Today's data-driven world means that leading retail businesses want to implement future-proof strategies and implement merchandising experiences that promote a customer-centric approach. McKinsey & Co. highlighted the fact that COVID-19 drove digital retail. These retail businesses are collecting and analyzing vast amounts of data to gain valuable insights, and to unlock or spot opportunities in every element of the sales cycle. Looking at pricing with margin optimization, for example, helps them to optimize or localize assortments or conduct automated competitive shopping.
The Value of Implementing Data Insights Into Your Retail Business
Here at EDITED, our customers realize the value of data insights every day. Tommy Hilfiger uses Market Intelligence to enable it to be ‘bold and innovative,’ while PUMA UK uses data to help it ‘make decisions on a local level and share with the wider global team.’
Leveraging data analysis is essential for driving business success. However, the first step is to implement retail data intelligence into your organization. The challenge lies in how your teams effectively communicate those insights to drive action and make informed decisions.
Storytelling with data insights is a powerful approach to transforming raw data into actionable information. Gartner predicts that data storytelling will dominate business intelligence by 2025. Retailers increasingly rely on a combination of art (creativity) and science (through the application of data) to deliver more informed analysis, justification in their decision-making and to improve profit margins.
By understanding how to apply data analysis and storytelling techniques, you and your teams across the business can effectively communicate the insights that influence decision-making within your retail business.
6 Steps To Help Your Teams Craft Compelling Stories With Data Insights
Discover the six steps to help your teams craft compelling story narratives.
- Start with a clear purpose
Every great story begins with a purpose, and storytelling with data is no exception. Define the objective of your narrative. Are you trying to showcase a new trend your teams should be investing in? Wanting to highlight an assortment that is underpriced? Or are you keen to present a white space opportunity to plug an assortment gap? Clarifying your purpose will guide the structure and focus of your story. Tie it to your business objectives to set a solid foundation and intention.
- Understand your audience
To engage your audience, you need to understand their needs, preferences and level of data literacy. Tailor your story accordingly, using language and visuals that resonate with them. Design teams may be interested to understand the ‘New In’ option counts across the latest trends, while pricing teams might be keen to focus on how competitors have increased specific prices across core lines, for example. Your senior teams will want to focus on higher-level overviews.
- Talk your audience’s language to craft a compelling narrative
A well-crafted narrative captivates your audience and helps them connect with the data on an emotional level. Perhaps begin by drawing on last year or similar examples your team is familiar with. Include metrics that your audience is familiar with while introducing new and exciting metrics that are going to give them a wider and more rounded view of what they are looking to achieve. Start by providing the context of the situation -introduce the problem or scenario you are addressing. Then, progress through a logical storyline, building tension and revealing relevant insights along the way. Use anecdotes, examples or real-life scenarios to make the data relatable and engaging.
- Visualize your data
Visuals play a vital role in storytelling with data. Remember, a picture is worth a thousand words. Choose visual representations in a logical order that follows your story. Dashboards can easily illustrate your points using charts and graphs that best showcase the patterns and relationships within your data. Use templates to help you get started in using this format. Organizing the data in a way that follows your narrative helps keep your audience engaged. Investing in a retail intelligence tool can automate much of the heavy lifting, save you time and support you through simplified, engaging and templated dashboard displays. Here at EDITED, we encourage leading retailers to consider using a mix of trending data and critical KPIs to highlight varied data across your dashboards. With this, our users can make quick actions or maintain the ability to monitor longer trends to decide the appropriate time needed to make a decision, depending on the data and their strategies.
- Engage and connect to spark new ideas and innovation
To make your story memorable, engage your audience by involving them emotionally. Innovation requires the exploration of continuous possibilities. Use storytelling techniques, such as suspense, surprise or even humor. Encourage active participation of your audience by asking thought-provoking questions to spark new ideas or incorporate interactive elements like quizzes or polls. Foster a connection between your audience and the data to drive deeper engagement.
- Refer back to your objectives, highlight implications and actions
Conclude your story by highlighting the implications of the data insights and suggesting actionable steps that need to be taken. This should relate back to your business objectives to ensure that everything is driving the wider message of the business. Communicate how these insights can benefit your audience to drive positive change or inform decision-making. Provide practical recommendations that your audience can implement in the context of their roles. Inspire them to take action based on their new-found knowledge.
Get Started With Actionable Data Insights Today
By embracing data analysis and utilizing storytelling techniques, you can unlock the power of data insights in your retail business. From understanding the context to engaging your audience and providing actionable recommendations, this approach bridges the gap between data analysis and decision-making, ultimately driving success in the competitive retail industry.
EDITED is the world’s leading AI-driven merchandising experience platform that empowers brands and retailers with real-time decision-making power that drives profits and inspires customers.
We help retailers increase margins, generate more sales and drive better outcomes through AI-driven Market and Enterprise Intelligence to fuel Automation. By connecting business analytics and external market data, retail’s most successful brands and retailers use EDITED’s Platform to get closer to their best customers and future-proof their business.