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Cate Zovod

VP Global Product & Industry Marketing

3 mins read

77% of Retail Data Leaders are Concerned about a Looming Recession

Businesses have had to adapt to a lot of changes in consumer behavior in recent years. And it looks like there’s no break in sight as inflation and economic woes continue to influence purchasing behavior. 

In Near’s new study, the State of Global Consumer Behavior Data, we surveyed 590 data leaders across Retail, Restaurants, Commercial Real Estate, and Travel & Hospitality. We asked them how they use consumer behavior data in their business decisions, what challenges they face, and their outlook for the future. 

It turns out the economy is weighing heavily on most data leaders’ minds, with 70% overall agreeing that “there’s concern within our organization on the economic impact the potential recession might have on our business.” However, looking specifically at 261 data leaders in Retail who answered the survey, the concern is even greater. In fact 77% of them agreed that their organization is concerned about a potential recession.

Consumer Behavior Data is Critical for Retailers

Retail data leaders were even more likely to agree that consumer behavior data is critical for their team’s business decisions than average across industries (83% vs 78%). Additionally, data leaders in retail are looking to use more data in the coming year. 60% of data leaders in retail said they plan to use somewhat more (48%) or significantly more (12%) consumer behavior data for decision making in the next 12 months. This is a bit higher than the 57% of data leaders overall planning to use more data in the coming year. 

With this higher reliance on data, retail data leaders also seemed more confident in their use of data. 70% of them agreed that “our organization is doing better than our competitors when it comes to using data for business decision-making.” This was higher than the 64% of overall data leaders who agreed with this.

How Retailers Use Consumer Behavior Data – Key Use Cases and Insights

When it comes to how retail data leaders utilize consumer behavior data, they employ it for both more use cases, and prioritize different use cases than data leaders overall. Data leaders in retail said consumer behavior data was critical for 3.2 use cases on average, higher than the 3 for data leaders overall.

The top 3 use cases for retail data leaders are:

  1. Store Formatting & Merchandising (46%)
  2. Competitive Intelligence (44%)
  3. Market Research (44%)

This is a bit different than for data leaders overall, whose top use case was Visitor Insights / Customer Profiles (46%), followed by Market Research (44%), and then by Store Formatting & Merchandising (40%). 

Looking at the specific insights from consumer behavior data that they find most useful, retail data leaders prioritized Path to Purchase as critical (55%) above all others. In fact, data leaders in retail were much more likely to prioritize Path to Purchase than data leaders overall were (35%). Even for data leaders in restaurants, another industry where Path to Purchase is highly applicable, only 36% of them prioritized Path to Purchase as a critical metric, starkly lower than retail data leaders. Other top insights for retailers were Demographics (54%) and Work Location (41%).

Retailers’ Focus Looking Ahead

Looking ahead, retail data leaders are most interested in improving Customer Experience – 32% ranked this their top metric to improve, ahead of Online Visits & Sales (19%) and Growing Footfall to our Locations (13%). 

To accomplish these goals, data leaders have big plans for making the most of consumer behavior data:

    • 52% of retail data leaders are planning to integrate their data with additional sources of third-party data in the coming year, higher than the 38% of data leaders overall planning to do so. 
    • 50% of retail data leaders want to use consumer behavior data for additional use cases, versus 43% of data leaders overall.
    • 45% of retail data leaders want to get more teams involved in using data for decision-making.

    Data is a crucial key for businesses looking to navigate the ever-evolving world of consumer ehavior, whether changes are due to economic issues, ripple effects from the pandemic, technical innovation and more. Data leaders in retail are ahead of the curve when it comes to making use of up-to-date consumer behavior data to make better decisions for business success by:

    • Understanding shopper movement patterns
    • Leveraging insights to inform merchandising and store formatting
    • Accessing insights on competitor locations
    • Keeping up with market research And more

    Want to learn more? See the ways data leaders can leverage retail insights, or read the full study, The State of Global Consumer Behavior Data.

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