Understanding data analytics and its impact to businesses

Vic Bageria, CEO of Sàvant Data System discusses the dominance of analytics and big data in retail

Tags: Big data
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Understanding data analytics and its impact to businesses Vic Bageria, CEO of Sàvant Data System
By  Vic Bageria Published  December 27, 2016

The year 2016 was marked with the dominance of big data in organisations in terms of processing, generating, storing and extracting information of all sizes and forms.

As cities become smarter, big data also plays a significant role in innovating retail experience. Amazon has launched the Amazon Go - a physical supermarket with no checkout counters at all. Customers just have to install the Amazon Go App, log into their account, take things from the shelves then go out of the store leaving everything to the app to calculate and deduct the cost automatically from the customer's registered credit card.

All these and other smarter innovations are flooding the data analytics market such that business owners and system integrators should collaborate in understanding its intricacies and the path it is supposed to take in the future.

Advanced analytics is not just for trained analysts

A lot of people think that analysis of big data is just for analysts and scientists. The evolution of smarter technologies made even an ordinary consumer to analyse his own information. Aimia found out that two-thirds of shoppers online within the UAE are keen in controlling their own personal data. The survey indicated that consumers are willing to understand their data, much more; they want to know what brands are doing with it.

Self-service strategy is becoming the mainstream where retail organisations become increasingly data savvy. Business owners are now more welcoming of technological integrations. Store managers are digging deeper into data thanks for interactive visualisations to ask and answer their own questions at the speed of thought. Vendors are leveraging advanced predictive analysis to allocate labor during peak times and provide quality customer care.

Full realisation of mobile analytics

For retailers, finding actionable insights in the field with a mobile device is no longer just a pipe dream. Instead of interfacing via legacy business intelligence systems, modern mobile analytics lives at the core of decision making for major brick and mortar stores and their distribution centers.

Mobile marketing is an indispensable arm for marketers who need real-time information. Advanced analytics tools can help those who are at the core of creating marketing strategies to generate predictive data, detect the patterns that have been visible in massive databases and anticipate responses that can be used in personalised marketing automation.

Modifying shopping with IoT

Connectivity is the main concept that merges all business goals. The Internet of Things has undisputedly established an important connection among various elements of a trade - consumer, managers, business owners and employees - are intertwined because IoT was empowered to do so.

The internet has given birth to E-commerce allowing the emergence of Amazon, eBay, Souq.com, Noon, and other online retailers that have redefined buying and selling scheme. Global online shopping has grown to $1.058tr per Satista in 2012. In 2018, the company predicts that transactions online will have a value of $2.356tr.

SAP, a German software company, also predicts the same growth covering how five key verticals Middle East will see the biggest impact from the IoT combined with analytics: smart cities, sport, education, healthcare and oil and gas.

The amazing evolution of omni-channel data integration

In the past few years, companies have used multi-channel marketing in acquiring data about consumers. Social media information is separately acquired from mobile data. Omni-channel seamlessly unifies all sorts of systems in one integrated platform.

A lot of trends can be seen happening in 2017 including user-friendly online shopping, shop and ship, click and pick will continue to offer SMEs a huge opportunity in the regional retail sector. Retailers in the region are poised to benefit from Omni channel solutions, but they need to integrate both online and instore systems to ensure the smooth flow of both data and products, which is critical for a successful and sustainable Omni channel environment

Modernisation of retail marketing mix

Retail marketing will revolve around four valuable elements - preference, relevancy, pervasiveness and post-impression activity. Modern marketers should always believe that preference of the consumer is a big consideration. Preference is the sole basis of relevancy of strategies. If the method does not pertain to the needs, then marketing plans will not be in any way relevant to the business growth. The goal is to understand the consumers and allow the right message to reach them. Finally, post-impression activity like surveys can be utilised to hear what customers think about the strategy you implemented.

Many leading regional retailers have modified their structures and strategies, incorporating customer analytics as a key enabler rather than a supporting capability customer loyalty increasingly becomes a cornerstone for businesses to remain successful. Majid Al Futtaim continuously measuring customer needs and developing a single view of the customer or a `Golden Customer Record' across its 13 business units.

How real-time inventory as a priority

Poor inventory is considered a silent killer when it comes to businesses. Not being able to track supplies can lead to huge losses. Faulty inventory systems can least to aggressive purchasing, inaccurate forecasting and discounting due to fear of brand dilution.

Transparency in inventory procedures across all channels is the primary pillar of Omni channel platform. Solid inventory can lead to efficient management which ensures that products are available for consumers at all times. With the Omni channel growth, customers have grown accustomed to knowing exactly which items are available regionally and when a product may be ready to be picked up at the nearest store. Companies are exposing product counts on websites, mobile apps, in-paid advertisements, and even the exact location of the product down to the isle and bin at a specific store.

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