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Big Data Analytics – Can Retailers Afford to be without this Insight?

Dr. Stephan Liozu weighs in on whether or not retailers can afford to be without big data analytics in today's ever-growing omnichannel environment.

According to ITC Infotech: “One of the biggest challenges that U.S. retailers will face this year is the fear of losing their customers, as well as winning new ones, in a very competitive marketplace. To address these challenges, more companies will make aggressive investments in technology to gather intelligence about the buying trends and experiences of their customers.” While analysts have been saying this for years, it appears that retailers are now finally starting to catch on. “Retailers need to be equipped to handle an abundance of data from overlapping sources such as mobile, social, in-store and ecommerce sites…” – and make sense of it in real-time!

Retailers are struggling more than ever to keep their customers interested. With online, in-store, mobile, and social, retailers are fighting to remain competitive in an ever-growing omnichannel environment. Arguably, the best investment for retailers is big data analytics technology, more specifically, price intelligence and predictive analytics. Predictive analytics helps retailers figure out exactly which products their customers are going to buy and when; while price intelligence helps retailers determine the optimal price range for the majority of customers. Gartner believes that the business intelligence market is growing nine percent per year and will exceed $80 billion by 2014. The ability to predict your customer’s buying behavior, knowing where to target them and what they are looking for, are key drivers towards a successful strategy. However, you still need the answer to the million-dollar question – at what price will they buy? Knowing the competitive pricing landscape is essential to being able to answer this question. What are the top determinants of a successful pricing strategy? High revenues and margins! Earlier this year we released a holiday pricing strategies article, Pricing games: four lessons learned from holiday pricing strategies, where we compared retailers’ pricing strategies with their reported financial performance. Among other lessons, we learned that several “winning” retailers effectively employed dynamic pricing supported by their investment in price intelligence.

More and more retailers find themselves turning to big data analytics to help succeed in the market, big or small, no matter their market strategy. It’s inevitable. Retail technology tools such as predictive analytics and price intelligence are now becoming the norm – the foundation for a real-time competitive strategy. In such an aggressive omnichannel environment, can you really afford to be without it?

Are you part of the big data market, or are you lagging behind? Need a hand? We can help!

About the Author
Stephan Liozu is the Founder of Value Innoruption Advisors and specializes in disruptive approaches in innovation, pricing and value management. He also has a Ph.D. in Management from Case Western Reserve University and can be reached at sliozu@case.edu.