Improve business relationships with retail data analytics

by | Mar 9, 2020 | Collaboration, Data Management, Omnichannel, Suppliers

Fifteen minutes before their annual buyer meeting, a supplier of premium sandals received a spreadsheet from their retail customer. The spreadsheet included data on how their sandals had been selling by store and by region. 

This supplier scrambled to make recommendations for the upcoming selling season based on the limited information they received at the last minute. They did their best in the moment, but how much could they have improved their business relationship if they had received the right data in advance?

Retail data sharing empowers suppliers to make proactive recommendations

Retailers are now selling more products, across more channels and managing it all with smaller teams. This means retailers are increasingly counting on their suppliers to understand and help manage their own products’ performance both online and in stores. 

Despite the growing need for suppliers to proactively advise buyers, suppliers often don’t have the data they need. The data they do get is typically incomplete, inconsistent or difficult to analyze. 

So how are some suppliers managing to win this battle? Many companies are turning to retail data analytics solutions to solve these business challenges. While analytics is by no means new, innovative companies are tapping into retail data in new ways to jointly improve their business relationships. This data is particularly useful when used in advance of planning meetings.

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Transform your buyer meetings with actionable insights

Most suppliers don’t have the opportunity to spend much time with their buyers, so every interaction needs to count. Here are three strategies for using retail sales data to make your meetings a win-win for both you and your retail customers:

1- Improve business relationships by doing your homework.

Use the data you have, whether that’s available in a portal, buyer’s report, spreadsheet or other format. Be sure to ask your retailers for additional data or more timely data if you don’t have what you need. Form a perspective on how your products are performing and make recommendations based on the data.

2- Take ownership of your products’ success (or failure).

Watch how your products are performing at the store level. If you see the risk of a potential stockout or overstock, point it out. Likewise, take the opportunity to make recommendations on replacing lower performing products with products that have sold well with other retailers. Don’t worry if your retail partner doesn’t immediately take your advice. They will appreciate the recommendation and know they can count on you to be accountable for results.

3- Look smart by being proactive!

Your competitors are likely taking advantage of retail sales data so you should be doing the same. Be prepared to walk into your buyer meeting with a complete rundown of how your products are performing. Rather than asking for your retailer’s advice, come in with an informed opinion and lead the conversation.

These strategies are especially important for formal buyer meetings, but can also help guide a well-timed emails or phone calls. Use them to enhance your buyer relationships, strengthen inventory decisions and take advantage of selling opportunities. 

Discover how to make your buyer interactions more productive and collaborative by leveraging retail sales data. Download our Retail Data Analytics Playbook to learn more.


Nick Schwalbach
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