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The Retail Industry Can't Survive Without Business Intelligence - And Here's Why

by Timothy Tan
Partner Technical Specialist, Zap,

I recently visited a mobile phone retail store in Shanghai and saw an impressive array of phones on display. On closer inspection, I noticed only 2 brands were widely recognized as being sold globally and at least 5 brands were available exclusively within China. I picked one of them up - it was light, chic and incredibly sleek. The retail display was a dazzling sight, full of icons that looked similar to the world's most popular brands. The price was unbelievably affordable, too - less than a fifth of what you'd pay for an unlocked phone in the U.S.

There was just one issue (that likely saved my marriage in the process): it wasn't compatible with networks outside of China. The sales lady explained that it's only a matter of time before they overcome this network barrier and flood the market. If it was guaranteed to work in the U.S., I would have bought 5 of them, one for each day of the week.

During the same trip, I visited another shopping complex where they sold shoes wholesale. There were multiple stores with a great variety of footwear for a fraction of what most people would pay in any developed Western country.

If one day the floodgates were to open and these products were to be exposed to the world, retailers would have their backs to the wall, with variety, affordability and the Internet tolling the death knell.

Given the prices, exportability and the dynamics of the market, how do traditional stores stay competitive?

It's Rough Out There

For any retail business to stay competitive, it's crucial to analyze the source of its growth. To a retailer sitting on its laurels, this paradise of growth can ...

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About Timothy Tan
Timothy Tan works for ZAP as a Partner Technical Specialist where he handles support help desk and project implementation with partners. Timothy has more than 12 years of experience working with business intelligence technologies and has implemented various retail BI project specifically. He marvels at nature and loves to go on holiday vacations with his family. 
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