One of the key elements in growing a successful food and beverage (F&B) business is the ability to retain big data and turn it into actionable insight. But what is big data? Generally, it is a term to describe large volume of data, both structured and unstructured. Big data is being generated at all times, while every digital process and social media exchange produces it. It can be used to optimize business decisions such as to increase sales, gain a better understanding of customers and trends, and optimize marketing campaigns.
In practice, there are two types of big data- structured and unstructured. Structured data is generally the data businesses are handling on a daily basis, and has a defined length and format for big data. This may include detailed internal reports from Point-of-Sales (POS) systems on sales, financial, and pricing. On the other hand, unstructured data refers to information that either does not have a pre-defined data model and/or is not organized in a predefined manner. It can be external information such as customer reviews, social media engagements, and demographic data gathered from loyalty programs. When combined, active analysis on big data can help F&B businesses create optimal strategies, and increase profits in the long run.
Understand your customer behaviour
When restaurants are able to collect and differentiate customer data into different segments, they can have a greater understanding of what works and what doesn’t. According to SmartBrief, analytical insights start at the retail level and work its way down. Tracking purchases at the individual item level will help F&B businesses make optimal decisions about supply chain, merchandising, and products assortment.
Consider this scenario: A frozen yogurt company learns that the number of purchases for a sugar-free yogurt is significantly higher in location A in comparison to location B. This prompts the company to make a new decision- to produce more sugar-free yogurt for location A, while reducing related production in location B. In addition, the company also learns that sales are higher during weekday lunch hours but not so much during weekend breakfast periods. This data allows the company to shift around staff schedules and know when to stock more items for sale.
Customer experience to be the key brand differentiator by 2020
Based on an analysis from PwC, it is projected by 2020, customer experience will be the more important brand differentiator than price and product. Anything from surveys on the quality of in-store service to reviews on on-demand food delivery process, customer feedback can help F&B businesses increase customer loyalty and build advocacy to drive sales. The analysis further highlights that 86% of consumers are willing to pay more for a better customer experience. In which, a 5% increase in better customer loyalty could translate into growth of average profit per customer by 25%-100%. Lastly, when customers realize that their feedback are implemented, they become more loyal. In the end, not only will the business have a stable number of returning customers, but more sales could be generated from new customers that resulted from the positive word of mouth.
Optimize big data using innovative digital solutions
So how do we effectively translate customer and transaction data into actionable insights? It is worthwhile to join a universal e-commerce platform that is designed for F&B businesses and technology providers, such as Eunoia, to unlock and unify unstructured data from fragmented systems. Eunoia can help businesses extract offline transaction data, such as data from POS, for analytics purpose. Moreover, Eunoia can help funnel online transaction data for reconciliation purpose. Importantly, businesses can link consumer data with transaction data to enable high-impact decisions.
Big data is becoming an increasingly important influencer in the way F&B operators run their business. In order to adapt to constant changes in consumer trends and behaviour, it is essential F&B businesses have a system to effectively gather, analyze, and use big data.
At Eunoia, we provide a universal, ready-to-use e-commerce platform for F&B businesses and technology providers to rapidly integrate and connect with each other, power innovation, enhance customer engagement, and increase revenue. Eunoia provides an open ecosystem which fosters cross pollination of ideas and cutting-edge solutions that aim to shape the future of the F&B industry. Learn more at www.eunoia.asia