Why 92% of Brands Want to Do More with POS Data  

By Christopher Di Grazia

With brands battling to keep up with the constant change so common in retail today, it should come as little
surprise that 92 percent of product vendors selling through mass market retailers want to do more with POS
data. The intensification of competition and the rising importance of emerging retail technologies has forced
brands and retailers to adapt. Yet with great change comes great opportunity, a point made clear by the
92 percent.

In a recent industry study, the 2018 POS Data Study, Askuity surveyed brands on how they’re approaching a new, disrupted retail environment. More specifically, the study focused on the use of POS data, and how it can be best applied to help face these challenges.

The study paints a positive picture for brands in the brick-and-mortar space. Despite a clear gap between what brands are doing and what they could be doing, the overall attitude is one of willingness and adaptability. The question is no longer about who wants to use data to succeed in store. It’s now about how can we use data to succeed in store. With this in mind, let’s explore some of the key findings from the study.

Key Finding #1
An Important Partnership: Now, more than ever, brands and retailers live in a world characterized by codependency. With the vast majority of survey participants acknowledging that they regularly bring point-of-sale data into buyer meetings, it’s clear that this understanding is shared among almost all product vendors. Fifty-seven percent of brands surveyed want to do even more to help strengthen their buyer relationships with POS. Whether this means coming to buyer meetings backed with data to recommend changes to product assortments based on historical performance, or recognizing purchasing trends specific to regions, the opportunities for brands to do more with POS data with their buyers is extensive.

Key Finding #2
Efficiency and Effectiveness: Buyer meetings, however, are only one part of the puzzle. Eighty percent of participants in the 2018 POS Data Study acknowledged that they had a field sales team, highlighting the importance of field presence for retail brands. Yet managing a field team comes with a wide range of challenges. One such problem is knowing how to enable remote sales teams with actionable information they can use to drive success. With 53 percent of brands already empowering their teams with POS on their mobile devices, it’s clear that brands have already begun using available technology to mobilize their field team. Of the brands that are not currently doing so, 81 percent admitted that their team would benefit from having real-time POS and inventory data in field.

Key Finding #3 
The Application Evolution: The real-world use cases of POS data stretch far beyond buyer meetings and field teams. Participants in the study were asked to report scenarios in which POS data could positively affect the way they operate. Brands outlined that they are most interested in leveraging point of sale data to improve planning and forecasting (69 percent), followed by gaining better visibility into new product launches (62 percent), reducing out of stocks (58 percent) and enhancing promotions (57 percent). With so many different applications across different business units, it’s not surprising to see so many brands looking to make better use of POS data.

Retail has changed. But rather than pessimism, it appears brands are approaching this new dawn with fresh optimism. Of course, there currently exists a gap between what brands want to do and what they can do, but that gap is closing quickly. With 92 percent of survey participants wanting to do more with POS data, it’s clear that the willingness of brands is undeterred. The best organizations see an opportunity. They are now pushing their retailers to provide cleaner, more actionable data to help them run their businesses. But for those brands who have yet to acknowledge the importance of data, or the remaining 8 percent, the future remains uncertain as the rest of the industry continues to get smarter with data.

Christopher Di Grazia is a Demand Generation Manager at Askuity, an analytics software platform that aims to help brands turn complex retail data into actionable insights and better business results.

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