Big Data for Small Retailers – Is it Doable?

Do Big Data (BD) for small retailers offer an opportunity to compete with the big retailers or is it too much trouble? One of the fall outs of the digitization of business is the massive amount of data that are everywhere. Every time a customer makes a purchase online or registers online, data is generated. The data can potentially tell you almost everything about consumers. Retailers that sort, analyse and interpret BD can add value for customers and so increase their shopping experience.

Surely retailers should take advantage of BD since it contains captured detailed information that probably was overlooked in the past. However, to get the most out of BD, retailers need to be innovative. The promise of new revenues, customers, and new businesses with BD will require development and investment in teams and technology 1. But first let’s have a look at what BD is all about…

What is big data?

Big data is a term that primarily describes data sets that are so large, unstructured, and complex that it requires advanced and unique technologies to store, manage, analyse, and visualize 2. Therefore, big data represents the data sets that cannot be perceived, acquired, managed, and processed by traditional IT and software/hardware tools within a tolerable time 3. Compared with traditional data sets (small data), big data typically includes masses of unstructured data that need more real-time analysis, according to Chen, Mao, and Liu, (2014).

Where can retailers find Big Data? Rajdeep Nair responds as follows on Quora: “Data is everywhere… it can be purchase data or images uploaded by you on the social media site or data sent by mission sent to Mars by NASA. Everything that is there on the internet and company or an organisation’s confidential data stored on the server. Mostly  data is stored on the server, the technology of which is improving and evolving rapidly.”

However, a good place for small retailers to find “Big Data” is on their own systems. Have you ever analysed your own data sets before?

What retailers can do with Big Data

According to Russell Walker 1, firms that are first movers in leveraging BD have great advantages because they develop innovative insights about customers and markets. These insights can transform services, and even business models. Bernard Marr, contributing to Forbes declared Big Data as “A game changer in the retail sector”.

Bernard notes that Big Data analytics is now being applied at every stage of the retail process. Says Bernard: “BD is used to understand what the popular products will be by predicting trends, forecasting where the demand will be for those products, and optimizing pricing for a competitive edge.”  Moreover helps BD retailers to identify the customers that are likely to be interested in their products and works out the best way to approach them. It also to help them making the sale and working out what next to sell them.

Alex Woodie writing a piece in Datanami.com suggests there are 9 ways retailers are using big data technology to create an advantage in the retail sector.

The advantages of Big Data to retailers

  1. Recommendation Engines – by training machine learning models on historical data, the savvy retailer can generate accurate recommendations before the customer leaves the Web page.
  2. Customer 360 – customers expect companies to anticipate their needs, to have the products they want on-hand. Also to communicate with them in real time (via social media), and to adapt to their needs as they change. In the cutthroat world of retail, developing a customer 360 system using Big Data may be a matter of survival.
  3. Market Basket Analysis – is a standard technique used by merchandisers to figure out which groups, or baskets, or products customers are more likely to purchase together. It’s a well-understood business processes, but now it’s being automated with the help of BD.
  4. Path to Purchase – analyzing how a customer came to make a purchase, or the path to purchase, is another way big data technology is making a mark in retail.
  5. Social Listening for Trend Forecasting – platforms like Hadoop were designed to facilitate the handling and analysis of large amounts of unstructured data, such as Facebook posts.
  6. Price Optimization – setting the right price requires knowing what your competitors are charging. Data can be collected electronically using daemons that crawl competitors’ website to get detailed info about product pricing.
  7. Workforce and Energy Optimization – big data technology can deliver benefits on the marketing and merchandising side. As a result it can help big retailers optimize their spending on human capital.
  8. Inventory Optimization – by analysing BD, retailers can plan their seasonality in the shipping algorithms better.
  9. Fraud Detection – retail fraud is a huge problem, accounting for hundreds of billions of lost dollars every year. Retailers have tried every trick in the book to stop fraud, and now they’re turning to big data technology to give them an edge.

Concluding

The narrative about Big Data is more with ‘Big Retailers’ at this moment. However, with smaller retailers adding the online channel to their business, there are ample opportunities for them to use their own data to great effect. Everything else will cost retailers a lot of money. Maybe to start with small data is better for smaller retailers.

Have a look at this video by Tera data corporation more more on Big Data for retailers:

Notes

1 Walker, R., 2015. From big data to big profits: Success with data and analytics, Oxford University Press.

2 Xu, Z., Frankwick, G.L. and Ramirez, E. 2016. Effects of big data analytics and traditional marketing analytics on new product success: A knowledge fusion perspective. Journal of Business Research69(5):1562-1566.

