Five Big Data Trends Revolutionizing Retail

Retail / eCom | Sectors   |   
Published August 16, 2013   |   
Andrew Brust

It’s Moore’s law of marketing: The aggregate amount of data available to retailers doubles every two years. Acquiring the insights that retailers need to find, target and retain their ideal customers used to be a problem. Now, marketers are tasked with sifting through the enormous amount of data they have on hand. Big Data is just that, and the sheer amount makes it difficult not only to discern what’s valuable, but to discover what information might be missing or lost in the shuffle.

The retail industry may have turned a corner. In a recent interview, Karem Tomak, vice president of analytics for, admitted that just three years ago the department store relied on Excel spreadsheets to house and make sense of customer data. Now the retail giant is crediting Big Data and analytics with a double-digit percentage increase in revenue.

More retailers are finding that Big Data has the potential to revitalize an industry being challenged by a slow economy, increasingly empowered consumers, mobile proliferation and an ever-growing number of channels. Although Big Data is having profound impacts on retail and marketing strategy, it’s important for brands to use these trends as building blocks for a greater process flow overhaul. Without the proper technology, internal knowledge and best practices in place, it’s difficult to maximize Big Data’s potential benefits.

Five ways Big Data is revolutionizing retail marketing

1. Growing, cross-channel data volumes

The rise of mobile, tablets and social media has accelerated the growth of available customer data. A typical retailer knows not only the basic demographic information about a customer, but purchase history, call center interaction, mobile/social interaction, supply chain data and more. The sheer volume of information available to retailers is unprecedented, even for brands that have years of experience analyzing customer data.

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