3 min read
Reports and analytics give us the pulse of any business. In the case of Retail, it is even more important due to the permanent nature of promotions and offers to attract customers. Once we have the right data, a Retailer can make well-informed decisions to make the right offers, design the right promotions, and stock-up the right products to match promotions. Finally, the bottom line in terms of dollars is the real retail business health check.
Retailers use various reports to engage in discussions with operating teams and chalk out plans for improvement. Reports not only help to analyze business performance but also improve the team’s performance. In Retail, one must review Daily Trading Performance, Weekly Trading Performance and Monthly Trading Performance. These three reports, if structured well, can give the essential performance details, and point towards improvement actions.
Trading performance reports are generally clustered with several columns and numbers. Whatever way a report is designed, following top 5 must reflect in clear terms to any conventional or modern reader
1. How many winning categories
2. How many losing categories
3. Gross Margin
4. How many winning stores
5. How many losing stores
Retail trading performance reports must be done in short sprints and measure category, shop, and margins. The short sprint review helps to make some quick decisions and improve performance on a continuous improvement basis. The trading reports may have a comparison to yesterday’s performance, till date performance of that week, till date performance of that month, till year performance, all of the above compared with a similar period of last year. The comparative trading of today’s to the previous day or this week to last week or this week to the same week of the past year sometimes posts the problem of the number of trading days being not the same due to holidays or extended trading hours. While comparing, necessary adjustments must be made in the previous comparative period to reflect the right comparison. Automation of this adjustment is vital as otherwise; one will get down to spreadsheets to make manual corrections and adjustments.
It will be useful to showcase the top 5 indicators with differentiated visualization so that it grabs attention instantly. One can present information in charts or tables, as per the digital literacy of the Retail enterprise. However, a picture can tell a thousand words and it will be useful to convert them into smart charts that can package five different information without clustering and bringing out essential indicators or insights with clarity as well. Various colour codes can be used to differentiate information so that no one misses review of the critical ones.
Keeping the importance of these three reports, Retail ViVA has got matured reporting formats, perfected over the last 14 years of usage by our clients. Our dashboards also reflect these in single charts without clustering so that users get it at a glance.
If these critical reports are designed well, Retailers can spend less time getting to understand the significant positive and negative drivers and change course to correct them. If the reports are overwhelmed with lots of information, top divergent indicators may get buried and may go actionless. Simple design with all essential information, enhanced decision making and achieving business growth should be the motto of every modern Retailer. On the contrary, an ill-structured report will not only waste management time but also prove to be ineffective for decision making. Hence, Retailers must focus on designing their performance reports with the utmost attention.