3 Ways Big Data Improves Customer Reach and Growth for Retail Businesses


The retail industry has always relied on information for prosperity. In times before technology, the most successful shop owners were the ones that knew their customers personally. When customers walked into the shop, the owner was right there to make them feel special. They were able to address the customers’ individual needs, and make every shopping experience a meaningful one. They knew their customers, they knew what they wanted, and they gained their loyalty by being friendly and helpful.

Today, the retail industry is deep into the era of big data, and its existence depends on it. Business owners know that they have to reach out to existing, and potential customers who could virtually be on the other side of the globe, and no longer in their immediate neighborhood. Successful retailers must get to know their customers. They have to understand what they want, and know where and when to provide it. They also need to know how to hold on to loyal customers, while at the same time targeting potential customers, and increasing conversion rates. That’s a lot of information to gather and evaluate. To make sense of all those zettabytes of data being generated at unprecedented rates, from more and more devices, it’s time to go beyond the comfort zone of conventional data analytics tools. It’s time to embrace new technologies that will generate business intelligence that can be used to increase sales, and gain a competitive advantage in this digital age.

Because in the retail world nothing is more important than your customers, and generating sales, it’s imperative that you optimize your resources. Here are 3 ways big data will improve customer reach, and growth for your company.

Discover who your customers are

In the impersonal world of the internet, it’s sometimes easy to forget that there are actual people on the other side of an online interaction. If you don’t know, or care who your customers are, they will find someone else who does. And, without consistent customer acquisition, no retail business can survive. Here’s where big data comes in to help your company improve customer acquisition. Through customer behavior analytics, you will be able to personalize and optimize every step in your customer’s lifecycle. By getting to know your customers, existing or potential, you can optimize their journey and personalize accordingly.

Customer behavior analytics will show you where you will find your ideal customers so you can fine-tune your channel strategy. Not only will you be more successful in your conversion rates due to a sharper focus, you’ll also be more efficient, and therefore, be able to reduce spending per acquisition. When you know who to target, you will find those customers who are ready to respond to the offers that you are making. This means that your conversion rates will have a higher chance of rising. And, because you are providing a personalized offer that is more meaningful, it will lead to increased loyalty. Another benefit of using big data to drive customer behavior analytics is that your company will be able to map your customer’s journey. By mapping their behavior at all touch, and interaction points, you’ll get to know them, and their habits better. Also, you will discover where you are losing potential customers, then you will know exactly where to optimize your path to purchase, and ultimately raise conversion rates. Finally, by using the behavior data, you can create predictive models to help you identify potential customers that are of the highest long term value to your business. You can focus your efforts where you are sure to get the best returns.

Customize and focus your marketing campaigns

Here is where big data can help your company personalize your marketing messages. With the barrage of advertising facing consumers today, people are only responding to the right message, that they get at the right time. Big data helps by providing you with information you need to analyze the impact that your marketing campaigns have on your customer’s behavior and spending. You can also use the customer’s data to discover their needs and trends. That way your marketing can become more personalized.

For example, it’s important to recognize whether or not your customers have multi-channel shopping interaction habits. The may be doing product research with a mobile app during a work break. Or, they may order a product from your online website and pick it up at the store. When you have access to this information, you can focus your marketing appropriately and effectively. Also, big data follows your customer’s activities on social media and other sites where they may mention your products. Your company will be able to swiftly reply to bad reviews, and allow you to provide better customer experiences.

Leverage the super power that is social media

The more people you reach with your marketing message, the more potential customers you’ll have, and the more potential customers, the more revenue. That’s the bottom line, and this is where social media comes in. Using social media is crucial for your business because nothing reaches more people than social media sites do. Big data will show you where your brand is being discussed, what people are saying about it, and who is linking to it. Not only will social media help you get to know your customers better by understanding their shopping behaviors and buying patterns, but it also gives your marketing department the insight needed to optimize their campaigns and target the best audience groups.

Today, using big data business analytics allows retail companies to connect to their customers more quickly, and more effectively. It also means that companies can make personalized and meaningful connections with those customers, resulting in higher conversion, and loyalty rates. IBM says that 62% of retailers say that by using big data and other types of information, it is giving their businesses a competitive edge over those that haven’t yet taken advantage of what big data has to offer.