Big Data analytics transforms retail landscape

Big Data analytics is set to transform retail landscape.

Over the last few years, retailers have been bogged down by the huge amount of data pouring in from diverse online and offline channels. Big Data is a big game changer and retailers are beginning to accept that at the core of their business and operational strategies is a huge pile of data waiting to be unearthed, according to Aneesh Reddy, co-founder and CEO, Capillary Technologies.

The advent of social media and other online marketing channels has become an escalating situation with a huge influx of consumer data in the form of feedback, opinions, preferences, complaints, and suggestions. While this data can be overwhelming, insights acquired by processing this information can help you understand your customers’ needs and facilitate deeper brand-consumer relationships. Studies have shown that 64 percent of retailers are using Big Data to gain competitive advantage; incorporating Big Data analytics in your marketing mix can help raise operating margins by as much as 60 percent and strengthen customer engagement by 76 percent. Have you made big data work for you yet?

Customer Intelligence Platforms: Helping organizations separate the chaff from the grain

The enormity of data itself can be a big challenge. It is by no means an easy task for organizations to aggregate data from disparate sources, process this data, and draw up inferences that can provide better insights into consumer buying habits and online behavior. Digital consumer data is doubling every two years, yet, only 0.5 percent of this data is even analyzed. The very four V’s (Volume, Velocity, Variety, and Veracity) that define Big Data could in fact turn out to be a retailer’s worst nightmare.

Customer Intelligence Platforms can be a blessing to retailers weighed down by a heavy data downpour. They help standardize both qualitative and quantitative data sets to provide a holistic view of your primary customer base. By facilitating easy access to granular data, Customer Intelligence Platforms can help you acquire a comprehensive picture of your customers and extract insights across diverse engagement channels. They are also a great aid if you are looking to measure the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns and drive better ROI through structured improvements.

A good marriage of Predictive Analytics and world-class technology is a must

Data by itself will make no sense unless it is analyzed and the right insights gleaned to enable effective business decisions. A critical factor in data analysis is speed – with consumer behavior changing by the day, you need to process and analyze your raw data in the here and now for any insights to make sense. Invest in advanced technology and deploy robust infrastructure to gather and segment customer data into structured silos; and use advanced predictive analytical models to process this data and acquire pertinent insights that can predict buyer preferences and behavioral patterns.

Get the right resources-technology-knowledge matrix in place. Your Big Data strategy will succeed only if you hire the right people with the right capabilities who can apply predictive data analytics in real time to extract actionable intelligence. Whether you employ in-house resources or partner with external agencies, having skilled analytics professionals in your team will help augment your strategies to influence future customer purchase decisions.

The future is all about getting it right – the right products at the right time at the right price and through the right channel

The world of retail has already shrunk as physical stores make way into computers, smart phones, and tablets. Yet, the future will witness a heady mix of multiple channels viz., mobiles, in-store, and online– each of which will complement the other to give the informed consumer a delightful purchase experience. This phenomenon – dubbed omnichannel retailing by the industry – will obviously mean more data and hence more insights on consumer behavior and purchase habits. The trends likely to shape Big Data and its proliferation in the retail industry will go beyond technological advancements, process orientation, and customer centric offerings. Data governance is likely to become a critical factor in determining benchmarks and standards to control data coming in from both structured and unstructured streams.

Global management consulting firm, McKinsey anticipates that retailers can achieve a 60 percent increase in their margins by fully utilizing the Big Data already at their disposal. Ultimately it is all about how you use this data to analyze your customers’ needs and preferences, establish strong brand conversations, and tailor your communications to provide a more personalized shopping experience. Know Your Customer (KYC) takes on a whole new meaning in the digital world.

Aneesh Reddy, co-founder and CEO, Capillary Technologies
[email protected]

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