SOURCE: Looker

Looker

July 30, 2014 09:00 ET

New Retail Poll Reveals Customer Data Insights Key to Capturing Crowds and Sales This Holiday Season

Looker Retail Poll Shows 66 Percent of Retailers Say Understanding Customer Behavior Is a Top Priority for Effective Ecommerce Planning

SANTA CRUZ, CA--(Marketwired - Jul 30, 2014) - Looker, an innovative software company with a next generation approach to business analytics, today released insights on the top data priorities for retailers ahead of planning for the holiday retail season. According to a quick poll of top retailers attending Chicago's Big Data & Analytics for Retail Summit, 66 percent believe the No. 1 way to ensure a successful holiday season is to understand customer behavior to drive sales and build loyalty. Moreover, four in 10 retailers feel they are still ineffective when it comes to using data to improve business performance. Ecommerce sales worldwide totaled $1.25 trillion last year, up from $1.06 trillion in 2012, according to researcher eMarketer, and effective use of business intelligence will give retail companies a strategic advantage, allowing them to drive more sales.

The Looker poll also revealed retailers' top challenges with business intelligence including ad hoc report requests that take up the majority of analysts' time (34 percent). Other challenges include the inability to collaborate across the business to uncover data insights (31 percent), disjointed data that hinders decision-making (31 percent) and standardized reports that don't allow the full analysis of data (16 percent).

"With Looker, we're no longer inundating our analysts with ad hoc report requests. Anyone can share reports on the fly. From our customer service representatives to our development team, product managers and C-level executives, Looker is used company-wide," said Haleemur Ali, business intelligence specialist at Frank & Oak, an online men's retailer. "We now have a BI platform that has greater flexibility for data models, allowing non-technical users the ability to poke around, explore the data and uncover insights to understand customer behavior and ultimately increase revenue."

Looker currently works with leading retail brands including Gilt, Warby Parker, The RealReal, CustomMade, Frank & Oak, ThredUp, and Storenvy. Representing top retailers that generate over $3 billion in annual revenue, Looker helps retailers deepen their understanding of data and discover actionable insights that result in increased revenue, more effective marketing campaigns, and personalized product offerings. Using Looker, retailers can easily access any level of data, including customers' online journeys -- critical to improving engagement and boosting transactions.

Retailers Share Their Holiday BI Wish List
The Looker retail poll also uncovered retailers' holiday business intelligence wish lists. At the top of the list were the ability to experiment with new data models without requiring new hardware, software or additional resources (25 percent) and a platform that allows staff to have access to explore the data they need to make their own decisions (22 percent). Other requests were the ability to provide top customer service by quickly responding to customer issues and complaints (16 percent) and speeding up their current analytics process (16 percent).

In lieu of the upcoming holiday shopping season, Looker CEO Frank Bien, is offering retailers three data tips to boost sales this holiday season:

1. Identify Your Most Valuable Customers: Use your transaction data to identify which customers bring you the most consecutive value. Then focus your best efforts on those with the highest lifetime value by targeting them with special offers and intuitive product mixes.
2. Rev Up Your Referral Business: It's no secret that your easiest business comes from currently satisfied customers. Boost your marketing referral tactics by offing rewards or discounts, then watch your customer network expand.
3. Learn From Your Returns: Do you have customers who return items with a much higher frequency than others? Are some products or specific sizes returned over and over again? Use your analytics to identify these trends. From here, you can choose to modify your products if you manufacture them as well or revisit your vendor stocking decisions.

For more information on Looker's Business Intelligence platform, visit www.looker.com.

Methodology: The Looker retail poll was conducted at the Big Data & Analytics for Retail Summit in Chicago on June 19-20, 2014. The results represent a sampling of over 125 senior-level retail business attendees.

About Looker
Looker is an inventive software company with a modern approach to unlocking the value of business data. Looker's web-based data discovery platform powers the work of data analysts while fueling (and fulfilling) the business user's curiosity -- creating a discovery-driven culture throughout the customer's organization. Looker was purpose-built to interact with the next generation of analytic databases, like Amazon Redshift, Amazon RDS, HP Vertica, Greenplum, and others. The company was founded by Lloyd Tabb, Principal Engineer at Netscape and former CTO of LiveOps. Investors in Looker include Redpoint Ventures, First Round Capital, and PivotNorth. The company is based in Santa Cruz, CA. You can find more information at www.looker.com

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