11th May, 2020
, , Designation
Essentials and non-essentials.
These two opposites have always been categorized subjectively depending upon social, economic, local, and legal factors that one follows. However, COVID19 has successfully removed the subjectivity and has brought about clear-cut demarcation between essentials & non-essentials, be it across the business or life-style choices.
Flowing from this is the wide-raging understanding that in times of crisis – the focus should be sustenance and further building strength for essentials. If we can build our efficiencies with this focus, there are high chances that we may well be on the path to glitch-free adoption of the new normal. Focussing on essentials and building efficiencies require in-depth analytics and insights to aid data-based decisions. Hence, no wonder that in a crisis like the current one, there has been a spurt of proponents for maintaining the continuity of data analytics programs at various levels. The uncertainty has provided an opportunity to collect and collate data, to analyse it for deep insights & design marketing actions to achieve measurable impact as soon as normal is back.
Macro retail elements for consideration
1. Geo trends: It is a global village but not every village is at the same position on the COVID19 trajectory. While there are markets that are bouncing back, there are others who are completely locked down and still others that are relatively untouched pockets. The pandemic timeline must be an important consideration when you are trying to identify the potential markets
2. Physical store traction vs online platform: The lockdown has impacted footfall to physical stores and has put the business of merchandising and related activities on hold. However, an online platform that targets mass reach out is a viable alternative. Consumer attention has shifted to online and the online space is now the hub of potential buyers. Marketers can analyse a variety of data to understand customer buying trends across channels, products, brands, categories etc and leverage it for marketing campaigns accordingly. The trends are accessible for services also.
3. The onslaught of digital touchpoints: Apps are effectively bridging the social distancing gaps have become very important community connectors in these times. These touchpoints can be explored for building and strengthening the CRM databases while marketers can draw insights on the target market and trends.
4. Cohesive omnichannel campaigns: flowing from the above points, you would understand that in the long run an omnichannel market campaign is a sure-shot way of sales success. Analysis of customer behaviour delivers significant insights into designing such cohesive omnichannel campaigns.
5. Analysing present for predicting future: While the retail business is grappling with several challenges the moment ranging from health and safety of the workforce, availability of workforce, cash flow, supply chain management, stockpiling, pricing, etc it may not always be so. The new normal would not be easy if we only focus on finding solutions to these short- term challenges. Pandemic is surrounded by uncertainties and the best way to be ready for next normal is to analyse data and design strategies to recover lost sales opportunities and strengthen market share once the lockdown is over.
In a nutshell, marketers need to invest in data analytics to be proactive and lead from front. You may never know new opportunities can be lurking around that may have been missed earlier. Analytics can be leveraged to
- Identify customers, products and processes that aid in maximizing revenue
- Map expenditures against performance to help identify the scope of reducing expenses and drive operational efficiency
- Deep dive into trends data to identify change indicators and accurately forecast changes
If you want to deep dive into ‘Analytics at the time of crisis’ read Making the best case for Analytics in Lockdown