Our previous post touched on a few ways that Big Data is expected to improve our day to day lives. This post takes one particular sector {Retail} and looks at some of the ways that businesses in retail will be revolutionized by the use of big data analytics.

The biggest challenge facing retailers when marketing is to predict the behaviour and preferences of both potential new clients as well as their existing client base. The advent of big data ushers in a whole new era of high performance real time analytics. This in turn provides much more accurate indicators of customer behaviour and the ability to predict their interest in any particular product/service at the point where they are considering making a purchase.

Here are 5 examples of how big data will powerfully enable retailers to achieve a whole new level of sophisticated marketing and operations management.

1. Real Time In-store Marketing Tactics
Retailers will be crunching ever greater amounts of customer behaviour data to understand how these customers are researching and buying products. The insights they uncover by analysing this data lets them pro-actively adjust and redesign their marketing strategies and in-store tactics. This data will be crunched in real time and include things like foot traffic and in-store checkout wait times. Retailers with in-store kiosks and free wifi, can arm their sales staff with mobile devices to better serve web-savvy customers on the spot.

2. Personalized {One-to-One} Marketing
Big Data gives retailers the unique opportunity to operate and behave like shop keepers did decades ago whereby they knew each and every one of their patrons personally. Recent research from the Harvard Business Review found that personalization can deliver from 5 to 8 times the ROI on marketing investment and boost sales by as much as 10%. Being able to reach consumers at just the right time, in the right place, through the right channel, is the ultimate goal of personalized marketing and one of the hottest trends in retail.

3. Identifying the Most Valuable Customers
There is tremendous pay off for retailers in being able to find and segment their most profitable customers. It costs substantially more to acquire new customers than it does to retain a business’s best customers. According to a recent study it was found that almost 60 % of retailers identified a lack of consumer insights as their top data-related challenge {ref: Aberdeen Group. For those brands who compete in markets with slim margins, the most efficient way to better engagement and more loyal customers is to capitalize on gathering the right data and couple that with smart analysis.

4. In-depth Insights into Clients’ Purchase Behaviours
The explosive growth of mobile devices, tablets and social media has accelerated the availability of new and revealing customer data. Retailers now know much more than just the basic demographic information about a particular customer. They can analyse their purchase history, mobile and social media interactions, buying preferences, etc. The sheer volume of information that will be available to retailers is unparalleled, even for brands with years of experience in analysing customer data.

5. Leveraging Technology Evolution
Storage technology is becoming so inexpensive that it’s levelling the playing field for many companies when it comes to Big Data. Retail leaders have been investing in centralized databases and focusing their efforts on ensuring high quality of data and doing in-depth data analysis. This provides them with insights into their customers that simply wasn’t possible even a few years ago.

The infographic {below} called “How Retail Can Come Alive With Big Data” provides further insights into the enormous impact that big data will have across the entire retail sector.

Credit: The above infographic was sourced from wiser.com/infographic-bigdata