Retailers Need To Hit The Reset Button

Timothy Hood

The retail landscape is fundamentally changing as today’s consumers carry your store (as well as your major competitors) in their pocket. Customers are shopping on multiple channels and using many devices, with or without going into a bricks-and-mortar location.

Retailers are looking for competitive advantage as they transform the customer experience and the entire purchase process. Part of this process is looking for strategies to gain insights into the changing buying behavior of their customers. This can all be attained using Big Data analytics to offer a personalized customer experience.

Many retailers are taking advantage of Big Data analytics solutions. According to a recent Penton study, the majority of retailers understand the importance of using data to their advantage.

  • 66% believe Big Data is necessary to the overall growth of their company
  • 63% believe Big Data is critical to the success of their business

While many retailers are already reaping the benefits of cutting-edge analytics, some others are still questioning how to go about it.

According to the study sponsored by HDS (Hitachi Data Systems), SAP, and Intel, more than half of retail respondents don’t have appropriate systems in place to deal with Big Data, and close to one-third of retailers don’t even know where to begin.

What matters to retailers

The best place to start is to determine what matters to your retail business. According to the study, the following issues are top-of-mind for retailers when it comes to Big Data insight:

  • 60%: The ability to track customer purchasing
  • 49%: Customer profiling
  • 48%: Staff effectiveness

Retailers can use Big Data analytics to address all of these issues.

How can Big Data analytics help?

One of the biggest drivers for retailers to use analytics is customer insight. Using analytics allows retailers to track and predict customer behavior, and enables businesses to personalize customer interactions through multiple channels. It can harness both transactional and non-transactional data so retailers can create timely and valuable messaging to consumers exactly when it’s needed to enhance the customer experience.

This helps a retailer have deeper insight into customer behavior, and enables more informed business decisions and actionable merchandising decisions.

Don’t hesitate to take advantage of Big Data

No matter where you stand on analytics, the longer you wait to get started, the more market share you can potentially lose to your competitors who are already engaging with customers on a more personal level with the help of analytics.

Big Data analytics may still be in its early stages for some retailers, but you should consider using your customer data strategically in order to get a jump on the competition instead of being left behind.

For an in-depth look at data analytics and the customer experience, download the SAP eBook, Digital Disruption: How Digital Technology is Transforming Our World.

To learn more about business innovation in the digital era, download the SAP eBook, The Digital Economy: Reinventing the Business World.


Timothy Hood

About Timothy Hood

Timothy Hood is the Global Vice President, Strategy and Technology, Retail Industry Business Unit, at SAP. He is responsible for defining, communicating and executing the SAP Retail Strategy in addition to go to market responsibility for the SAP platform & technology solutions for the retail industry and managing ISV partners.