Communications from David Gordon, Kepler Analytics, relating to feedback from client visits and planned software development.
By way of introduction my name is David Gordon and I am the Executive Director at Kepler Analytics. I want to communicate to you my excitement at what the team at Kepler Analytics is achieving. It is not an exaggeration that what we are developing will change the way retailers understand and manage their businesses.
I have been an investor and on the board for some time. The business has progressed rapidly over the past six months and decided about six weeks ago that it was the right time for me to get involved on a day to day basis.
My plan was to speak to our clients and understand what value you saw from the data Kepler collects and, more importantly, how this data should be presented and what types of analysis and reports you require.
David Mah (CEO), Elissa Gu (GM) and myself have visited every one of our clients over the past four weeks and I wanted to provide you with some feedback from these visits. In addition, I wanted to let you know what developments we are taking and have planned based on our discussions and visits.
Some background (which you might or might not know already)
- The unique Kepler technology which allows our system to identify and track people movement was developed in Melbourne Australia about three years ago. Over time we have continued to develop our system and add layers to security and data protection
- This IP is protected and wholly owned by our company in Australia
- This is important as it allows us the flexibility to develop, implement and price the system based on the Australian market requirements and capabilities. We are not under any restraints or conditions from technology licenses with overseas companies
- Our Customer Engagement Trackers (CETs) operate in stores as standalone units without the need for any interaction with your technical infrastructure. They have in-built WIFI which allows them to communicate on a real time basis with our database
- We have a very strong local team comprised of developers, hardware designers and data analysts
The clear message you communicated
Your message was clear and straightforward:
- Our technology delivers valuable data providing information on customer behaviour, store sales capabilities and the effectiveness of visual merchandising, window displays and promotional activities
- There is an urgent requirement for us to strengthen our on-screen analytical views, drill downs and reports to encourage retailers to understand performance patterns across stores and across selected time periods
- The data should form the basis for additional analytics and reports pertaining to other areas of the business (property, rostering, marketing, performance bonuses, etc)
- Some level of Kepler consulting involvement is welcome whilst your businesses learn how to properly use the data and integrate it into your operational processes and KPIs
Our plans and actions
Development has already commenced and you should see changes to your dashboard over the coming weeks. Please contact me if you need information on the timings. Our development is to provide three types of analysis:
- Provides each store with their sales target and providing an indicator of their being ‘On Target’ or ‘Not On Target’ and the shortfall
- There will be a summarised view available on mobile phones for Area Managers to view each of their stores’ positions and their ‘On Target’ or ‘Not On Target’ status
- We require daily sales targets and other information per store from you
- Based on what information is available, we will create a model of forecasted hourly sales for each store
- Allows Head Office to select stores and create multiple Store Groups
- The selection of a Primary and a Comparative Time Period
- Selection of the data types to be displayed
- A number of reports are being designed which will provide comparative information and rankings across stores, store groups and time periods
- We have tried to methodically group these reports as follows:
- Sales performance related
- In-store traffic generation related
- Other customer behaviour related
- These reports provide the choice of graphic representations of related data types over time
- Kepler Analytics’ base product provides nine core measures (data types)
Single store analysis
- Comparing the performance of a single store across multiple data types will provide interesting and valuable causative data. Example:
- Lower sales can be a factor of an underperforming sales team (sales conversion) or lower than usual traffic (outside traffic numbers or lower shopfront conversion)
Multiple store analysis
- Comparing stores against each other allows a different view of the profiles of stores. Example:
- Shopfront conversion variances indicate ability to attract traffic into store, dwell times variations might indicate VM differences
It has become clear that our information can provide unique value in a number of other areas:
Retailers have based their staff rosters on sales transaction patterns from their POS systems.
Kepler believes that a more effective approach is to identify what the in-store foot traffic numbers are and then compare sales conversion rates with staff to visitor ratios.
This bases rostering on a true potential sales situation and not what has been achieved in the past. We can integrate these results with your rostering system to automate our forecast with rosters.
This is an additional module to our basic package and we require a number of weeks’ historical information from your rostering system or spreadsheets to create our models.
New or Relocation Site Assessment
Retailers are constantly receiving offers from landlords of new sites or to relocate to a different site in a centre.
Traffic numbers quoted are very rarely tested and are always viewed with an amount of scepticism by retailers.
Now Kepler provides the ability to track people at the relevant point within the centre.
We have our CET sensors in over 300 centres in Australia and, if necessary, we can ‘plug and track’ new CETs in a temporary location anywhere.
We overlay these traffic numbers with our sales conversion rates and your POS sales data to provide New Store Financial Forecasts to assist in your decision making process.
Based on the number of people attracted to a location within a store and POS sales conversions, Kepler can run an algorithm which provides a rating of what locations in store optimise the sales of a product category and, dependent on the level of information we receive, we can do this done to the product level itself.
Store level budgeting and forecasts
We understand that smaller store groups cannot afford the fulltime equivalent of a CFO. Kepler, with our retail experience can provide assist in this area.
Initially we can assist with the creation of unique daily store budgets which assist the store managers and others monitor performance.
Important to note that experience tells us when a target is visible and understood, staff instinctively measure themselves against this. Their effort then has a focus.
I hope this has been informative. We constantly look for ways to improve and deliver increased value from our measures. Feedback will be helpful.
The first iteration of these changes will be available at the beginning of April 2017. Our process will be to send an Upgrade Email on Monday with the Release Notes of the changes for your feedback and then you will see the new screens on Tuesday barring any major feedback we receive.
In any event we will automatically release the first version as it provides improvements.
In the meantime if there is anything we can assist with, please contact me.
m. 0412 32 48 49