The recent buzz in the retail industry is about big data and its potential to transform the industry. Retail is one of the fastest growing industries in the market today. This growth is accelerated by the rapid adoption of mobile devices such as smart phones, iPad’s, and Tablets. The retail industry needs to adopt this same technology in order to understand customer buying habits and to respond quickly to their buying decisions. Retail outlets are already implementing software applications that collect data on customers through their purchases and browsing patterns.
Retail giants like Target, Best Buy, Wal-Mart, and Macy’s have already adopted mobile technology to capture more consumer data. But what about other retailers? In this article we will discuss how big data can change the retail landscape and what retailers need to do to embrace these new technologies.
Driving Accuracy and Precision with Data Science
Data science is a term used to describe the process of using big data to help improve the accuracy and precision of any given decision. There are many ways to apply this concept in the retail industry. One way is through data mining. This simply means tracking and gathering data from all available sources, both online and offline, and using it to make better-educated decisions about inventory. Another way is through behavioral management. Using retail analytics to determine what actions might lead to repeat sales, repeat business and repeat customers.
Data mining is not limited to supply chain and behavioral management; it can also apply to customer analysis. Retailers collect customer information during every stage of the purchasing decision chain. This data is then categorized according to different characteristics like age, gender, income level, shopping preferences, and much more. Once this information is categorized, then it becomes easy to make better-informed decisions about the inventory mix. It is also useful for predicting customer demands and how products could be marketed. The big data effect on the retail industry is astounding.
Learning with Data
Just because customers have given their feedback or written in a customer satisfaction survey that they think the product they bought was good doesn’t mean that the company had a positive experience with that product. As consumers continue to give their opinions of retail experiences, the retail industry will collect and analyze that feedback and apply it to improving customer service. When big data become more prevalent and easily accessible, then retail companies will no longer need to send out questionnaires or surveys to gather this valuable information. Instead, they will be able to quickly and easily analyze large pools of data to make informed decisions.
Becoming a Leader with Analytics
Another use of big data is for product comparisons. If a retailer has more than one brand of the same item, then they will have to compare the unique characteristics of each brand and run demographic reports to see what percentage of their customer base is male, female, senior citizen, and so forth. With regards to product design, big data is not only useful for retail companies; it is also useful for consumer product makers like General Electric. GE’s Industrial Internet initiative is collecting and using big data to help them make better decisions about making new products as well as better ways to improve the existing ones.
Big data analytics can be used to track your retail traffic. Today’s consumers are much different than the ones that were around decades ago. Technological improvements have made it possible for people to stay connected through their mobile phones all the time. Mobile payments, social media, and the ability to do business right from the comfort of their home are just a few of the things that have made being a customer much easier. With this greater level of connectivity, the retail industry can monitor foot traffic, spending habits, and even purchase intent, which allows retailers to see what items are selling the most and which aren’t bringing in the revenues.
Standing out with Big Data
Retailers can also take advantage of big data to make their business more efficient. Many retail outlets are implementing GPS monitoring to help them better monitor their locations and customer movement. The improved accuracy of this technology means that sales are up even as store hours of operation decreases. Companies can use this information to optimize their strategies for the busiest times of the day and find ways to increase profitability during these times. Retailers can use big data analytics to determine which displays, items, and locations are selling the most, or they can simply close up shop during these times and bring in more customers at other times.
AI enabled tools and applications by ONPASSIVE is a big step towards utilizing Data Science for the retail industry. As the technology evolves further there is a good scope for various retailers to step into the virtual market and hit numbers like never before.
We at Onpassive Digital are work towards making Data Analytics and Big Data available to all the businesses and help them in achieving their maximum reach and realizing goals.