Retail has been one of the most dynamic industries with frequently changing trends and rapidly growing customer expectations. The industry has rarely, if ever, been reluctant to embrace new technologies and innovations in improving its workflows and processes to serve the end-users. Industry experts suggest that in the year 2020, technological developments such as Business Intelligence, AI, ML, and the like would radically change the face of retail like never before.

Data is the primary driving force of retail and determines the success (or failure) of businesses like no other factor. The tools and techniques for harnessing the ocean of data to predict the future, understand the user, improve the processes, and lead the competition are gaining unprecedented popularity. Of all the tools and solutions that help organizations streamline their processes and gear up for the upcoming demands, Power BI sits right there at the top. It’s a business intelligence and data analytics tool that helps businesses draw sense from the seemingly daunting random streams of raw data and assists in making better decisions. In 2020, Power BI trends will have a significant bearing on the dynamics of the retail industry.

Power BI gathers, organizes, and structures all kinds of relevant business data, sorts, refines, filters, and analyses it, and presents it in easily comprehensible forms such as charts and graphs to enable businesses to become more customer-centric. Built and promoted by tech giant Microsoft, it integrates seamlessly with other Microsoft enterprise tools like the Office suite and Dynamics 365 suite to provide end-to-end solutions to businesses. Its key functions are reporting, data mining, online analytical processing, analytics, business performance management, process mining, benchmarking, text-mining, and predictive analytics. Here are the top trends of Power BI that would help the retail industry have a wonderfully successful 2020.

Power BI Trends will have a Consequential Bearing on the Retail Sector in 2020

Power BI Solutions for Retail Industry

Intelligent Marketing with Power BI

Today, marketing is a data-driven activity. With the market getting progressively competitive, retail businesses are putting serious efforts and resources to target the end-user uniquely and more effectively. Smart promotions entail customized messaging tailored to the needs, budget, and preferences of the customer. The starting point of this intensive process is the gathering and structuring of appropriate data.

How Power BI marketing trends will help businesses to keep a finger on the market pulse

Social media platforms: Social media is easily one of the most potent platforms for marketing and facilitates unhindered real-time engagements and interactions with customers. A global trend of Power BI will be its extensive use by marketers to gather and capitalize on data from different social media platforms.

  • Using Power BI, retail businesses would analyze social media campaign data to measure the impact of marketing efforts.
  • Insights from user behavior and interactions help tailor social media campaigns by revealing patterns and trends.
  • Combine structured and non-structured data from social media to get a true picture of the outcome.

Insights from web analytics – A Power BI trend to look out for in 2020 will be its new features to help marketers with intelligent analysis of relevant information. The information would be gathered from the website of the business as well as from other resources on the internet.

  • Behavioral analysis of website visitors over time to improve marketing ROI.
  • A clear view of user demographics for knowledge about customer age, gender, income, etc.
  • Reveling reports on market trends to figure out the weak links.

Predictive analytics – The trending AI capabilities of Power BI help retailers visualize the future using predictive analytics and other such big data tools. By keeping up with this Power BI trend in 2020, finding a pattern from huge chunks of data will be quick and easy.

  • Market segmentation for better placement of ads.
  • Elasticity characteristics for assistance in product pricing.
  • Competitor analysis for market domination.

In-store data analysis – Power BI, as a top trending BI tool, is not limited to internet data and has multiple applications in real business setups like brick and mortar stores, shopping malls, hospitals, etc.

  • Assistance in in-store product and ad placement by analyzing the buying patterns of customers.
  • In-store marketing insights to boost the bottom line through cross-selling and upselling.
  • Analysis of past behavior of target users to create the best message.

Power BI Trends and Features for Tighter Inventory Management

Business Intelligence Trends in Retail Industry

In 2020, businesses would be more conscious than ever about the importance of maintaining the right inventory for optimum benefits. Understocking leads to a bad reputation and business loss while overstocking implies the need for more cash and storage space. As a key technology trend, Power BI, by analyzing past data, helps businesses refine an assorted inventory and optimum stock allocation across stores.

