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How Big Data is Affecting Shopping

Jimmy Rohampton, @jimmyrohampton

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In the world of analytics, big data is a hot topic. In terms of marketing, it can determine whether a company is going to succeed or not. Basically, big data is used by companies in every industry to help with compiling information about their customers and sorting through the data to find new trends, forecast demand, and optimize price. Let's take a closer look at how big data is affecting the way you shop.

Big Data Predicts Your Trends
When processing and sorting through the information, most analyzers are looking for one specific piece of information – what is trending. Retailers need to know who their clients are going to be and what they are interested within their scope of the industry.

Referred to as "Trend Forecasting," retailers use a combination of your social media posts, browsing habits, and ad-clicking experiences to formulate what you're thinking and loving at the moment. So if you've done a Google search to look for a guide for best automotive parts and accessories, don't be surprised if by the next day, you're shown ads related to automotive parts and accessories on sites you visit.

It Forecasts the Upcoming Demand
The best analyzers can take forecasts of what products you will be buying in the near future. There are certain trends that are popular among people during certain times of the year. By using data collected throughout the years, analyzers can help predict how shoppers are going to respond to upcoming products.

Forecasting Also Helps with Optimizing Price
Called a "Real-Time Merchandising System", analyzers use these systems to help forecast and optimize pricing as needed. Before the days of tech, retailers were forced to have to drop down prices as soon as the season ended, when they knew demand was over. However, algorithms that process big data daily are able to calculate when price decreases should begin happening for items. Similarly, this is the case for when it's time to increase the price of these items.

For many retailers, this is imperative to staying ahead of the competition. Stores, especially online retailers, have to know how to price their items accordingly. Instead of spending hours scouring the net, business owners can set up an IT team with big data knowledge. This IT team can work together to come up with algorithms for the retailer that will best work with scouring the net for relevant information on any items' demand rates.

Many companies rely heavily on this system with their business model. While some say "Big Data" is dead in the industry, they have no idea how wrong they are about it.

Big Data Helps with Identifying Customers
Identifying customers with big data is crucial for businesses. Big data is collected from search engine recommendations, loyalty programs, transactions done online and offline and through customer demographics to help identify what customers are most likely to shop at a retailer. It's important for retailers to know who their clients are so they can cater to them.

Most companies use this big data to help with selling promotional clothes. This also helps retailers with exploring how to better cater services to them. For example, Macy's realized that millennials are increasing more with shopping trends, so they've catered to this. Opening a store called One Below, you can customize 3D Printed smartphones and get selfie walls.

Being able to identify a customer is the best way for retailers to expand their services and cater to their community.

Big Data Helps with Making Final Sales
So many people wind up with items in their baskets/carts in anticipation to purchase new items. However, big data has shown retailers that they are failing to make the sale. This was presumed that it was due to people not being able to find their credit or debit cards to make the payment.

In order to combat this issue, found by big data, retailers have begun investing in companies like Klarna, who offer invoicing systems. This allows most customers to buy their accessories on a moment notice without having to input their card information. Instead they are able to pay the invoice in one big sum or monthly installments. This makes it easier for customers to not only make the purchase, but to be able to afford it.

Big Data Continues to Affect the Shoppers' Experience
Big data may be deemed as "useless" for some people, but in the shopping world, it is a system that really does help with marketing. With years to come, big data may completely revolutionize the way we purchase things entirely. It's already transformed so much in a decade, so think ahead to where it'll be a decade from today.

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