas that should become a priority for their exploratory efforts.

Step 5. Encourage data analysts to enrich your weekly/monthly/quarterly status updates with their own proposals, ideas or insights. If priorities are clearly set you may already count on these insights by the time dashboards are accessed at executive level.

Step 6. Track the impact of applying such ideas through the evolution of the very same metrics that have inspired them (ie. use a “timeline”).

Step 7. Provide an extremely simple way to consume this highly-distilled, extremely concentrated shot of status updates and insights: Automated PDF exports by email, PPT exports, native mobile apps, smartwatch apps.

How does it sound? Are you already doing something similar?

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Sergio Maldonado

Founder & Chairman at Sweetspot. Author, speaker on analytics, marketing technology, privacy compliance. JD, LLM (Internet law). Once a dually-admitted lawyer. Father of three. I love surfing and cooking.

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