Making visibility visionary

As a member of Zebra’s PartnerConnect Programme, it’s always exciting when a new campaign matches our own aspirations so closely.

Zebra’s new ‘Visibility that’s Visionary’ campaign does just that.

Real time information is absolutely vital in today’s ultra-connected world. With the amount of data that is collected in any industry, it’s crucial that systems are able to rapidly analyse that data and give managers insight that they are able to act on quickly.

The retail industry is certainly no exception. In fact, with data being captured from a variety of sources such as POS, footfall, stock levels and staff performance, it’s one of the most data heavy industries around – and that is only going to continue with the introduction of IoT devices.

Zebra’s three step ‘Sight and Insight’ process is a great example of how technology can give managers, and others, the visibility they need to make decisions that will steer their business on the path to success.

Photo by Ellie Pritts

It also demonstrates the power of visual analytics, which makes data easy to interpret and share with the decision makers inside a business.

First, there is sense. This means making use of all of your connected devices to collect the data that will help you now and in the future.

Next is analyse. This is where you need real time insight so that you see what is going on in your business at any time and create effective short- as well as long-term strategies based on your data.

Finally, there is act. This is where you put your findings into practice. The data you collect will tell you how successful your strategic decisions have been, and you can continue to refine and return to the first ‘sense’ stage of the process.

It’s about seeing the big picture, but also making sure that seemingly minor details aren’t ignored. If visibility is going to be visionary, we need to make sure that data is analysed and presented in a way that helps to grow and sustain retail businesses.

This doesn’t always mean replicating the success of one store at another. After all, different locations often require a different approach, as what is popular in a central London store may not be so in demand in a rural northern area.

But with the right insight managers can make the decisions that will improve productivity, connectivity and customer experience.

For example, a clothing retailer may discover that a certain belt is often purchased in addition to the best selling jeans in one location. Although the jeans may not be the best selling item in all locations, the retailer can instruct staff to upsell the belt with other jeans or move it nearer to the purchase point to encourage customers to make an additional purchase.

This is one of many smaller improvements that, when combined with others, can make a big difference to a retail business.

If your data isn’t giving you the visibility you need to make changes to develop your business, whether you have one location or 100, it’s likely that a new strategy that includes visual analytics could help you improve.

So review your decision making today and make sure that your visibility is visionary!

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