From improving the customer experience to developing better products and marketing campaigns, big data is the next big thing in eCommerce.
The biggest challenge to most eCommerce businesses is the task of collecting, storing, and analyzing this huge set of data, somethings semi-structured but often completely unstructured. Big data paves the way for more organized data that makes a lot of sense to commerce business.
Big data in the eCommerce realm is coming from multiple sources as 3 “V”s — Velocity, Volume, and Variety.
- Velocity: speed of the data like transactions, user actions, etc.
- Volume: amount of data from multiple resources in TB, PB and ZBs
- Variety: multiple sources and multiple formats
Here is how retailers can adopt big data into existing businesses.
“Respect the shopper” is the tagline of eCommerce businesses from the last couple of years. Collect data such as customer demographics, order history, behavioral patterns, etc. from various channels and apply learning for a more privileged customer experience with personalized products, offers, and so on.
- Dynamic Pricing and Ad Targeting
Dynamic pricing in real-time is where online retail is headed. Dynamic pricing is necessary in online retail, as shoppers are highly price-sensitive and markets are hyper-competitive. Dynamic and relevant ad presentation increases customer engagement and conversion rates. Learn from the purchases, conversion rates, demand, and traffic to cut or boost prices. Amazon dynamically re-prices products every 10 minutes to stay competitive in the market.
- Supply Chain Management
Big data allows retailers to determine patterns that can be useful for forecasting any potential hiccups or disruptions to supply. For instance, any changes to purchase patterns can be captured in real-time and necessary steps can be taken immediately on inventory, warehouse, distribution, etc..
- Customer Service
Excellent customer service is critical for increasing sales. Big data can help consolidate the various communication channel data — including phone calls, emails, and live chat — for the identification of critical customer issues, time taken to resolve issues, etc., thereby finding and implementing efficiencies.
- Predictive Analytics
Big data allows businesses to get the in-depth insights of customer, operational, and business data, ultimately allowing them to whittle everything down to a much more predictable and manageable format.
- Complex Event Processing (CEP)
Big data and CEP can help in-store and online retailers take real-time decisions based on the data in motion. Retailers can learn about events such as items being added to carts/wishlists in real-time and act upon them.