Customers give valuable insight through data
Big data analytics is, at its core, about taking insight from data and improving decisions. Retailers have been harnessing this power for years. According to the New York Times, the latest important role for data in stores is as an aid to product selection at small-footprint urban store locations, where display space is severely limited.
Companies have a variety of possible sources for big data. For example, the Times reported that some large chains have made important choices based on information from customer loyalty card programs.
Firms can also take advantage of increasingly internet-savvy buyers making their preferences known online.
According to the Times, every region has its own unique identity. Walgreens daily living president Joesph Magnacca told the source that every single city store is likely to have a different product mix than its peers. He noted some constants, however, such as an urban distaste for jars of food due to excess weight that would have to be carried on public transit rather than in cars.
Retail chains often have a global scope. BeyeNETWORK contributor Murali Nandini laid out some rules for analytics projects that span the world. Nandini stated that such projects should be centralized but have input from local employees to make sure they are not overlooked.