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SAS® Analytics: The nervous system that brings omnichannel retail to life

Modern retailers thrive with strategic use of data 

13 January 2014 - Merchandising and marketing lie at the heart of successful modern retailing. But retail analytics ignites the industry's central nervous system by helping retailers compete more effectively across sales channels. Retailers are analysing data to make precise decisions about everything, from crafting relevant offers for on-the-go consumers to displaying the right assortment of merchandise. Software from business analytics leader SAS makes omnichannel retailing live and breathe.

"Consumers don't think in terms of 'channels,' and neither should retailers," said Lori Schafer, SAS Retail Executive Advisor and co-author of Branded! How Retailers Engage Consumers with Social Media and Mobility . "They think 'I need to buy shoes today,' rather than, 'I'll buy shoes from this retailer's website instead of driving to their store today.' She's going to buy shoes in the most convenient way. The retailer who moves fluidly in this channel-agnostic environment wins."

Schafer points to several trends influencing the omnichannel retail experience, including:

  • BYOD (Bring your own device). A handheld device like a tablet or a smartphone is now standard for shopping and gathering product and pricing information on the fly.

  • On-the-go check out. Traditional in-store point-of-sale (POS) systems are giving way to mobile checkout as sales associates carry tablets and consumers use their own devices to check out.

  • In-store beaconing. Displays with electronic sensors use consumers’ phone signals to count how many shoppers walk past a particular display, how many stop to browse, and how frequently someone returns to a store.

  • In-store Wi-Fi. Retailers are installing in-store Wi-Fi for customers’ convenience and to offer customised, localised promotions and incentives directly to individuals.

  • Analytics. Retail analytics is as valuable a currency as half-off promotional codes in the omnichannel environment. Without analytics revealing facts to support decisions, retailers operate on gut feel – not good business decisions.

"A consumer essentially carries around a whole store on the smartphone in his or her pocket," said Brian Kilcourse, RSR Research Managing Partner. "Retailers know they need to upgrade their technology portfolio to understand consumers' complex path to purchase. It's critical for them to reach customers in new ways, and that can only happen if retailers gather and analyse customer data." In 2013, RSR Research issued a Benchmark Report called Omni-Channel 2013: The Long Road to Adoption. 

Progressive retailers work with SAS

SAS' powerful analytics combined with its extensive retail industry experience empowers retailers to anticipate customers' desires and drive business. Retailers can gain access to SAS' portfolio of retail and customer intelligence software through several different investment, deployment and growth options.

SAS retail customers include A&P, Aeropostale, Ann Taylor, AutoZone, Belk, Best Buy, Brooks Brothers, Cabela's, Carrefour, Casino, Casual Male, Charming Shoppes, Chico's FAS Inc., Coach, DSW, Eddie Bauer, Family Dollar, Foot Locker, Gander Mountain, Godiva, Hallmark, Harry & David, Hudson's Bay Company, Kohl's, Macy's, Mark's Work Wearhouse, Marks & Spencer, Nestle, Northern Tool & Equipment, Office Depot, Overstock.com, S-Group, Sainsbury's, Stage Stores, Staples, Tesco, Tractor Supply Company, Waitrose, Wakefern, Williams-Sonoma, Winn-Dixie and 1-800-FLOWERS.COM.

Learn more about SAS Retail Intelligence and SAS Customer Intelligence , download The Art of Decisive Merchandising, and visit SAS at the NRF 103rd Annual Convention and EXPO in Booth 2455. 

About SAS

SAS is the leader in business analytics software and services, and the largest independent vendor in the business intelligence market. Through innovative solutions, SAS helps customers at more than 65,000 sites improve performance and deliver value by making better decisions faster. Since 1976 SAS has been giving customers around the world The Power to Know® .

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e-mail saspressoffice@suk.sas.com
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