tableau retail

Tesco, one of the world’s largest retailers, runs more than 3,000 stores across the UK, with each store handling more than 15,000 products. The retailer uses a Teradata data warehouse to store historical data related to its products, product wastage, sales and store performance. 

Given its scale of operations, a few years ago, the retail giant saw a need to optimise its supply chain operations. It wanted to build a seamless mechanism to analyse and optimise its supply chain process, so that it can manage inventory better, and save costs.  

Tesco turned to Tableau for a solution. Tableau integrates well with Teradata, its existing warehouse solution. So, Tesco collaborated with Tableau for retail analytics, and to streamline processes for the following –  

  • Spotting trends  
  • Identifying areas of improvement 
  • Communicating ideas with data visualisations 

This partnership was successful on two fronts; Firstly, with Tableau, Tesco improved the availability and quality of its products, which resulted in greater customer delight. For example, the retailer developed a weather model to predict the impact of weather on sales. Depending on insights, Tesco planned its inventory better, and displayed products on shelves based on the weather and weather-related varying needs of customers.  

Secondly, Tesco used Tableau dashboards to identify patterns in product movement in different stores. This helped plan supply and sales better.  

Tableau doesn’t require its users to have technical skills. It provides them with secure and easy access to data. As a result, Tesco employees experienced faster analytics with simple drag and drop into any format to track trends and make informed decisions. 

Why Choose Tableau for Retail Analytics 

Tableau’s Retail Intelligence Solution provides retail leaders with real-time, granular data to streamline operations, improve customer experiences, and increase profits. 

It provides store analytics, which retailers can use to maximise performance and explore, analyse, and share data with vendors. 

Additionally, Tableau’s IoT analytics can optimise resources to manage physical stores better. 

A Merit expert adds, “Retailers go with Tableau when they want their business users to garner insights and intelligence – without too much dependence on technology and IT teams. The priority for a business user is to reduce time-to-insight; How fast can we get from raw data to a contextual insight that can be used to make a better decision? That is the key when it comes to choosing an analytics platform. Real-time analytics is essential in the retail industry and Tableau delivers this.”  

Tableau Dashboards for Accelerating Growth of Your Retail Business 

Globalisation and e-commerce have expanded business opportunities for retailers. At the same time, they have also increased competition.  

Businesses can no longer take customer loyalty for granted. They need to plan inventory, store displays, marketing and customer experience based on internal and external insights. More importantly, these insights need to be easy to understand and implement.  

Retail analytics and dashboards from Tableau are designed in a way that managers can easily identify patterns and spot trends that can lead to quicker decision-making around managing stores efficiently and delivering great customer experience. 

Tableau provides different dashboards for different retail functions to optimise resources, improve marketing outcomes and reduce costs and wastage. 

1. Product Availability: Out of Stock = Lost Sales.  

Whether shopping online or in a store, customers walk in hoping to complete their purchase in one store. If the product they are looking for is unavailable, they take their business to the next store, not just for one purchase, but in the future too.  

In the UK alone, lost sales are worth nearly £10bn. Tableau’s Product Availability dashboard helps track products by category, supplier, day, and store region, thus helping store managers plan inventory and stock based on demand. 

2. Promotional Optimisation

Promotions form an important part of sales and marketing. They involve three stages – pre-promotion planning, the actual promotion period, and post-promotion impact. Visualising the data for each of these phases helps managers draw actionable insights from them. Even if there are several promotional campaigns running in parallel, campaign managers can track a specific campaign to study the impact and fine-tune it if required. 

3. Waste Optimisation

Discarding perishable stock due to expiry comes at a cost. In other words, reducing wastage is critical to improving profitability. Food wastage, especially, has social implications and must be avoided where possible. Tableau helps identify top products that go to waste every week, correlates it with the budget for a specific duration, and implements corrective action to minimise wastage.  

4. Store Operations

With tough competition from e-commerce, brick-and-mortar outlets need store analytics to optimise resources and improve sales. The Tableau dashboard helps benchmark store performance, track sales and average transaction sizes, analyse footfall and conversion rates, and assess the impact of various campaigns. It identifies underperforming stores and devises strategies for improvement.  

5. Merchandising Assortment 

Merchandisers need insights into the performance of various product categories, brands and SKUs to ensure greater profitability and to meet customer requirements. Merchandising assortment dashboards empower managers with data and insights to plan inventory better.  

6. Online Shopping Cart Analysis 

In today’s digital marketplace, insights into online shopping behaviour are critical to understand how often products are removed from shopping carts and why. With online shopping cart analysis dashboards, retailers can identify the source of such removals, campaigns that led to increase or decrease in the number of cart removals, the profile of customers who removed more items from their cart, and such. They can use these insights to make more relevant business decisions.  

7. Brand Health 

Consumer products run on brand perception. Tableau’s dashboards for brand perception allocate budgets for brand promotion and other exercises that boost a brand’s value in a focused manner, and suggest insights to help the brand regain leadership position. 

8. Tracking Customer Behaviour 

Retailers can track the path a customer takes in a store and use these insights to improve customer service, merchandising, and marketing strategies. IoT sensor data, heat maps, click-throughs and other features recreate the customer’s journey in a store and provide insights that can improve layout and user experience. 

9. Supply Chain Sourcing and Risk Management 

With disruptions due to geopolitical tensions, coupled with demand for faster delivery, supply chain managers need visibility into the entire ecosystem. Tableau’s supply chain dashboard helps suppliers understand drivers of volume and risk to make their sourcing and supply schedules effective.  

10. Supply Chain Cost Analysis 

Supply chain costs have a direct impact on profitability and should be tracked and measured continuously. By visualising the impact of the cost of sourcing and delivering, retailers can plan to optimise resources, seek alternatives, and identify opportunities for improvement, thus keeping costs under control. 

Merit’s Expertise in Retail Data and Intelligence  

Our state-of-the-art retail data harvesting engine collects raw data and provides actionable insights  

  • Three to four times faster than standard scrapers  
  • At lower cost  
  • With Increased accuracy (up to 30% compared to standard scrapers)  

Our powerful, new scraper engine can gather massive data sets from multiple sites and geographies in real-time so you can stay informed on customer behaviours and market trends.  

Merit’s eCommerce and retail data engine provides a high degree of confidence in insights generated from analytics – thanks to confidence in the data quality and access to enriched data.  

To know more, visit:

Related Case Studies

  • 01 /

    AI Driven Fashion Product Image Processing at Scale

    Learn how a global consumer and design trends forecasting authority collects fashion data daily and transforms it to provide meaningful insight into breaking and long-term trends.

  • 02 /

    Enhanced Audience Data Accuracy for a High Marketing Campaign RoI​

    An international market leader in exhibitions within the learning, healthcare, technology and veterinary sectors.