3 Chen, M., Mao, S. and Liu, Y. 2014. Big data: A survey, Mobile Networks and Applications, 19(2):171-209.

Image and video

Pixabay

Tera Data Corporation

33 thoughts on “Big Data for Small Retailers – Is it Doable?

  1. Pingback: Predictive Analytics helps Retailers to make sense of Big Data

  2. Lacresha Flenord

    Its such as you learn my thoughts! You appear to grasp a lot about this, such as you wrote the e book in it or something. I feel that you just can do with a few to power the message home a bit, however instead of that, this is wonderful blog. An excellent read. I’ll definitely be back.

    Reply
  3. buy fut 18 coins

    Hey I know this is off topic but I was wondering if you knew of
    any widgets I could add to my blog that automatically tweet my newest
    twitter updates. I’ve been looking for a plug-in like this for quite some time and was hoping maybe
    you would have some experience with something like this.
    Please let me know if you run into anything. I truly enjoy reading your blog and I
    look forward to your new updates.

    Reply
  4. fut 18 coins

    My developer is trying to persuade me to move to .net from PHP.
    I have always disliked the idea because of the costs. But he’s tryiong none
    the less. I’ve been using Movable-type on a number of websites for about a year and am anxious about switching to another platform.
    I have heard good things about blogengine.net.
    Is there a way I can import all my wordpress posts into it?
    Any help would be greatly appreciated!

    Reply
  5. cheap mink eyelashes

    Howdy! This post could not be written any better!
    Reading through this post reminds me of my old room mate!
    He always kept chatting about this. I will forward this article to him.

    Pretty sure he will have a good read. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  6. Carlota

    Hi, i think that i noticed you visited my weblog thus i
    came to return the favor?.I’m trying to find things to enhance my site!I
    guess its good enough to use some of your concepts!!

    Reply
  7. Lurlene

    My brother recommended I might like this web site. He was entirely right.
    This post actually made my day. You cann’t imagine just how much time I had spent for this info!

    Thanks!

    Reply
  8. Lashonda

    Nice blog! Is your theme custom made or did you download it
    from somewhere? A theme like yours with
    a few simple tweeks would really make my blog jump out.
    Please let me know where you got your design. Cheers

    Reply
  9. Joy

    It is in reality a great and useful piece of information.
    I am happy that you just shared this useful info with us.
    Please keep us informed like this. Thank you for sharing.

    Reply
  10. Twyla

    It’s very straightforward to find out any topic on net as compared to textbooks, as I found this article
    at this website.

    Reply
  11. Anke

    I always used to read post in news papers but
    now as I am a user of net therefore from now I am using net for articles or reviews, thanks to web.

    Reply
  12. www.memorytoday.com

    fantastic submit, very informative. I ponder why the opposite specialists of this sector don’t notice this.
    You should proceed your writing. I am sure, you’ve a huge readers’ base already!

    Reply
  13. Jerilyn

    What’s up it’s me, I am also visiting this website regularly,
    this web page is in fact good and the users are truly sharing nice thoughts.

    Reply
  14. Silas

    Hi, I do believe this is a great web site. I stumbledupon it 😉 I may return yet again since i
    have saved as a favorite it. Money and freedom is the greatest way to change, may you be rich and continue
    to guide other people.

    Reply
  15. Johnnie

    Excellent post. Keep writing such kind of info on your
    blog. Im really impressed by it.
    Hello there, You’ve performed an excellent job. I will certainly digg it and in my view recommend to
    my friends. I am confident they’ll be benefited from this website.

    Reply
  16. Winston

    This is really attention-grabbing, You are a very skilled blogger.
    I’ve joined your feed and stay up for in the hunt for
    more of your fantastic post. Also, I have shared your site in my
    social networks

    Reply
  17. www.brasmedrj.com.br

    Have you ever considered about adding a little bit more
    than just your articles? I mean, what you say is valuable and all.
    But just imagine if you added some great
    images or videos to give your posts more, “pop”! Your content is excellent but
    with pics and videos, this blog could definitely be
    one of the best in its field. Fantastic blog!

    Reply
  18. Alfonzo

    I absolutely love your website.. Pleasant colors
    & theme. Did you develop this web site yourself? Please reply back as I’m looking to create
    my very own site and want to learn where you got this from or
    just what the theme is called. Kudos!

    Reply
  19. nba live coins

    What i do not realize is in fact how you are now not really a lot more smartly-favored than you might be now. You’re so intelligent. You already know thus considerably on the subject of this topic, made me personally imagine it from numerous various angles. Its like women and men aren’t interested unless it’s something to do with Girl gaga! Your own stuffs great. Always deal with it up!

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *