Big Data y omnichannelity in retail: all you need to know

  • Converting a store into a smart retail involves just using technology and Big Data to measure and sell more on omnichannel. Do you want to know how?

  • Businesses are increasingly understanding channels not as hermetic compartments. 

    The model is migrating little by little towards a conception based on the client as a complex entity and on the purchase as a transversal process that runs through different channels and devices. 

    Largely, Big Data is helping to understand and better implement omnichannelity in retail or eCommerce. How? Let´s see. 
  • Why Big Data?

  • We tend to see ourselves as independent individuals with our own characteristics that make us unique. 

    This is true, but so is the fact that we are living in a society and a market that is governed by common rules for all. And we fit in different segmentations, groups of users with common characteristics and very similar patterns of use and consumption

    What Big data does is to obtain all these raw data, organize and classify it to interpret and transform into tendencies. Part of massive information to act in a concrete way. 
  • Why Omnichannelity?

  • We already mentioned that in the introduction: considering an omnichannel strategy is to change the vision of the business to user level. It supposes to stop analyzing the supports as if customers who buy limited their interaction to a single channel and all the touchpoints of Customer Journey would be on it. 

    Within omnichannelity, retail must be integrated in a prominent way when there are physical stores. It is urgent that we forget the historic differentiation between online and offline: Everything is part of the same business and hasto be aligned based on these criteria. 
  • Applying Big Data to Retail

  • Let's start from the basis that even small businesses can implement omnichannelity. What can be more complex on paper is to see how to fit Big Data inside retail

    We are much more familiar with the concept of analytics in the web environment. We have much clearer how it works and how it is measured through tools like Google Analytics. We establish KPIs, we trace the conversions, the traffic, we have a geographic segmentation...

    This would allow us to know our client and know what their behaviors are, and we could extrapolate it to retail. But it is not such a scientific method, and it is also being overlooked certain variables and conditions that are not identical between the different channels. 

    In this case, the ideal is to use specific tools for retail. Software and hardware solutions that measure, interpret and report from within the store environment. This process of digital transformation of physical shops takes us to what it is started known as smart retail
  • EXAMPLE: We can debut in smart retail using video or geo-positioning for products, for example. 

    These programs allow to measure the influx of people to the store or to create heatmaps (like that made on websites). As they have customer concentration patterns, we can determine if we have a problem or which the ideal place is to put our promotions. And even do it in real time, generating alerts so that our staff can manage the store more efficiently. 
  • All this results in a very detailed type of reports, very valuable information at the time, for example, of organizing the employee's payroll. We will be able to anticipate the needs we are going to have on staff based on data, and we will be more efficient in terms of management. 
  • Beyond video, other proximity marketing technologies such as beacons can be used. These small devices interact directly with the clients´mobile phones , allowing to launch notifications and promotions when passing by them(no matter they are already located in a line, a header or any type of POS). 
  • This summer, it has been announced that Google is starting to send beacons to some stores within a somewhat experimental program (it has been called as Beacon Project, in an useless display of originality). Those chosen by the search engine to participate receive one of these small devices with the corresponding explanation of how and where they should be placed. 

    Beyond the technical part, there is a strategic explanation: Google wants to know precisely the physical location of clients and to carry out advertising actions. 

    Will we see a retail network within Google Ads joining to those of search, display and shopping? Will be able to make campaigns directly for our customers from Google platform? I would say that it is highly probable that this will end up happening. 
  • This reflection takes us directly to another equally important. It is the specific weight that mobile is gaining in absolutely every strategy. If Google has opted openly for the beacons, Amazon forgets about them and puts the native app of its marketplace in the center of its retail strategy.

    This was already key in the purchase process on their Amazon Go store, which has a lot of experimental. But somehow it has been the precedent of something completely different
  • Recently, this giant has launched a series of pop up stores where customers can walk around the store, test the products and buy them by scanning one of their Smile Codes(simple QR codes) using their phone's camera and application. That is all, no checkout or carrying with the products. It is a very powerful and promising idea. 
  • In short: Thanks to Big data, retail gains a lot from an strategic point of view  by taking decisions based on data. From the inventory or the products layout in the store to forecasts, optimization of resources, loyalty... But within smart retail there is also space for acquisition and direct conversion, which have a lot to do with omnichannelity. 
  • Do you find this interesting? Can you see any possibilities of implementing this strategy within your business? How would you do that? Share your thoughts with us and on social networks!

  • Images | Fotolia. 

Miguel Nicolás

Miguel Nicolás O'Shea is a life-long copywriter (more than 15 years working in agencies) and a specialist in Search Marketing (SEO and PPC). From now on, he will contribute with his online marketing experience to Oleoshop, publishing regularly.

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