Amidst promising fiscal quarterly growth, J.C. Penney plans to incorporate more data analysis into its business strategy, to better serve customers and improve business.
If you're like many in the retail industry, you've heard about J.C. Penney's efforts to expand their brand. So far, the steps they've taken have led to noted a 4.1% increase in fiscal quarterly growth. Their results have even surpassed other major retailers including, Kohl's, Macy's, Sears and Dillard's. The improvements the company made to jcp.com contributed to most of this growth.
How Did the Problems Start?
In a misguided 2012 to 2013 attempt to change J.C. Penney's image and make the brand more hip, former CEO, Ron Johnson seemed to make things worse. Revenue dropped 30% around that time and the company is only starting to see positive changes this year.
Overall, the brand is:
Enhancing mobile convenience,
Improving e-commerce overall,
Bringing back old favorite brands like St. John's Bay,
Expanding the inventory available on jcp.com,
Ensuring that there are less out-of-stocks both in store and online, and
Strategically using data and analytics to make better purchasing and marketing decisions
J.C. Penney executives have found that the only way to reach their goals is to start using data to learn what their customers want. This is because consultants have found that:
The company must have more efficient inventory management overall,
Most J.C. Penney retail stores have little or no communication with other stores, and don't know what's available online, and
Many people are searching the site for items and not buying things; because what they've searched for is either out-of-stock or was never available
In addition to ensuring customers can buy whatever they want from J.C. Penney and jcp.com, executives are also hoping the data will help them make better pricing decisions.
Now's the Time
Unfortunately, J.C. Penney might not be able to benefit from the results of their data analysis for several months to a year, once they've gathered enough info. Many retailers don't realize that data analysis just isn't something you should save for later.