Big Data – What’s The Buzz

14th April 2016
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What’s the buzz about Big Data?

Britney-Headshot

As the founder of Pryde Marketing and data driven marketing consultant, Britney Muller is a fierce advocate of big data and its benefits for ecommerce.

We spoke to Britney to unpack this big data trend a little:

The term ‘big data’ comprises data sets that can be analysed using technology to determine patterns and trends in a market or industry, such as behaviour or interaction amongst consumers. This data is often so large that traditional methods of processing are insufficient for analysis. The complexity results in deeper, more insightful results that retailers can use to build on their brand.

Britney explains the implications using this data could have on retail, suggesting they’re far beyond what we can imagine.

“eCommerce companies will have the ability to ‘assist’ their customers at the perfect moment. Much like what Amazon has done with the dash buttons, big data will allow eCommerce companies to access key customer touch points.

Big data is also changing the way eCommerce advertises and markets their products. Gone are the days of shooting in the dark.”

As an example, she shares a set of Instagram statistics, which outline the plus sides of promoting a brand using the site:

Instagram Statistics:

  • Instagram has 300m monthly active users.
  • Focusing on the top 25 most engaging brands (on Instagram), the average post engagement is 4.21% versus only 0.07% on Twitter.
  • More than 53% of Instagram users follow a brand.
  • The average sales order for a visitor referred by Instagram is $66.75.
  • Global cost-per-click on Instagram ads is $0.65.
  • The best Instagram post length for brand engagement is 20-49 characters.

Additionally, Britney suggests using big data to identify candidates for beneficial partnerships, “as long as each stay true to their own unique brand personality, and share outside products in a genuine, interesting way that their audience will enjoy”.

A Deeper Insight

On top of the impressive stats, big data analysis can also give retailers much deeper insights into their brand. As for what the data can show, Britney says :

“All sorts of things! Depending on what silo of eCommerce you might be in, you can evaluate trends, seasonal buying patterns and geo-purchase-location hot spots. Some companies have even started using parallel thinking to link weather and seasons to buying patterns. For an example; people tend to purchase more junk food and movies when the weather is bad. When the weather is good, retailers often see a spike in washing machine and vehicle sales. For years now, top advertisers have programmed online advertising to turn off food / grocery ads in geo areas where the weather is bad, because no one wants to get groceries in the rain! This smart big data will continue to improve and save companies time and money.”

You may not have considered the way the weather could affect your sales, but there’s the proof – and big data can help you determine your new approach.

Now’s the Time to Start

Retailers should already be using data driven marketing. If not, Britney recommends having an open mind and giving it a shot immediately. In fact, Britney considers big data analytics her favourite and most integral part of Pryde Marketing’s approach, describing the research Pryde does for companies as ‘incredible’.

“It’s essentially numbers painting a behavioural/sociological picture for our marketing strategy. My team will dig up physiological patterns driven by big data that have never been considered before. This gives our clients a big jump ahead of their competitors, and pays off handsomely for them.”

So what exactly are the advantages for retailers when using big data? Britney lists both business success and customer satisfaction as points to consider.

“Big data doesn’t just improve overall strategy and bottom line sales. It also enhances customer service responses, allowing you to retain more long term loyal customers,” she explains, and as any retailer will know – loyalty pays off in the long term.

She also notes that big data can also be used to identify ‘company pain points’. Using these, retailers can stop problems in their tracks and ‘pivot strategy before an issue impacts their bottom line’.

Is Big Data Futureproof?

Big data is here to stay – and will become more accessible for retailers thanks to tech organisations simplifying the process.

“It’s going to get much easier to aggregate and consume. Right now, it is very tough to stare at a giant excel spreadsheet of data unless you know how to format or translate it. Companies like Tableau have been paving the way for big data dashboard and visualization capabilities, propelling the industry forward.

Google has also been doing a phenomenal job of taking big data and making it interactive. Their Frightgeist Map applied SVG (an XML Namespace), JavaScript and some fun transitional filters to allow easy interaction and understanding of Halloween data in the United States.”

“Similarly fun visualisations can and will be applied to business analytics.”

With all this to consider, it’s no wonder retailers all around the world are taking advantage of big data analytics, and with the simple tools available it’s not as hard to get started as retailers may think.

Take a look at a quick interview we did with Britney recently:

Britney will be speaking at Retail Global in May 2016 if you’d like to learn more about the benefits of Big Data, but in the meantime her work and blog posts can be found at http://www.prydemarketing.com. Alternatively, follow her on Twitter @britneymuller for regular insights.