How Do I Use These Reports?
The data in these reports will not look exactly like your store. Indeed, depending on your specific location, the data from the ActionWatch Retail Panel may look very different from your store. It’s just as important to know how you are different from the Panel as to know how you are similar.
Retailers who participate in their industry’s POS-tracking program review their own store’s reports, and then compare their store to the broader panel. In the areas where they are different, they ask themselves “why?” Usually, the answer is because their customers are somewhat different than their industry’s average customer. Sometimes the answer helps them identify an opportunity that they may have been missing. But the process of comparing their store with the panel always helps them understand their customers better.
As the ActionWatch Retail Panel grows and stabilizes, the trending data in the reports will become increasingly more useful and important. Comparing the 6-month averages with the current period averages can identify the trends. After the panel reaches a necessary size, there will be many more opportunities for trending and slicing the data in different ways so that it is as beneficial as possible for our panel members.
Here are some questions panel members ask themselves as they review the ActionWatch reports:
Brands & Models reports
1) Which of these top brands do I not carry in my store?
- Which of these top brands could do well in my store if I carried them?
- Do I have any brands that seem to be slowing down that I should replace with one of these brands performing well in other stores?
2) How do my margins compare with margins other stores are getting for these brands? If my margins are lower, could I raise my prices without reducing my unit sales?
3) Am I carrying the brands getting the best margins? If not, why not?
4) In categories that have relatively long life spans (like footwear, sunglasses, etc.), do I have any of the top-selling models in my store? Should I?
5) In categories that have new products out each season, how are my buyers doing? Do I have any of the top brands or models in my store? Could they have done well in my store also?
Product Categories Reports
6) Am I missing any categories that are selling well in other stores and that I could sell in my store?
7) Are some categories trending down while others are trending up? Am I seeing these same trends in my store? (This question will be more relevant as our panel size increases and stabilizes. Differences between the 6-month averages and the current month averages could currently be due to our panel size growing each month as more retailers join the panel.)
8) Are my margins different from the panel’s margins? If so, why?
9) Are the panel’s gender distributions different than mine? Could I be selling more women’s products?