Shop.org presents an absolutely fantastic learning opportunity for retailers. This year, the event will focus content around three distinct themes:
– digital marketing optimization
– harnessing disruption
– multichannel success
We’re really eager to have the opportunity to meet as many of you as possible next week and we’re hoping to be able to provide you with support on the items mentioned above, as well as to answer the question: “how can retailers successfully deploy an executive dashboard solution to optimize their digital marketing, harness disruption and ensure multichannel success?”
We’ve previously written on this theme, but let’s dive back in to explore the seven steps we proposed to help retailers implement their best possible dashboard solution:
Explore how you could use them to help you achieve your mission.
Some examples may be:
Develop a relevant collection of key measures (KPIs to tell you “what” is being impacted, and charts/tables to show you “why”) that will help each stakeholder answer their top priority questions – you may agree that the most effective retail reports would ideally be customized to suit the specific needs of each individual or department.
Executives may require KPIs that show how well they are achieving acceptable levels of customer satisfaction, stock efficiencies or other high level business objectives, while managers may require more operational metrics relevant to their areas. Some examples are:
– 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.
In our experience, metrics with goals tied to them prove far more effective for internal stakeholders than metrics presented on their own. Using your company-wide mission statement and industry benchmarks will help you to set these goals properly, as will leveraging historical data to ensure that they remain realistic, yet still ambitious at the same time. Predictive modeling, which uses historical data to forecast potential future outcomes, alongside these goals can help you to glean whether you are on the path to achieving them, or whether adjustments are required, well in advance of deadlines.
Working with clients has led us to observe that often the most successful organizations regularly review and adjust their goals. For the best results, it’s simply not enough to set a goal and celebrate when you achieve it, you must take success as a sign that while you are doing well, you still have room for improvement. Conversely, where you do not attain goals, you should not sit back and feel defeated, but analyze whether you didn’t succeed because you made poor decisions, or because the initial goal was infact not realistic.
Often we see a disconnect between the analysis expertise of digital analysts and the business knowledge of executives. To help us bridge this gap, and ensure that analysts and executives are working together to optimize both skill sets, we can set up systems to direct analysts to areas where their work can make the greatest difference. For example, we can establish:
– Automated alerts. By pre-defining agreed upon levels of performance for our indicators, we can automatically point analysts to important areas for exploration. Of course, it’s vital to continually revise these alert levels as we see changing market conditions, consumer expectations and internal performance.
– Goals. By tying KPIs to goals, we can at all times see the success, or lack thereof, of our efforts. Where an analyst sees that we are not meeting goals, they can quickly ascertain that further data discovery may be necessary.
– Communication systems. By opening up accessible channels of communications between these two groups we can improve collaboration for better results.
Your data analysts have a wealth of understanding, and when directed to the right areas for analysis, can add invaluable insight to your reports by enriching them with their own proposals, ideas and comments. Frequent and timely addition of insights will give stakeholders unprecedented access to the expertise of data analysts and increase their understanding.
There’s is no better way to improve your future results than by looking at your historical performance. While industry benchmarks and best practices, case studies and guides can offer unquestionable value, there is nothing that quite compares to an analysis of your own efforts and results. Your specific mission, market conditions, internal company processes and cultures impact everything that you do, and hence an action that may have worked wonderfully for your competitor may just not yield you the same results. Although changing conditions over time will of course impact the present validity of past actions, they are a great place to start when looking for creative solutions to poor performance.
We suggest tracking the influence of the ideas you have previously implemented on a timeline of the specific metrics they have impacted. By calculating the effect of these on past performance, and keeping records of observations on why they had the impact they did, we can continue to learn and improve.
Your retail reports should be easy to read, clear, usable and contextual. They should also encourage constant referral through the use of alerts and notifications that inform you when specific areas need attention.
Additionally, access is paramount to allowing consumption. Each retail dashboard should be delivered to its intended consumer in the manner that best suits them. While some stakeholders will prefer native mobile apps or smartwatch apps, others may prefer to receive scheduled PDF or PPTX exports directly to their email.
Why don’t you share your ‘top tips’ for increasing digital marketing performance and making the most of disruptive technologies with us in the comments below?
Or to see an omnichannel retail dashboard in action, visit us at booth #421 October 5-7th at Shop.Org!
Not Another Dashboard.