Saturday, December 2, 2023

How Big Data Is Impacting the World of Retail

Today, it’s no secret that gathering informing and figuring out various math problems is best completed digitally. What’s less known is the fact that it is also the best way to pinpoint shoppers as well as their behavior.

Indeed, enlisting the help of big data is the way to go if you want to arrange your store correctly, increase your safety stock level, and attract the interest of those who are the most likely to commit to a purchase as well as those who are already customers.

This is also a great way to offer the best multi-channel experience possible, catering to shoppers who like a seamless shopping experience between the physical stores and the online ones. With the help of intelligent technology such as smartphones, today, there are so many different ways that retailers can genuinely get to know their customers.

Take, for instance, Walmart. Today, it is the most significant retailer worldwide, boasting 20,000 stores in 28 countries! At the moment, they are restructuring their operations as they try to create the biggest private cloud system on the planet.

If all goes well, they will be able to manage 2.5 petabytes of information on an hourly basis. With the help of their Data Café, they will analyze all of that data. Located in Arkansas, this system grants the processing of copious amounts of both internal and external information.

In addition, it can model, evaluate, as well as visualize 40 petabytes of transactional data from stores. However, what’s more, is that they also collect data from around 200 different types of locations that way, Walmart gets the full picture of their rivals. For instance, they even take into consideration information such as meteorological, social media, and economic data, along with many others that are less common, such as gas prices. As soon as all of this information as been evaluated, the datasets created from the algorithms offer answers to problems located in physical stores as well as online ones within moments.

Now, as you can see, they get access to a lot of customer information, which is why it is vital that they responsibly handle that information. After all, the more that you know about your customers, the less they will want to work with you because they could feel violated. As a result, while all of the data can help you reach new heights, you want to find the perfect middle so that you get the best of both worlds.

Indeed, while the advantages of enlisting the help of technology are significant, know that the information that can be collected goes way deeper than just the purchases made. Since the data collected is much more personal, the perfect middle would be to use that information to provide customers with the ideal shopping experience possible, rather than creating one that is aggressive.

Therefore, use the history found in loyalty cards, payments, and browsing behavior as you can even figure out why a customer may not be making purchases at the moment. Instead of fretting about the kind of data that you are collecting, you should focus on how to store it that way securely, it doesn’t get into the wrong hands. As a result, it is recommended that you use both secure and encrypted protocols that are close to impossible to get breached.

The beauty of big data is that it does not discriminate. Indeed, regardless of whether you are a luxury brand or a small, up-and-coming firm, you will find big data useful. After all, customers can shop online at any time of the day, which is why it is even more critical to collect information like stock levels or patterns in customer behavior.

Take, for instance, Amazon. This firm has incorporated data analysis insights into every single pricing decision as well as item recommendation knowledge so that shoppers get the best experience ever. More luxurious firms like Macy’s saw the same success from combined data collection and analysis.

While spreading your business into the cyber world does come with some perks, it poses some challenges, such as cybercrime. Indeed, more and more data breaches occur each year, causing many firms to invest more in cybersecurity. After all, retailers have access to so much personal customer information, so you wouldn’t want to end up in the headlines for a breach because not only will customers get upset, but they will also get scared.

As you can see, though, despite the negative press surrounding all of the breaches, big data boasts many advantages, too. For instance, it allows firms to make more money than they thought they could by opening up new branches that it can flow in from.

Also, interactions with consumers can improve with the help of offers and other kinds of incentives. As the Internet of Things (IoT) starts playing an even more prominent role, more advancements in technology will be required to keep up with all of the information that firms can access and evaluate. In other words, this is just the beginning!


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BALAJI is an Ex-Security Researcher (Threat Research Labs) at Comodo Cybersecurity. Editor-in-Chief & Co-Founder - Cyber Security News & GBHackers On Security.

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