Coles launches new data analytics tool for partners

Supermarket giant harnesses customer and transaction data to provide insight around product performance to suppliers

Coles has taken the wrappers off a new data analytics tool harnessing more than 2500 data points aimed at providing suppliers with unprecedented insight into how products are performing.

The new Coles Synergy tool has been developed in partnership with global market analytics provider, IRI, and takes data sets from 2500 points across the group’s supermarkets, Coles Express stores and Coles Liquor locations. The pair struck up the partnership last year, a deal which gave IRI sole access to Coles scan data and analysis in order to build new data-led offerings.

Coles Synergy is based on IRI’s Liquid Data platform, which is already in use across other supermarket chains worldwide including Waitrose, Morrisons and Books in the UK, as well as Kroger and Albertson in the US.

Coles said the Synergy tool will provide prompt and detailed insights across products, stores, geographies and sales channels. This will give suppliers a better understanding of customer needs and performance, and enable Coles to work more collaboratively with them.

More widely, Coles also noted it’s tapping insights from more than 1 billion customer transactions annually to inform operational decisions, stretching from product ranging to demand forecasting and promotions.

Read more: What digital and personalisation look like at Coles Group

“Coles Synergy will allow suppliers to view all relevant market insights across our business using the same measures we use within Coles,” the group’s chief executive commercial and express, Greg Davis, said.

“Having a common understanding of the market will make joint business planning easier and foster deeper relationships so we can work together to bring innovative products and great value to our customers.”

The deal with IRI is one of many partnerships Coles has struck in recent years to lift its data-driven decision-making game along with digital capabilities. Other technology partnerships in this vein include a strategic partnership with Microsoft in 2019 to transform operations and derive greater business insights through data; a long-term deal with Accenture to enable smart selling and revitalise customer strategies; and the implementation of SAP S/4Hana, SAP Ariba and Infor GT Nexus to improve procurement, finance processes, reduce freight import costs and improve availability.

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