Big Data uses in retail industry

By Author  |  Published: 30th Oct 2017  12:09 amUpdated: 30th Oct 2017  12:27 am
Big Data
Tech will revolutionise the retail industry and shopping experience. — Photo:

According to Techopedia, Big data refers to a process that is used when traditional data mining and handling techniques cannot uncover the insights and meaning of the underlying data. Data that is unstructured or time sensitive or simply very large cannot be processed by relational database engines.

This type of data requires a different processing approach called big data, which uses massive parallelism on readily-available hardware. Indian retail players are willing to adopt Big Data and analytics technology at the rate global retail players do. So, if you have found yourself looking right at the product that was on your mind, it may not be just serendipity at work. Chances are, your favorite retail store has focused on your purchasing history, preferences and demographic and voila, you find that the item you’re interested in is showing stocked at your retail store.

What are some of the use cases of Big Data in retail according to bigdataanalyticsnews?

1) Smart use of hybrid data integration: Retail analytics makes use of big data and hybrid architecture allowing for seamless data integration. As a result, retailers collects data from all channels and verticals like apps, sensors, RFID tags, social media platforms, etc. all corresponding to the same product.

2) Retail analytics and future prediction: Retail analytics makes use of predictive modeling for the retail owner to compete smartly with the market in the future. For instance, in case of approaching festivals like Diwali and Dussehra, the retailer can anticipate an increase in demand for FMCG products and stock his store accordingly.

3) Analytics and the use of data visualization: Data by itself does does not offer any value. Pictures, on the other hand, are each equivalent to a thousand words. Data summaries are collected in the form of visual aids like graphs and charts, which makes it easier to share them with the middle management that drives execution.

4) Retail analytics and retail merchandising: Retail analytics solutions offer insights for retailers to help them stock the right product at the right time. Some advanced retail analytic programs also suggest the location of a particular product in the retail shelf counter which can lead to maximum sales. That does sound like each product on the shelves of the retailer has a holy grail to higher sales and big data offers that holy grail.

5) Analytics in supply chain operations: There is a three-folded benefit of using big data analytics in supply chain operations. First, retailers can minimize product downtime and maximize their sales opportunity. Second, using GPS, product logistics can be tracked and evaluated. Third, big data analytics helps the retailer optimize his operations by choosing the best supplier for his business needs.

6) Analytics in retailer store operations: Retailers can use sensors to determine inventory levels or automatically restock shelves once the stocks go lower than a predetermined number. When coupled with Internet of things (IoT), the advantages of big data in store operations multiply.

What is the way forward for Big Data in retail ?

We are at the cusp of technologies like Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things (IoT), Big Data, Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality coming together to revolutionize the retail industry and the shopping experience of a customer. A well integrated system is the need of the hour as is the need for talent that creates the efficiencies. A decade later, we may actually see that there is such a widespread use of the fusion of these technologies that we take them for granted. For retail businesses, the time to adopt them and successfully execute them is now.