Power BI 2020 trends in Retail Inventory Management

Detailed inventory reports: A Power BI 2020 trend that is particularly encouraging for retail businesses is the new set of features for real-time monitoring of inventory, a critical function for controlling and optimizing replenishment. Power BI can be customized to proactively generate alerts to spot potential out-of-stock situations and create reports for accurate information on product profitability.

  • Power BI reports revealing the cash tied up to the current stock.
  • The monetary value of products and actionable insights for a better flow of cash.
  • Individual inventory status of every warehouse and the value held from vendor/supplier.

Better vendor collaboration: Power BI, in the current year, will introduce even more features to eliminate all existing and potential problems that affect vendor collaboration and supply chain. It uses enhanced data analytics to highlight process bottlenecks and monitor KPIs in vendor/supplier management to streamline the supply chain.

  • Interactive dashboards give access to product defect frequency, fill rates, backorders, on-time/late deliveries, lead time, etc.
  • Drill down supply chain analytics for demand forecasting, fraud analytics, and damage and loss analysis.
  • Itemized reports on vendor and supplier performance and data-backed recommendations to choose the right partner.

Targeted assortment: A rapidly developing trend of Power BI is that it’s being increasingly used for targeted assortment which is a characteristic of modern retail management. Power BI enables retailers to create profitable mixes of merchandise in their warehouse and stores based on data-backed intelligence.

  • Detailed analysis of business data to pinpoint sale patterns based on demographics for the right assortments.
  • Informed decision-making through cost analysis against sale figures to achieve higher profits by expanding or narrowing down the assortments.
  • Multi-step reporting to devise strategies for automation of assortment and maximize profits.

In 2020, Power BI Trends would Encourage more Convenient e-commerce

Power BI services of e commerce industry

As per a survey, global e-commerce sales would clock $4.2 trillion in 2020 and $6.5 trillion by 2023. This is chiefly because the customer wants convenient shopping experience and e-commerce platforms offer it in abundance. In 2020, business intelligence tools like Power BI would play a decisive role in catapulting online business experience to the next level.

A noticeable trend of Power BI is that it is driving e-commerce players towards higher profitability

Organized business data – The sole driving force of business models like e-commerce is data. Daily analysis of data to monitor market trends and competition and the derivation of actionable insights from those determine success in e-commerce.

  • Tools for easy identification of target customers, top-selling products, current trends, and customer sentiment for better decision-making.
  • Custom dashboards for easy and unified visualization of marketing campaigns, inventory, and sales reporting for quick actions.
  • Statistical analysis and modeling for pricing and competitive intelligence.

Tracking e-commerce KPIs – ROI in sales, marketing, daily operations, and logistics can only be ascertained with precise monitoring of the performance indicators in each of these areas. As per Power BI trends for 2020, it offers customized visualizations of these KPIs based on a base measure that is evaluated against a target measure.

  • Special features to track e-commerce-specific KPIs like cart abandonment, conversion rate, churn rate, purchase frequency, and more.
  • Predictive modeling to help in discovering trends and getting the pricing correct to boost online retail.
  • Customer behavior dissection for sequencing transactions as a step closer to the bigger picture.

Smart brand management – Businesses, particularly online retailers, are always conscious of their brand reputation in the market as it has a significant impact on their sales and profits. In 2020, BI tools such as Power BI will help to this end by quick identification and access to relevant data and high analytics efficiency that offer revealing market insights.

  • Collect user data from social platforms, news, and forums to detect positive and negative mentions and present them in a BI-ready data mart.
  • End-to-end data processing and an interactive presentation for easy actions.
  • Easy integration with Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM for facilitating competitive intelligence from a centralized data warehouse.

Power Bi Trends for Omnichannel Customer Experience

Multichannel retail will soon be a thing of the past and would be replaced by the more engaging omnichannel experience. The primary difference between these two is that in multichannel experience, each channel is siloed with little to no interaction with each other. On the other hand, omnichannel unifies the customer interactions in every channel (mobile app, website, brick & mortar) and treats it as a single-channel interaction for delightful customer experience.

