The Power of Real-Time Data
As the home furnishings industry grows, expands and changes form, we’re witnessing the evolution of business enhanced by technology and real-time data. And, there’s no better example than Moe’s Home Furnishings. They’re a step ahead online with visible inventory that solves for customer pain point (out-of-stock items) before the pain becomes a problem.
For those of you who are new to digital, real-time data is most simply defined as information that is presented as it is acquired. The truth of this is that real-time doesn’t necessarily mean in this moment, but it’s certainly more accurate than traditional methods. Real-time data may or may not be customer facing. And, it is as applicable in a traditional store as it is online.
Real-time data matters to retailers because it allows merchants to identify and respond to trends as they happen. This provides an opportunity to capitalize on consumer behavior – while simultaneously offering a more personalized shopping experience. This translates as product placement changes, pricing changes both online and in store and so forth.
A wonderful in-store example is Dragonfly, developed by Black Swan. The system uses in-store cameras focused on a display that synthesizes movement to create a heat map that shows customer interest and interaction with product. The real-life benefit of this type of data is that store associates can evaluate and adjust displays accordingly – as interest moves and changes – for more effective and profitable merchandising.
Amber Engine has created a technology that allows for data transfers between home furnishings manufacturers and retailers, including dimensions, product specifications, options and imagery. Retailers can leverage the information online as well as in store for a more personalized shopping experience based on customer wants and needs.
This type of digital integration addresses consumers’ growing expectations of connected businesses. As our reliance on devices increase, people expect a stronger and more diverse digital experience from retailers. And that’s not just on their dot com.
In a 2016 Forrester study titled “Real-Time Data Drives the Future of Retail,” consumers revealed they want store associates equipped with devices enabled to check inventory, deliver product data and reserve inventory at another physical location. In short, they want technology to enhance the shopping experience for an easier, more efficient and personalized exchange.
The challenge for retailers is transitioning legacy systems and updating existing technology. The change can be costly and time consuming, but the payoff is worth it. No one can dispute a business evolution that creates a happy marriage of brick and click.
But, in the move, remember to keep your customers in mind. They want an enhanced customer experience, online and in-store. So, it is the retailer’s responsibility to anticipate and solve for potential problems, before they occur. In turn, this creates improvements in operational excellence – which means that when real-time data is used to benefit the customer, everyone wins.
For the latest data insights, go to www.amberengine.com/