​Customer data to help Woolworths deliver a lean retail model

Woolworths is going to leverage customer data sets to help it make decisions across its entire business as part of a new three-year strategy the company plans to execute.

Woolworths has announced that over the next three years, it will be executing a lean retail operating model, which will be focused on improving the customer experience with lower prices and better convenience, service, and access.

Woolworths has predicted that during financial year 2015-16, the new strategy will help the company deliver more than AU$500 million in cost reductions.

The company's CEO Grant O'Brien said a key enabler for driving forth this model will be customer data.

"Woolworths is leveraging unique data assets to drive new insights and competitive advantage not available to other retailers. Ultimately, that will drive our focus on the customer by making all decisions across the business, starting from the customer perspective, using data on their actual needs and behaviour, rather than surveys and state behaviour," he said.

Woolworths is also looking to expand its Click and Collect program by adding a further 250 Click and Collect locations over the next two years, taking the total network to approximately 1,000 stores. This will also include opening additional drive-through collection points.

"Woolworths is Australia's largest domestic online retailer, and our fleet of 3,699 stores will continue to be harnessed to add new convenience and flexibility for our online customers in how they interact with us," he said.

Woolworths recently signed a Click and Collect partnership with eBay to enable eBay customers to collect their purchases at selected Woolworths and Big W stores.

Woolworths Limited reported during third-quarter results for the 2015 financial year that total sales reached AU$15 billion, a 3 percent increase on the previous year. Its Australian food and liquor division reported sales for the quarter of AU$10.6 billion, an increase of 2.3 percent on the previous year.