Closer to customers with BI
Shoppers Stop wanted to understand its customers
needs, provide better products, reduce costs and increase revenues. BI helped
it achieve these goals
Shoppers Stop had a clear business objective. It wanted
the customer to have a personalised shopping experience, and it wanted tailor-made
promotions and schemes unique to the buying patterns of specific customers.
For this we needed to understand how, when, where and
in what combination the customer buys merchandise, recalls Unnikrishnan
TM, Customer Care Associate and CTO, Solutions and Technology, Shoppers
Stop. It was also necessary to improve the decision-making skills of the organisation,
manage costs, increase revenue and provide better products to the customers.
The company decided to use a BI solution from Business Objects as well as the
SAS analytical application. It uses the Business Objects solution for reporting
and some advanced analysis.
We use a combination of Business Objects and the SAS solution for trend
analysis, promotion management, and customer behaviour, segmentation, buying
basket, profitability and lifecycle analysis, reveals Unnikrishnan.
Cleansing the Data
We use qualitative and quantitative evaluation criteria. Every solution
is graded on the criteria, and vendors are expected to demonstrate their products
capabilities on all the criteria, says Unnikrishnan.
As BI analytics depend critically on data integrity and reliable data resources,
Shoppers Stop has models for collecting, updating, changing and deleting
data through the business processes.
The data which is transferred from online transaction processing systems
(OLTP) has to be cleansed. As and when required, transformation is carried out
and then this data is loaded onto the data warehouse. But first, a data mapping
exercise that maps company-specific data to a retail industry standard data
model should be completed. In some cases, a company may build its own proprietary
data model. The choice may vary based on various factors, elaborates Unnikrishnan.
Our current BI applications are fairly compatible with the existing ERP,
SCM and CRM applications. Even if compatibility issues arise, enough Enterprise
Application Integration (EAI) tools and middleware applications are available
to resolve the issue and harvest the data into the data warehouse. ETL tools
are also easily available to extract data, and the transformed data can be easily
loaded on the data mart or data warehouse, he adds.
BI solutions are currently implemented to measure revenue parameters, customer
enrollments, profitability of a customer base or segment, and total revenue
earned through the lifecycle of a customer.
BI implementations in some areas have paid rich dividends. Shoppers Stop
has used various predictive methods and models to find out which of its customers
are likely to buy again and how much. This has helped create a focussed campaign
and incentives for its high-value customer base. The recent diamond mine festival
was a hit with high-value customers, as was its iPod giveaway scheme.
- The organisation: Shopper's Stop has
operations in Bangalore, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Delhi, Chennai, Mumbai,
Pune, Gurgaon and Kolkata. The company has over 6,00,000 square feet
of retail space nationwide, and stocks over 250 brands of garments and
- The need: Make shopping a delight by
understanding the customer's needs, provide better products, reduce
operational costs and boost revenues.
- The solution: BI solutions from Business
Objects and SAS.
- The benefits: BI helps the company craft
focussed campaigns and offer incentives to high-value customers. It
has helped to study target market demographics and then position appropriate
merchandise in the stores.