ABOF: The Strategic Role of Competitive Intelligence in Modern Retail
When retailers today look to compete in the cutthroat world of online commerce, they face several challenges unique to the nature of modern retail. It is now significantly harder for retailers to benchmark their pricing, assortment, and promotions against their competition, as the online world is highly dynamic and significantly more complex than before.
Trends like the growing adoption of mobile shopping apps, the rising influence of customer reviews in buying behavior, hyperlocal e-commerce websites differentiating themselves by fulfilling deliveries in a matter of hours — the list goes on — have only added to this complexity.
However, this complexity also presents an opportunity for retailers to incorporate layers of external competitive information into their merchandising strategies to deliver more value to customers and personalize their experience.
Vipul Mathur, Chief Branding and Merchandising Officer at Aditya Birla Online Fashion, recently published an article highlighting some of the areas in which Competitive Intelligence providers like DataWeave can strategically influence modern merchandising.
“The consumer is often driven by the aesthetics of a product, more so in the fashion and lifestyle industries than others. Hence, the choices of buyers are hard to interpret. However, innovative modern technologies are helping us understand these decisions,” says Vipul.
He provides an example of how using AI-based tools (like DataWeave’s) to unearth the sentiments behind thousands of online reviews can help retailers better channel and message their online promotions.
“Deciphering the consumers’ comments and converting them into tangible insights is incredible proof of the refinement possible with data analysis tools. It’s like knowing that consumers are delighted by the quality of the soles of a pair of Adidas running shoes. Using this, marketing communication can be modified to highlight this specific product feature,” explains Vipul.
And it’s not just merchandising. This data can percolate across multiple functions in retail, enabling greater efficiency in operations. “If we have data on the best-selling styles across websites, including other attributes like pricing, region/locality (through pin-code mapping), and possibly even rate of sales, it’s up to our supply-chain systems to ensure that the supply is in accordance with demand.”
DataWeave’s Retail Intelligence offers global retailers and e-commerce websites with these benefits and more. Our AI-powered technology platform aggregates and analyzes vast volumes of online competitive data and presents them in an easily consumable and actionable form, aiding quick, data-driven merchandising decisions.
“DataWeave, our partner, has helped us refine our merchandising decisions, saving cost and creating value,” sums up Vipul.