April 18, 2011, 9:51 AM

Mining competitors’ financial reports for e-commerce gold

Digging into retailers’ 10Ks can yield a wealth of insights, an IRCE speaker says

Lead Photo

Stephen Mader

Numbers are how businesses keep score. But experts say that looking only at competitors' sales or profits and other easily obtained numbers such as marketing spend isn’t enough. At the Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition, Stephen Mader, a Kantar Retail senior analyst,  will explain why.  In the session entitled “Mining the numbers: What financial reports can tell you about your competitors,” scheduled for June 15 at 3:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., he’ll discuss how drilling into 10Ks can provide valuable insights about such areas as the rate of growth for web sales and the cost of  operating e-commerce sites.

“During our session, we will dive deep into the financial reports from leading retailers and learn how to weed out the noise to find the juicy details of the underlying business,” Mader says.

The session, to be co-presented by Internet Retailer research director Mark Brohan, will provide guidance about how retailers can benchmark their own operations.  The session will address how financial reports can  provide retailers with insight not only into what their competitors are doing, but also into what retailers should be doing better.

“As we all fight for our share of real growth, it is crucial to understand how the dynamics of a post-modern retailing environment are accelerating the needs for a viable multichannel retailing mode” Mader says. “Having a solid perspective of a retailer’s financial drivers and metrics is key to understanding where the strategies lie and how the business is faring.”

Internet Retailer’s editors asked Mader to speak because his primary research focus is on multichannel retailing. At Kantar, he is responsible for research and insights on retailing in North America. He also studies the impact that technology has on retail. He joined Kantar Retail in 2008.

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