How Big Data Affects the Retail Industry

Data has always proven to be very useful. The more information we have on a topic, the better equipped we are to meet any challenges that we encounter. For example, imagine all of the data an architect needs in order to develop any project: they need to know the terrain, its dimensions, the type of building that they are going to build…

Until now, being able to collect and measure statistics from the visitors of a store was something that seemed like a very distant prospect for physical storefronts. By combining the point of sale (POS) systems of one store, the feed from the security cameras, staff management software, RFID tags, Wi-Fi trackers and more, a store’s analytical system can collect up to 10,000 data points per visit.

Makes Sense, Doesn’t It?

For a long time, data had fallen to the wayside in the business world. In the past the only kind of data that was used was economic. But with the birth of marketing and new trends in business, data is of vital importance in the development of any strategy.

But there is no need to drive ourselves crazy.

Data is here and the real world continues to exist. We should not lose perspective and should keep in mind that data only provides us with sociological information and very general behavioral patterns.

Analytics are not the only answer.

Our experience and knowledge that we gain from our customers is also important. In other words, data is good, but it only provides us with two things (and that’s it): an approximation of the behavior of our customers that has been translated into figures, and all of the work that goes into interpreting that information.

Without the interpretation, the data is useless.

Online Data Is Important

D + A + T + A. Right here we have one word broken into four parts. That is data, right?

Obviously, this isn’t the most relevant data. With this concept, what we want to point out is that data is a combination of many variables.

We do not focus on only one piece of information, no matter how big a sample of it we have. If we don’t have enough different types of information, we can’t do anything with them.

With the online portion of our business, it is very easy to identify the main mistakes that we are making, although the answer for what really isn’t working, lies in the interpretations that we make after the fact. Big Data allows us to collectively analyze all of the data and implement it in order to reach an appropriate conclusion.

It’s an art form.

Now, the online part makes a lot of sense, but what about physical stores?

We are not able to carry out a survey with all of our customers in order to gather data.

So, what have we been doing so far?

Taking very basic steps. The most basic is installing a “head counter” which can tell us how many people enter our stores and later generate a conversion rate depending on the sales we made, or in other words, we answer the question: How many of the customers that visit make a purchase in our store?

Of course, that is only the tip of the ice berg.

How can we get reliable, physical data without bothering our customers?

With innovation.

What kind of innovation?

That’s complicated, but at HMY we have achieved this

It’s Called… Offline Analytics

Yes, it involves cameras that extract statistical data from our customers. No personal data, of course, as this is obtained through other types of campaigns or with the infamous loyalty card. Obviously if we combine this data we will end up with a large amount of information that we can later analyze and interpret.

What is its purpose?

For one, from our point of view: Being able to know whether what we are doing in the store is working or not.

From the customer’s point of view: Being able to offer them a better shopping experience by getting to know them better.

You are probably asking yourself what data can be extracted with these cameras. Here are some examples:

  • An estimation or a count of the potential number of people drawn to a concrete space.
  • A measurement of the time they spend in this space.
  • An estimation of the gender, age, facial features, and state of mind of the consumers.
  • The number of people that pass through a certain area.

And that is not all. In fact, once you have analyzed this data it will help you to:

  • Change which messages are displayed according to the person or group of people that will see them.
  • Provide information that can help you make strategic decisions.
  • Allow you to analyze the effectiveness of campaigns that were launched so that you can modify your strategy. Synchronize this analysis with your current campaigns.
  • Launch personalized promotions and, depending on the facial expressions of customers, print a coupon discounting a particular product.

Apart from this, all of these technologies developed by HMY also allow us to:

  • Measure product flow in the store through RFID and conversion rates.
  • Interact with smart devices in order to check in and take the pulse of the store.

Business Intelligence

Data collection is essential in order to be able to reach relevant conclusions. Now, working with HMY gives you the possibility to develop a personalized control panel adapted to the needs of your business that allows you to collect data on purchasing processes.

For what purpose?

To develop specific campaigns, to launch new products more effectively, and even to implement strategies more easily. Remember that this whole panel is updated constantly and that at any moment we will be able to know what is happening in our stores.

You see, in any industry, there is nothing keeping you from having good analytics that help you to know how customers interact with your online and physical stores. All that’s left is to get to work and to gather everyone together to create Big Data.

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