Data is practically everywhere and we are already used to it. With constant contribution from diverse interfaces, volumes of digital data are opening new vistas of opportunities for every facet of life.  In the retail industry, particularly the booming online retail sector, this change is most obvious.  Experts say that big data is the new horizon with an overwhelming volume of digital data likely to have the relevant solutions to an array of issues and problems in the retail sector. 

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On the other hand, success of the online retail store or ecommerce site refers to the volume of buyers or the gross amount of transaction in a given time. To boost these numbers tracking buyers, and their behaviours, and accordingly spotting new opportunities for sales is important. Understanding site visitors and knowing what triggers them towards making purchases can be best done by analysing the traffic data. This intensive analytic process that deciphers wide array of useful insights is referred as big data and has seminal importance in business conversion for the ecommerce sites.

How Big Data is represented in ecommerce realm? 

Big data in its quintessential definition encompasses a broad spectrum of information useful to retailers whether over web store or in-store. Big data in the realm of ecommerce is represented in 3 characteristics of data, respectively as velocity, volume, and variety.

ecommerce Big data is represented as velocity, volume, and variety of DATA

  • Velocity of data represents the data speed corresponding to transactions, user actions, etc.
  • Volume of data represents amount of data from diverse sources represented in denomination of volume like TB, PB and ZBs.
  • Variety of data represents multiple types, sources and formats of data.

The ways Big Data changing ecommerce

While many people even after having an idea of the supposedly ‘Big’ role of Big Data in digital interfaces, are not entirely sure in which ways this can play a vital role for their business. Big Data irrespective of the hype it received in recent years is not something that can be overshadowed quickly by another technology so soon. Any business, regardless of their size, must take the opportunities or at least come into terms with the scope offered by the huge volume of digital data and the analytical tools to deal with them. In more ways than one the potential of Big Data can be incorporated to the advantages of businesses. 

1. Customisation

As huge volume of customer data is being collected through various digital sources including loyalty programs, browsing patterns of the website visitors, and purchase history and behaviour of past users, now retailers have the opportunity to process this huge volume of information for planning a customised approach for different segments of customers as per the insights gained based on this volume of customer data.

2. Customer specific offering

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As a retailer when you have a relatively accurate customer profile you can address his concerns, wants and sensitivity better with specific offers. Now creating more accurate customer profile is also easier as you have diverse touch points and sources for collecting and processing customer data. Once you have specific customer profile this can guide you will regarding the price and promotional offers that are likely to re-engage the customer and can convince him to a buying decision once again. Across the retail stores this has already been proven as one of the most effective customer retention strategies, since with this one can more accurately decide the discount, price and offers applicable for each potential customer and targeted buying decision. 

3. Making customer service better

Do you know that a whopping 68% of web traffic simply leaves because of non-satisfactory customer service? Customer service has always been the most neglected area in most web retail stores irrespective of knowing the critical role it plays in boosting sales and customer engagement. By facilitating coordination and communication among various channels of information flow including emails, phone calls, forum posts, live chat messages and typical web behaviours Big Data can help making customer service more interactive, time pressed and purpose driven. Understanding of issues concerning customers and addressing concerns in a time bound manner can only be done by allocating resources to know the loopholes in communication of channels. Any conflict of interest, delay and non-addressing of issues thus can be better tacked with the help of accessing of digital customer data in real time.

4. Smooth operation and supply chain management

For any ecommerce business transparency in operation and well defined process in supply chain management play an important role. In this respect Big Data can play a very prominent role as by accessing and analysing huge volume of operational data and customer data it can accurately forecast all possible glitches and disruptions in the process and thus can prevent delay, disturbance and process leaks. By accessing data on warehousing, shipping and other operational procedure and updates in real-time and by communicating the same to the retailer any disruption and delay in business process can be avoided.