Big data & retail
By Mike Thacker-Cooke
2nd December 2016

Christmas is only around the corner and the retail industry is about to hit its boom. If you are reading this then you have already survived Black Friday and Cyber Monday but now the Christmas shopping rush is beginning, or at least it is for those of us who leave it last minute.

Retailers want the customers in their shops (digital or physical) and they are all competing for your attention but how is big data helping them do this?

Personalised recommendations

We’ve been seeing this for some time now, especially from Amazon. Many online retailers will have analytics and algorithms in place to make assumptions and suggestions of what to buy. By tracking the user’s habits on the site, what they are actually purchasing and what they have previously bought companies can make these personalised suggestions. I still get recommendations for toasters that I replaced 6 months ago!

Market trends

By using data and analytics retailers can try to predict what the next big things is going to be. Looking at social media posts and web browsing habits of their typical customers they can see if there is a buzz around a certain topic and item and can adjust prices and advertisements accordingly.

Pricing

Just how retailers can use market trends to set pricing they can also use analytics to help with this. By tracking their competitor’s prices, demand in store and their own inventory levels retailers can set the prices of products, making it more competitive and giving customers more choices.

Big data and analytics will constantly be changing the retail space as it becomes more competitive for businesses to have the lowest price and the most personalised shopping experience. But it’s not just big data that is shifting retail, according to this Forbes article AI could soon be the biggest disrupter for customer experience in retail.

Do you think big data and analytics will continue to disrupt the retail industry? Which technologies are you most excited to see during your shopping experience? I’d love to hear your opinions in the comments below.

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This blog was originally published by Mike on LinkedIn. To view the original blog please click here

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