How is big data changing the retail market?

Big Data is Heating up the Retail Market

Big data and marketing are two terms we are seeing paired together more and more regularly. Consumers are coming into contact with this technology on our high streets daily, made available by continued advancements in software as a service technology.

With many brick and mortar retailers facing tough times as pure e-commerce and m-commerce organisations continue to grow, we are likely to see a much greater uptake of predictive marketing technology in all areas of retail.

AgilOne is a provider of software as a service predictive marketing technology, seeing significant growth in their field as retailers continue to see the benefits of this technology.

TechRadar Pro speaks to its CEO, Dr Omer Artun to provide an insight into predictive marketing, its benefits and the growth of his company.

TechRadar Pro: How much of a difference can big data marketing make to a company's bottom line?

Dr Omer Artun: I've seen businesses triple their margins and increase their revenue by up to 30 percent by running personalised marketing campaigns fuelled by big data. Also, by nature, Software as a Service (SaaS) technology is much cheaper to implement than legacy systems.

This technology provides marketers with a consumer-like experience so there is no need to employ deeply technical data scientists to make sense of the data.

TRP: In your experience, how quickly can businesses see a growth in revenue from the use of your technology?

OA: We see results within the first thirty days that a customer starts sending personalised, event-driven campaigns to shoppers.

For example, Traeger Wood Pellet Grills, a fairly new AgilOne customer, repaid their investment in our technology in just three months based on the additional revenue from predictive abandoned cart and replenishment campaigns launched in the first month of service. So retailers and customers alike can immediately see the benefits.

TRP: What are retailers' typical attitudes towards predictive marketing?

OA: Retailers are very excited about what predictive marketing can do for their businesses because big data lets them boost bottom line revenue and improve customer loyalty.

Marketers can give consumers a fantastic, relevant and respectful experience while also increasing revenue. Once marketers hear about the potential ROI they can achieve, as well as the benefits for consumers, making the business case to their bosses for the technology is pretty easy.

TRP: Do you believe retailers really understand the 'business case' for big data marketing?

OA: Right now we're experiencing a big data revolution, and retailers are very receptive to big data marketing. We recently conducted a survey of 70 mid-market retail and e-commerce executives to find out more about their use of big data and predictive marketing analytics in day-to-day marketing.

We found that predictive marketing gained great traction in 2013 and that traction will continue on an upward growth pattern in 2014. Whereas less than half have implemented the methodology and technology today.

Next year, about three quarters have plans to get started. Retailers are realising that being able to predict a buyer's next move is what can set them apart from their competitors. This is mission critical in a very competitive market.

TRP: How important is cloud to big data marketing?

OA: The cloud really levels the playing field for small and medium businesses because it's an affordable way to leverage large volumes of data. Now they can leave the maths to vendors, while focusing on the marketing.

Companies don't need to build large data centres today or spend unnecessary time developing their own predictive technology. The cloud allows customers to get up-and-running in a matter of weeks rather than years. For a couple of thousand pounds a month they have their own (outsourced) data science team and infrastructure.

Desire Athow
Managing Editor, TechRadar Pro

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website builders and web hosting when DHTML and frames were in vogue and started narrating about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium.