Gartner predicts that by 2020, the average person will have more conversations with bots than with their spouses!
Welcome to the world where retailers would love it if they could read your mind.
Getting insight into the products you like and the ones you are going to buy is something retail giants are heavily investing in. In fact, e-commerce behemoth Amazon has obtained a patent to deliver items before buyers have made the decision to purchase them. If drone package delivery wasn’t impressive enough, Amazon has taken it up a notch with their predictive deliveries.
Big Data and analytics have changed the way people buy and sell. From online to brick ‘n’ mortar stores, retailers are evolving to meet customer demand by embracing a data-first strategy.
Let’s take a look at how Big Data is changing retail:
With a wide range of Big Data tools available these days, retailers have been able to predict trends about ‘must have’ items. Leveraging trend forecasting algorithms, along with social and web data has enabled retailers to predict upcoming trends. Coupled with techniques like sentiment analysis, marketers can know when a product is discussed and whether the general opinion about that product is favorable or not. This data can then be used to predict trends.
Helps in Demand Forecasting
After understanding what products people will be interested in, retailers leverage Big Data to understand where the demand would be. With the help of demographic data and spatial analysis, marketers can forecast demand across countries, cities, and even down to individual neighborhoods.
Can Optimize Pricing
What is the right price? This is a question which bothers many retailers. Businesses have long struggled to figure the right price—neither too high nor too low (in most cases)—for their products and services. Analyzing troves of data along with having the ability to track inventory, demand, and competitor activity, enables retailers to optimize the price of their products. Big Data also helps determine when prices should be lowered. Instead of relying on end of season sales, businesses can leverage data to understand when and if they should begin with a gradual reduction in prices.
Can Make Customer Identification Easy
Despite being able to predict trends, forecast demand, and optimize pricing, businesses still struggle to identify which customers want which products. Big Data here has been a game changer. With access to purchase history, transaction data etc. retailers have been able to identify customers. This has enabled them to target customers with relevant products in order to increase the chance of a sale, and even turn predictive deliveries into reality.
Can Make Anticipatory Shipping Possible
In a bid to minimize delivery times, online businesses are vying to make predictive deliveries the norm. As mentioned above, Amazon received a patent for what it calls anticipatory shipping. What this means is that based on your purchase history and transaction data, online retailers like Amazon will ship products in anticipation that you might purchase them. The problem with anticipatory shipping is that retailers have to get it right or fear losing a lot of money.
The proliferation of data is changing the consumer experience. Retailers can now accurately predict trends, forecast demand, optimize pricing, identify and target customers with relevant products, and can even make predictive deliveries possible. Beyond drone deliveries and predictive shipping, what do you think is the future of retail?