Does Merchant Magic™ Engage in Data Mining?
Absolutely! Merchant Magic™ engages wholeheartedly in data mining. Data mining refers to extracting and examining information and converting it into meaningful charts, curves, reports or other graphical, tabular or pictoral views intended to save you time and help your business grow. Can you imagine how long it would take to tabulate sales reports, peak hours, and reorder reports without the help of data mining?
Here are a few examples of data mining applications in a retail store:
1. Adjust Ordering Practices Based on Sales History. You can review your sales over a date range and make adjustments to your ordering practices to increase overall sales or to at least not order slow movers. Based on sales data, you might decide to no longer carry cleaning supplies in your store. Or conversely, a category of goods might be such a hot seller, that you might decide to double your stock.
2. Expedite the Reordering Process Using Smart Ordering. You can view a list of all items in your store that need to be reordered based on their onhand quantity and their reorder points and decide what you want to reorder from that list. Or you can let the system automatically determine by category or store wide what needs to be reordered using data mining techniques. Letting the software help you in the reordering process lessens the time it would take you if you did it manually. And that old cliché applies here: Time is Money!
3. Monitor Sales Effectiveness. Let's say you have a sale on a specific category of items such as sporting hats and you want to know if putting these hats on sale grossly affects the bottom line. All you would do is let the system show you a sales curve including the sale of hats before and after this sales period. The sales curve would quickly tell you if the buying spree was sufficient to offer another sale in the near future.
4. Staff Your Store Based on Busy and Light Hours. Another great way that Merchant Magic™ uses data mining is with the Peak Hours report. You can quickly generate a report showing what days of the week and what times your store is the busiest. In this way, you can insure that you always keep the right number of employees working during peak hours and away during slow periods.
5. Targeted Mailing Lists are generated within Merchant Magic™ using data mining techniques. Let's say you were having a sale on Browning reels and you wanted to notify your Browning enthusiasts about this sale. You can generate a list of all customers who have spent a minimum of X dollars in your store and have bought Browning reels within the last year. The software will then sift through thousands of records looking for these specific customers. Chances are, if they have bought Browning reels before, they will be more prone to buy them again.
6. Keep a Close Eye on Inventory. With inventory auditing turned on, you can know your inventory count on a specific day. You can then see how that inventory count changed by reviewing the receiving log and purchases. If you suspect you are short a few boxes of widgets, you can look up that widget, see how many you should have had, review the purchase and sales record, and draw conclusions from there.
7. Export to Excel and Build Your Own Reports. If you are looking for reports that aren't available in Merchant Magic™, you can export all of the information generated within Merchant Magic™ into Excel files where you can manage your own data mining efforts. Many folks totally embrace the unlimited potential of having the raw data at their finger tips. Others get overwhelmed when they see all of the raw data and realize that they will have to sift through it and come up with their own queries. Data is power! Check with us for guidance on how to harness that power.
Data Mining Example: Peak Hours Report. The following Peak Hours Report accumulates 12 months of sales information and separates it into days of the week and hours of the day to determine the store's busiest times. These statistics help you determine your manpower needs. They can also determine if it is worth opening your store on a certain day of the week or before a certain time. Your store hours and manpower decisions are ultimately up to you, but those decisions can be made more swiftly and effectively with the use of data mining techniques.
Sales for the Matching Peak Hours Report Above. The trend report below gives you an instant snap shot of how sales are faring at our store from January to December. Given the downward trend, this is a heads up to you that adjustments must be made in both manpower and inventory to continue to prosper.