Big Data & how to use it to improve eCommerce operations
Retailers have access to a tremendous amount of information about their customers. They can look at a variety of different channels, ranging from social media outlets to online stores, to learn about consumer shopping behavior and understand how to improve eCommerce operations.
However, data is useless if it’s not leveraged properly. This is where many retailers fail – they have access to all this information, or big data, but they struggle to process it in a meaningful way. Either that, or they simply get overloaded with all the information. In fact, one report from the Edgell Knowledge Network found that while 80 percent of retailers have heard of big data, only 47 percent say they can actually use it effectively to fuel their eCommerce operations.
“Every day, we create 2.5 quintillion bytes of data – so much that 90 percent of the data in the world today has been created in the last two years alone,” IBM explained. “This data comes from everywhere: sensors used to gather climate information, posts to social media sites, digital pictures and videos, purchase transaction records, and cell phone GPS signals to name a few.”
Big data can help retailers improve eCommerce operations in several key areas. For example, structured data such as past orders can inform marketing decisions and product recommendations. Unstructured data such as social media interactions and product reviews may influence the items merchants stock.
Not only do retailers need to do a better job of collecting accurate data, they must find ways to convert it into actionable insight. Whether merchants are big or small, information will be a crucial part of successful eCommerce operations, so they need to learn how to use big data sooner rather than later.