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Time to start managing specifics instead of averages

Time to start managing specifics instead of averages

There’s good reason to believe the growing use of digital in grocery shopping will help, not hurt food retailers, assuming that they do a couple of key things:

• Accept that digital influence is changing how people shop and turn this to advantage.

• Move from managing averages to managing the specifics of the business.

I want to focus on the second item. If managing the specifics vs. the averages sounds abstract, consider how DSD has changed in recent years. Not long ago, retailers worked with invoice totals, and today management is done at the item level.

Our growing ability to analyze data (no matter how big or small) creates a similar opportunity in merchandising and operations. This can have a significant impact on overall performance — by doing the following for starters.

• Identifying price-sensitive shoppers and ways to make them more profitable.

• Improving the forecasts for promoted products.

These are two of 12 specific merchandising and operating opportunities where retailers can use big data to improve performance. We identified them through extensive conversations with retailing professionals active across the industry — and now we want to identify which of the 12 has the greatest near-term potential and which are easiest/most difficult to execute. You can help. Take the short survey we’re conducting at Brick Meets Click. We need your perspective.

Please take the survey NOW*. It takes less than 5 minutes to complete, and everyone who participates will receive a copy of the results. I look forward to sharing the topline findings in a future post.

*The survey will close on Friday, Nov. 21, 2014 at 10 p.m. CT.

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