Big data & supermarkets
By Craig Robson
31st January 2018

Big data is everywhere and being collected by almost every consumer facing business. Your regular supermarket knows more about you than you think. For many supermarket brands gaining customer loyalty is incredibly important, as competition only grows. To ensure they are retaining their customers and getting new business, many shops now use big data to understand and target their audience in the right way.

How is the big data collected by supermarkets used to improve your shopping experience?

Loyalty Schemes

If you shop at any of the major supermarkets the likelihood is you will belong to at least one (if not many) of the loyalty schemes, from Tesco’s Clubcard or Sainsbury’s Nectar Card. These schemes allow the supermarket to collect data on you every time you shop and swipe. By tracking these shopping habits (what you buy, when you buy, and how much you buy) the shops are able to target specific promotions or vouchers at you. This data can also be a great way for the supermarket to understand market trends and pricing.

This same data is also being used on your digital shop, the shops are tracking what you buy so they can offer recommended products and tailor adverts to suit you.

Customer Experience

Big data is also helping to improve customer service and experience when interacting directly with these brands. As with any business supermarkets receive complaints and compliments each day. By tracking these comments and analysing the data from them, supermarkets can learn where to improve, what products may be having issues and even how to make sure they retain existing customers. Many of the stores will also have multiple departments, by collecting the data they can ensure their ‘profile’ on you is in one place and your experience is seamless.

Not just about the customer

Big data can also help the supermarkets predict shopping trends and buyer habits. This data helps the store not just know what to stock but how to place them in the store, for example if two products are typically bought together should they be placed in the same, or near, aisles? 

Big data is really changing the way we do our weekly shops, whether we realised it or not. I’m excited to see how this will continue to develop as the amount of data collected is only going to grow.

Do you think big data affects your shopping experience? How else do you think supermarkets could use our data? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

KDR Recruitment is the home of the best Information Management and Data Analytics jobs. For more big data news and views check out the KDR blog or follow KDR on LinkedIn.

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