Bricks and mortar grocery retail is going through huge change as the e-commerce behemoths move to centre stage with their innovative infrastructures and distribution networks attracting customers away from stores. To meet the evolving needs of the customer and their shifting shopping habits to small and frequent shops, coop needs to have detailed knowledge of customer preferences and changing customer demands and must be able to respond quickly. To do this, coop uses a great deal of data to garner insights, from POS receipts to data gleaned from price comparisons with other competitors or official Neilson sales.
While goods in consumers’ baskets may offer the retailer insight into their customers’ preferences in contrast to eCommerce, receipts do not reveal information about the actual customer behind them. But by partnering with EXASOL, coop has been able to cut down its many data marts and pool the data in one database to provide a single source of truth of both customer and company data, enabling fast and granular analysis of that data.
EXASOL has made the analysis of POS receipts much easier and considerably more conclusive. For example, if coffee is on sale, targeted category management improves the availability of matching related items such as coffee filters. It has also reduced the workload of the companies’ SAP-based inventory system therefore reducing costs. In essence, it is enabling coop to tailor its range of products more efficiently to the changing needs of the customer and to optimise marketing budgets.
More than this, it has cut order and supply chain times and has provided benefits such as being able to visualise annual supplier reviews in a single dashboard.
Torsten Rehder, head of BI at coop, says: “In the past, various departments in the company had no choice but to literally piece the information they had together. This meant employees were not making full use of their working hours. Since data was aggregated there wasn’t the “one receipt” to use as the basis for analysis. Even though coop could transfer the data between different systems, the lack of standardised interfaces made transfers extremely difficult and time-consuming. Departments often had to wait over 30 minutes for their reports. This reduced the scope to respond immediately to changes in customer requirements.”