How WSL Strategic Retail uses SaaS technology to keep its How America Shops research at the cutting edge

  • August 24th, 2018

WSL Strategic Retail is a specialist information provider that helps retailers reach their target markets. Using survey data, it develops insights and solutions to help businesses understand shoppers’ desires and behaviours.

Data and insights from WSL Strategic Retail are eagerly sought-after across the retail sector, but the custom-built database it used to house its information and act as a content library was outdated.

‘People couldn’t find what they were looking for…’

Thanks to a partnership with Publish Interactive, a SaaS technology provider for the research sector, WSL Strategic Retail has been able to equip itself for the digital age.

“Search is really important,” says Maryann Javier, Visual Brand Manager with WSL Strategic Retail. “With the custom-built system, people couldn’t find what they needed. Using Publish Interactive is a much better way to find and share content.”

WSL Strategic Retail uses Publish Interactive’s smart content management and publishing system to improve the value it offers customers. The full suite of its How America Shops research is around 40 pieces of content annually to which subscribers need quick and easy access.

“Not only can subscribers now easily locate information”, says Maryann, “the smart workflow tools built into WSL’s content library help them to easily re-use the data and find insights quickly.”

“Our clients are using the new library really well. They can find everything they need,” adds Maryann. “This gets noticed by others. They see content they don’t yet own and can buy it. The system is good at exposing people to new reports.”

Low maintenance technology

The ability to provide customers with high-quality search is critical to the development of WSL. Like other businesses of a similar size, however, it found maintaining a high-quality digital service in-house would prove both costly and time-consuming.

“We were quoting with developers to renovate the existing system we had, but technology moves so quickly, we realised we’d need constant upgrades if we continued to develop our own product,” says Maryann.

“Publish Interactive is serviced software, so it’s continually being upgraded by its own team of developers. That’s was perfect situation for us, as we’re a small team with no developers in-house. We get cutting-edge technology to delight our customers, without the hassle of managing it.”

Developing integrations

The next phase of WSL’s development will see it increase the value it offers subscribers by enabling them with greater survey data visualisation and analytics tools.

Functionality made available through Publish Interactive’s integration with MarketSight, will empower WSL’s subscribers to combine data, create their own insights, and embed visualisations into bespoke reports in a way that wasn’t previously possible.

“The reports we publish have all the data cleaned up and converted into totals, rather than spilt out by all demographics or retailers,” adds Maryann. “Our customers know we have that deeper level of data and often ask us to supply it to them.”

“In the future, they won’t have to ask. They’ll simply be able to access that data and visualise it quickly and easily themselves.”

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