Across every industry, big data is becoming a big deal. Companies are collecting, storing and analyzing mountains of information every day in order to create greater efficiencies within their operations, improve customer experiences and increase profit margins. The insights gleaned from big data analysis are critical to enterprise organizations as they create and execute their business strategies – and these kinds of strategies are paying off.

Retail organizations are no exception to this rule of big data. Especially during the holiday shopping season, companies are using the insights collected from their customers’ shopping habits in order to improve performance across the board and meet the demand of consumers. Predicting trends, forecasting demand, finding optimal prices and identifying the target market are all ways big data helps retailers.

Let’s take a look at some examples of how big data is being used every day in the retail industry:

“Analytics is helping organizations strengthen their marketing strategies.”

Tesco Predicts Sales

Smartphone app with shopping cart icon in front of actual shopping cart

Retailers are using big data to predict shopper behavior and increase profits.

Tesco, the U.K.-based retail giant, has been a proponent of creating the right infrastructure in order to get the best insights out of its data. According to big data expert and Forbes contributor Bernard Marr, Tesco models trends in customer behavior to accurately forecast sales. The insights gleaned from sales forecasting can be surprising, and may include data points such as how people will shop in a store throughout a given week, which products they buy and how much they spend.

“Using analytics and clustering and suchlike, we found that the way we thought products hung together – the way we buy products – is not really the way products behave,” Mike Moss, head of forecasting and analytics at Tesco, told Marr.

In other words, analytics is helping organizations strengthen their marketing strategies, as well. If they know what items customers usually buy together, or when these products are purchased, they can make more informed decisions regarding how they stock shelves or send mailers.

Happy Holidays: Black Friday Depends on Data

On the biggest shopping day of the year, big data is helping organizations keep track of quickly changing inventories and customer demands. According to Information Age contributor Nick Ismail, analytics allows retailers to manage inventory in a more efficient, effective way – in fact, by drilling down into customer data from previous years, companies can predict trends and demand, thus getting more value out of their supply chains, keeping important items in stock and delivering customers exactly what they want when they want it.

How do they accomplish all of this? By investing in big data analytics tools and techniques, retailers can stay on top of e-commerce trends, predict brick-and-mortar sales and generally improve business performance.

“These processes allow retailers to gain new insights into customer behavior, develop an understanding of their activity through loyalty cards or online activity and ultimately allows targeted marketing to individuals based on previous behavior,” Ismail wrote. “Using data analytics for real time insight enables retailers to see immediately, and predict in the future, these trends and make well-informed decisions ahead of time, often saving the business from potential trading disasters.”

The big data experts at Aunalytics can help retailers take their customer and inventory data to the next level by drilling down into it and bringing out key insights that will allow companies to operate more efficiently. In the short term, we can help you give your customers what they want – and in the long term, a partnership with Aunalytics can give you the information you need to boost sales and improve profit margins.

Contact the consultants at Aunalytics for more information today.