Retail sales enablement software platform Askuity automatically collects point-of-sale data and provides actionable insights on that information. Using inventory numbers as well as data collected from POS transactions, “Askuity aims to be the single source of data-driven insights for every store, every product, and every consumer,” per its website – but that mission is changing.
Askuity and the changing retail landscape
On December 20, 2018, Kyle Fugere, the head of venture investing at dunnhumby, announced on Medium that Askuity had been acquired by Home Depot.
In that post, Fugere describes Askuity’s path as circular: “The company’s ‘Retail Intelligence Platform’ allows retailers to automatically share POS and inventory data with vendors. This data sharing improves collaboration, execution, and decision-making along the retail supply chain. However, the path to this was not linear; it was a circle.”
He goes on to talk about how Askuity shifted its focus from the retailers to the vendors, joining the ranks of companies like Alloy who help suppliers gain actionable insights from POS and inventory systems.
“Give us your disparate data feeds; we will normalize them and provide you a holistic view of your sales and inventory data across your retail partners.” According to Fugere, many of Home Depot’s vendors used Askuity before the acquisition as well as Home Depot itself. The “improved collaboration, execution and decision-making along the retail supply chain… was so compelling that The Home Depot felt that it was a competitive advantage to own this solution.”
“You can’t manage what you don’t measure.”
The premise is smart. Modern businesses need to have as much data as possible to compete effectively in a world that is constantly changing and evolving. In business school, they teach that “you can’t manage what you don’t measure,” and in this age of Big Data, tools that can help consumer brands glean insights from regular business activities is not just compelling – it’s necessary to compete effectively.
In 2018, Askuity completed a POS Data Study that found businesses everywhere and in every industry are using POS information in planning discussions and most companies want as much data as possible to more effectively build relationships with their customers.
“Even though brands have indicated they would like to do more, it’s clear that there's still a sizable gap between what brands want to do and what they can do,” writes Christopher di Grazia for TotalRetail. “With retail evolving rapidly, brands and retailers need to work together to embrace joint business planning and greater collaboration. This study confirms that leading brands are looking to do more with their POS data, even though they are challenged with the task of turning this growing amount of data into meaningful insights.” Purpose-built POS solutions can empower teams to use demand data for decision-making.
But what happens when a platform-maker changes the game?
The impact of the Askuity acquisition on its customers
The acquisition of Askuity by Home Depot is a win for the home improvement chain, but Askuity’s existing customer base is a different story. According to sources close to Askuity, support for current Askuity customers for retailers outside of Home Depot will stop in the next month. They are now forced to find an alternative solution and transition their data on a short timeline if they are to continue experiencing the benefits of data-driven account management.
Fortunately, Askuity is not the only platform for retail data collection and analysis.
Alloy remains an independent solution to integrate and analyze data for all retailers, from store to SKU, region to product type. See for yourself what Alloy can do for you.