If retail is a game, cloud reporting gives you new ways to win.   

“Clients are innovating to create and grow new monetization streams, while concurrently responding to changing market conditions.”

With margins compressed across the business, retailers are always on the hunt for new revenue streams. But in order to innovate, you need to be able to see patterns in your data and rapidly act on them. If you can’t see the forest for the trees, there’s no clear path to new monetization. 

By partnering with IBM and Cresco, GameStop was able to unlock advanced data analytics and pave the way to a brand new merchandising opportunity: pop culture collectibles.

Retail is rapidly learning to appreciate the possibilities of the cloud, especially when it comes to reporting. Those leading the way are the ones who manage to get buy-in and evangelism from within, standardizing new processes across the whole company.       

Cloud reporting has empowered brands like GameStop to be far more competitive and clairvoyant with their inventory, making decisions much faster across departments thanks to a confident, disciplined understanding of where the data is. 

Player Two Has Entered The Game

When GameStop sought out IBM partner Cresco International, they already had the IBM stack (Cognos) working on-premise. What they needed was a cloud-based solution, a more advanced iteration of Cognos that allowed them to confidently build their own reporting and share it across the organization. 

Cresco served to bridge the gap between the IBM tech team and the challenges GameStop faced in creating, scheduling, and distributing reports. Within the span of a year or so, GameStop had successfully migrated from on-prem to the cloud:

“We enabled GameStop to share store information to different stores, store managers, district-level managers, and departments. This allowed them to centralize their reporting, making it more of a true enterprise reporting system.”—Kenny Mobley, VP of Services, Cresco International

Brand New Tactics

In GameStop’s case, Cresco had to identify the new advantages of an updated system and the relative shortcomings of the older, “clunkier” version. It became an opportunity to drive excitement for new features and tease out other features to come. 

Cognos gave GameStop a full top-to-bottom solution that included:

  1. A high level of self-governance: Trusted, complete data that empowers business owners to give customers a much more customized experience.
  2. Game-changing capabilities: Super-charged analytics that offer greater flexibility and the wherewithal to ask far better questions. 

Power-Up Your Goals

The transition to cloud dramatically affected the way GameStop was able to get into data. One of their primary concerns was (and continues to be) diversifying beyond video games into collectible pop culture merchandise: 

“Clients are innovating to create and grow new monetization streams, while concurrently responding to changing market conditions. Having the right toolset and a partner like Cresco that has already combined industry-leading tools into market-based consumable solutions can make all the difference in their success.” —Cindy Villarete, Ecosystem Market Leader – US Consumer Industry, IBM  

Thanks to the flexibility that lightning-fast reporting provides, retailers can quickly ask and act on key questions:

  • How do we change our stores? 
  • How much do we change our stores? 
  • What should we merchandise and how?
  • How do we catch trends (such as the Sonic the Hedgehog movies, in GameStop’s case?) 
  • How do we know when a trend is flattening out and making way for the next?

Now, collectibles are a key player and sales-driver in GameStop’s inventory portfolio.

Conclusion: You Miss All The Shots You Don’t Take

GameStop’s partnership with Cresco helped streamline them as an organization. Previously, for example, they’d had trouble rendering a full picture of their loyalty customers. Emboldened by faster reporting, they tried to add a higher loyalty tier. While the new tier ended up not working, they were able to quickly see how it affected consumer behavior—and ultimately their margins. As a result, they could terminate the program before it became so ingrained that they couldn’t get rid of it. 

With good reporting, you can fail faster with fewer consequences. Which means you can win faster, too. If a new loyalty tier wasn’t the answer, pop culture merchandise most certainly is. Rapid insights from Cognos gave GameStop a new way to win.