How better data visibility can help supercharge your business growth
This post was written by Volo Commerce, a trusted partner of OnBuy.
In our last post, we spoke about the benefits of data visibility and why harnessing business intelligence is so important for growth. To recap, data visibility helps you make good business decisions quickly and confidently, which can help improve your cash flow, your forecasting, customer loyalty and your margins.
So, what specific data points can we look at to start benefitting?
Sales and orders
You can analyse your sales and shipping over time by SKU, channel, supplier, or country. You can also identify increasing and decreasing sales rates.
Inventory and stock
Look at stock levels and value. Calculate the days left of stock and align those levels to the prevailing sales volumes. Set up notifications to re-order based on order lead times and days of stock left at current selling rates to avoid stock outages.
Profit and loss
Try to define all your operational costs and order charges for shipping, channel, payment and other fees. Then go one step further and analyse profitability for specific orders or time periods across products, suppliers, channels, or regions.
Customers and refunds
Identify which of your customers bought from you and when, what they bought and how often they buy from you. On the minus side, analyse credits and refunds by SKU, customer, supplier, shipper, channel or region, so you can pinpoint and eliminate or at least limit the problem areas.
The requirements of data visibility
This section is easy for us to say of course, and for you to read, but far harder to deliver on - unless you have the right tools. Perhaps you’ve figured them out already, but let’s take a quick look at some of the challenges to achieving this level of visibility into how your business is really doing.
We see 5 challenges which are essentially your 5 requirements for data visibility.
Your data needs to be comprehensive
By this we mean it needs to extend across your business, end-to-end. You need to pull data from all corners of your business for a complete picture of what’s happening, so that you don’t have gaps in your knowledge.
Your data needs to be accurate
If it’s not an accurate reflection of what’s happening in your business, you’re going to be making decisions based on incorrect or insufficient information, and that’s always difficult.
Your data needs to be quick
Time is money, and real-time or near real-time access to information means you can spot trends early, capitalise on things that are going well, and quickly correct things that aren’t going well.
Your data needs to be easy
By this we mean easy to access and interpret. It’s no use getting a flood of data if you then have to do a lot of time-consuming work to get it into a format you can use. A few mouse clicks should be the goal, not hours tied up with spreadsheets and pivot tables.
Your data needs to provide insights
The merits of machine learning and AI systems to be able to think and interpret the data for you are well-documented and developing all the time. Put simply, you want your data to be presented in ways that allow you to take action, the right action. When the system’s learning and suggesting actions for you too, then that’s a bonus.
Get multichannel data visibility and insights with Volo Vision
We’ve seen from the survey results shared in our first post how important it is to the market to see what’s going on in a multichannel business. We’ve also described the benefits of and requirements for visibility into your eCommerce performance, so you can grow over the long term.
This is the role that our Volo Vision platform fulfils, which comes as standard with the Volo Commerce offering. Vision provides reporting and analytics for your end-to-end process and presents one centralised view of your business performance across OnBuy and your other channels. We focus on instant, joined-up analytics, not fragmented, multi-system, manual analytics. We give you the vision to grow your sales and your profitability, and give your team back all those hours spent on spreadsheets.
The ability to get an insight into every aspect of your operation gives you a vital edge on your competitors and is key to your long-term success. Volo Vision provides you with intuitive dashboards for your KPIs and over 50 flexible, in-depth reports – in headline or deep-dive formats – across your sales, inventory, customers and margins, for regions, SKUs, suppliers and so on. All of them come with extensive filtering options and smart search to give you quick and straightforward access to exactly the information you need. You can also configure email summaries of your performance daily, weekly or monthly, and set up alerts to make you aware of critical situations like stock levels and re-order deadlines.
We’re all in the data business. Data essentially determines if you get found on OnBuy, bought and delivered, and if customers keep coming back. It’s one of the reasons why we tend to start our customer conversations with data, leading with Vision reporting, analytics and working on your business, and following with eCommerce operations, which is working in your business.
To start selling on OnBuy and realising the benefits of visibility into what’s really happening in your multichannel eCommerce business, register here.
For merchants and brand retailers who want to expand across multiple online channels like OnBuy, Volo Commerce provides a multichannel eCommerce management platform with business intelligence, complemented by high touch value-add services for planning, launching and growing. Automate your processes, centrally control your channels and scale up your business with Volo.