Big Data Is Not Just For Christmas

Big Data Is Not Just For Christmas

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Have you noticed that while the Christmas sales produced record figures, the High Street wasn’t as busy as in the past? This is because for every shopper pounding the pavements, another was bagging a bargain without leaving the living room. Now that even granny has an iPad, data mining is becoming an essential tool for the entire retail industry.

Shoppers are now using a wide range of platforms and pathways to find the best deals. This fast-growing phenomenon has been dubbed omni-channel shopping.

Omni-channel shopping is a huge challenge to the retail industry, and a massive opportunity to companies that can harness the power of data mining to get their strategy right. Data mining is now an essential tool for all retailers, whether their roots are on the High Street or on the internet.

The end-of-year sales are proving how important big data is to large retailers. Consumers are no longer dashing to the High Street and snapping up bargains, but are seeking out the best value across all channels. With most buyers highly price sensitive in the current economic conditions, getting price-strategies right means the difference between success and failure.

Retailers can now analyse buyer behaviour using data from their websites, social media platforms and even from mobile phone data from in-store shoppers. Fast-moving firms now change their prices and offers within minutes of spotting a trend or a lower price offered by a competitor. These valuable, almost real-time insights resulting from effective data analysis translate into profits and boost ROI.

With many consumers personally connected to retailers via loyalty schemes and social media, personalization backed up by advanced data analytics has a major impact on profits. Research quoted on the Harvard Business Review website found that personalized offers can boost sales by 10% and ‘deliver five to eight times the ROI on marketing spend’.

Retailers are using data analysis to track individual shopper’s interactions with their brands and products across retail platforms. These interactions can be anything from reading online product reviews, scanning a QR code for product information, comparing prices online and talking to a sales rep. They can identify which channels and offers trigger consumers to buy and make quick changes to websites and even in-store displays to increase conversions.

While the rise of online retailers may seem like a threat to traditional retailers, data mining is a way for them to increase their understanding of customer behaviour. By harnessing the power of data mining to extract useful and timely insights into consumer behaviour, they are learning how to increase loyalty and ultimately profits. The Forbes website notes that big data has arrived  ‘just in time to help retailers adjust and thrive amidst the omni-channel shopper revolution’.

The need for useful information is driving recruitment in the data mining and data analysis industry. Demand for skilled data miners and managers with big data experience is growing fast. According to Enterprise Apps Today, Gartner expects 4.4 million new IT jobs to be created by the demand for big data by 2015.

We have a wide range of data mining job opportunities on our books today. If you are looking for a data-mining job, or want to know if your big data experience is valuable in the retail industry, feel free to contact us at Rochelle@isluk.co.uk or alan@isluk.co.uk

Information Technology