I found some very interesting insights in the January 2014 report, Retail Analytics Moves to the Frontline., written by Brian Kilcourse and Paula Rosenblum from RSR research. In particular, I was happy to note from the survey that winning retailers have a more data-driven decision making process, focus more on customers and put more information in the hands of front-line employees, but I will save that for my next post. 

More interesting to me, and a bit counter-intuitive is what the laggards bring to the table:

“Laggards are operating at a more primal level: they can’t find the budget required for new capabilities, and they find existing tools too complex. RSR believes that the older tools are indeed more complex. That’s why Winners continue looking for fresh talent to manage them. But laggards, who are already cash constrained are not willing to look for expensive analytical talent. Rather, they prefer simpler tools. Frankly, in this regard, we agree with them. Tools have indeed improved. It’s time to take a look at new technologies” (RSR Research, November 2014).

organizational inhibitorsRetail Analytics vs. The Competition

Interestingly, the group in the middle of the survey results – the average performers – is looking for a leapfrog effect over their stronger competitors with “Better use of next-generation analytical tools and capabilities is seen as a potential game changer for these retailers.”

See part two.