September 2018 has regrettably seen a slump in UK retail sales despite a ‘bumper summer’, according to City A.M . A fall in sales suggests that factors relating to changing consumer habits, squeezed household incomes and digital disruption all play a key role in determining retail growth, and further indicates that retailers today face significant challenges .
If we look at the face of the world we live in today, it is evident that the digital revolution is here to stay; e-commerce, Instagram, Twitter, Amazon, Uber; are among just thousands upon thousands of online and data giants that consume the global economy.
Online fashion retailer Boohoo jumped more than 10 per cent after it bumped up its forecast for full-year sales growth after a stellar first half, compared to store retailers that have suffered a slump in sales. Profit rose 22 per cent for the business to £24.7 million in the six months to August 31, according to the Retail Gazette.
The difficulty retailers face today is the takeover of technology and big analytics tools adopted by e-commerce companies, used in order to track consumer trends and demand, to stay ahead of competitors and monitor industry performance.
Boohoo, which also owns online fashion retailer PrettyLittleThing.com, saw revenue hit £395m within the first six months of the year, marking a sharp 50 per cent rise compared with the same period in 2017. These figures show that fast-growing online retailers are taking over the high street, and pushing store retailers further down the rankings, indicating a lesser demand for in-store shopping and a consistent rise of online usage.
With the use of big analytics tools, online retailers are able to produce a fast-changing collection, in copious quantities and sizes, a wider range of products, clearance and sales sections, and promotional offers.
For online retailers such as Boohoo, it is much easier to use big analytics tools as they can access real-time data and integrate it into Populous World’s business intelligence platform and derive meaningful conclusions which then leads to better decision making and efficient business operations.
With this information and other sources of big data, retailers can capture changing consumer trends and behaviour to predict customer demands, which can advance them ahead of competitors and offer a competitive edge. Big data is becoming a game changer in the retail sector and has impacted the landscape of retail for the foreseeable future.
According to the Economist, data has now overtaken the oil as the most valuable resource in the world. As competition gets more intense, it is time for businesses to synergise internal analytics data with external data all in one platform to reap the rewards of the world’s most valuable resource.
Lou Chan, Populous World.
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