How Power BI trends for 2020 are pivotal in delivering unmatched omnichannel environment

Unification of customer data: Power BI, with its feature-rich data visualization and analytical capabilities, helps retailers predict user behavior by aggregating data from different online and offline sources. The unified view gives a comprehensive picture of market demands and expectations.

  • Gathering, sorting, and aggregation of data from customer surveys, loyalty programs, campaigns, CRM, and sales to give a unified picture.
  • Information about customers visiting and revisiting different touchpoints in the entire customer journey.
  • Assistance in targeted promotions and offers across different channels.

Accurate assortment & reassortment – One of the unique advantages of omnichannel retailing is that customers get what they want regardless of the channel they choose. Power BI trends for 2020 suggest that the tool will introduce features for more accurate demand forecasts and product assortment along with logistical assistance.

  • Alerts to all stakeholders for depleting inventory. Notifications to customers when their desired product is restocked.
  • AI-assisted inspection of past data to ensure optimal stock of product assortment.
  • Stock exhaust pattern scrutiny for accurate demand forecast and better product pitching.

Boosting the bottom line – Even in the omnichannel model, profitability can be maximized when the focus is on the right channel. An evergreen trend of Power BI is that it enables retailers to evaluate each step of the consumer journey that helps in identifying the best channel for investment.

  • Tracking the cross-channel conversion rate to study the purchase steps and consumer habits.
  • ‘Fact-based’ selling tools to reduce low-yield activities and deploy higher-yield promotions.
  • Eliminates the time spent on data searches to reduce inefficiencies and save on operating costs.

Power BI Trends for Futuristic Brick and Mortar Stores in 2020

The popularity of the concept of cashierless stores would reach a new high in 2020. Also, the regular retail and convenience stores would deploy the latest technology to enhance efficiency, improve workflows, deliver better service, and enjoy higher profits and market share. For this to happen, cashing in on relevant data is the key.

In 2020, Power BI will Revolutionize the Face of Brick and Mortar Stores

Cashierless stores: Cashierless stores like Amazon Go would witness impressive growth in the next few years. To shop, the customer just needs to download a mobile app, connect it to the virtual wallet account of the store, scan the barcode at the store, and pick their desired items and leave. They don’t have to stand in the billing queue as their virtual account would automatically get debited for the purchases.

  • Since there is usually no human staff present at the store, Power BI can capture all consumer activities, evaluate sales and inventory metrics, and apply advanced analytics to reveal details of buyer behavior.
  • Best tips for visual merchandising to display product features and benefits for higher sales and customer satisfaction.
  • Impart in-depth customer knowledge to the customer service agents for quick issue resolutions.

Boost supply chain efficiency – The supply chain management of physical stores isn’t easy because of frequently updating inventory data and urgency for restocking the selves of fast-selling goods. With the latest Power BI trends, its real-time analysis and reporting will be of great help in this area.

  • Real-time figures for storefronts to replenish inventory at the right time.
  • Dashboards for supply chain management with KPIs anda reporting tool that can be used with minimal training.
  • Features for drilling down into shipment history for identifying delivery issues and events that impact on-time delivery.

Reduce operational expenses: Cutting down on operating costs and improving efficiencies are the top concerns of every retailer. A significant trend of Power BI in 2020 is its enhanced ability to convert raw data into useful information to let retailers achieve even higher operational efficiency.

  • Thorough budget assessment to extend helpful insights that help recognize different areas for cost-cutting.
  • Intelligent assistance for optimizing floor plans and product placement and figuring out slow-moving products and promotional assets.
  • Big data and predictive analytics for accurate predictions to achieve the optimum balance between supply and demand for perishables.

For retail businesses that aim to achieve their goals and sales targets in 2020, the smart harnessing of data isn’t an option but an absolute necessity. And this would be a cakewalk if they go with the top Power BI trends for the year. The cloud-based Power BI, one of the most widely used BI tools, should be the logical option for such businesses owing to its rich analytics and reporting capabilities, personalized dashboards, and other such countless features.

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