Treeline Analytics Tips & Tricks: Prioritize on Metrics

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By Joe Foster, Edelweiss/Treeline Education and Outreach Coordinator

Treeline Analytics offers a wealth of tools to its users, many of which we’ll cover in a new monthly column here in Bookselling This Week.

This first column will give a few tips about using the Prioritize on Metrics graph, found here, under the Drilldowns Compare tab:

This graph presents a grid that parses your categories according to investment (relative size) on the horizontal and turns (relative performance) on the vertical axis. It will compare your categories against each other, rather than comparing them to an outside source.

What that means is that this graph’s numbers will appear slightly different for each store. For example, here is a store with relatively high turns, meaning the turns numbers on the vertical axis show that even this store’s lowest-turning categories are doing pretty well:

Conversely, here’s a store with relatively lower overall turns, which means, unfortunately, even their best-performing sections aren’t necessarily doing all that great:

When viewing the grid, your larger sections are on the far right, and your best-turning sections are at the top. It could be argued, therefore, that those categories in the upper right corner are your most important or, at least, are those that bring in the most cash flow. You can find detailed instructions for this tool here.

Beyond the usual use, this tool can also help you see, empirically, how your store does with specific genres. For example: Choose the Industry Standard category, click into Fiction, and then click again to see the genres:

This will show you how your store performs with the various fiction genres, as well as how you tend to stock your Fiction shelves.

For example, this store invests relatively heavily in Horror titles, but those titles don’t necessarily perform all that well. Action & Adventure titles turn quite well with somewhat minimal stock. This may be a growth opportunity.

As a buyer, you’ll tend to have a pretty good idea of what’s happening in your store, at least anecdotally. Combining that hard-won knowledge with empirical data can be invaluable.

You can, of course, look at more than just Fiction. Take a look at your Cookbooks, Nature Guides, Biographies, etc. You might find reason to change your buying habits or category placement. You might just discover, too, that you’re doing precisely what you need to.

If your store subscribes to Treeline Analytics, go ahead and dive into your Prioritize on Metrics tool and take a look around.

If you have questions, please don’t hesitate to contact [email protected].