Analytics help move merchandise
With rising costs, stiffer competition and lower consumer confidence, retailers need to squeeze every advantage from the information they hold. Unfortunately, that information often inhabits disparate places, under different systems and in multiple formats. IBM's intellectual property has the means to mine the value hidden in those seams of data.
Knowing what consumers want, for example, makes it a lot easier to offer—at the right time and in the right place—merchandise that sells. IBM offers an approach that models customer behavior. Unlike typical methods based on demographics, IBM's approach combines statistical, machine-learning and text analysis to distill consumers' interests and tastes. Another approach using IBM technology analyzes the lifetime value of customers, weighing that value against the financial risks of skewing a merchandise portfolio a certain way.
Analytics-based offerings can even help retailers be sure that sales accrue to the bottom line by monitoring checkout processes through video and transaction logs. The result: less shrinkage and more profit. Analytics can also help make self checkout more efficient.
And to be sure the right person is doing the right job, a workforce management solution analyzes workplace needs and the expertise of possible candidates for the best matches. Another suite of tools forecasts demand for projects and skills, decreasing the planning cycle, complementing opportunities and resources, and coordinating sales and delivery for projects and skills.
IBM's intellectual property also stands ready to help retail leaders make better decisions through technology that replaces spreadsheets and bolsters financial modeling and management capabilities. Other approaches optimize inventory levels by using "what-if" analysis.
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