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How online retailers exploit Big Data to sell more products
On Thursday 23rd March 2017, senior leaders discussed the importance of big data in sales during a breakfast seminar hosted by Page Executive at The Connaught Hotel in Mayfair.
Rob White from Page Executive declared that the world is being consumed by software and the uses of big data are extensive, with Netflix utilising the technology to develop the highly successful House of Cards series.
Heather Wade, UK head of consumer insight for eBay and former VP of retail for Dunnhumby in Canada, has over 15 years’ experience driving value for blue-chip companies in the retail and FMCG space. Heather highlighted that every business should be customer centric, and that the key to implementing this was through use of customer data. As software is restricted with regards to the information it can collate from data, a thorough interpretation is crucial in applying it into every area of a business, which may require hiring specialist data analysts to provide real insight.
Some organisations have been aligning senior management compensation with customer engagement. This need for customer centricity must filter through the entire business in every department, not just marketing and technology. A loyal customer can be worth 100 times more than a disengaged customer, so keeping customers committed is essential. A personalised email has the potential to increase website traffic by 15-30%, demonstrating the value of the strategic use of big data.
Paul Kullich from Tumra, worked with Andy to establish online tracking at Made.com. The key points he made were that tracking needs to not only capture the data, but also turn the data into insight and then create action across all channels in order to add value. To do this he tracked everything on the page which gathered a lot of data and enabled him to build thorough customer profiles and assess behaviour changes. Many companies already have the data necessary to build these customer profiles, it is simply a matter of learning how to interpret it in order to maximise sales.
In the UK, online sales account for 15.8% of all retail spending, or approximately £1bn per week. Established high street retailers are constantly being challenged by pure play online companies who have exploited modern technologies and big data to sell more products. While high street spending still makes up the majority of sales, the growth of online transactions shows no sign of slowing, therefore ensuring you have access to big data and are able interpret it is key to securing sales in the future.
Simon Nolan from Page Executive believes that we are seeing significant trends towards a crossover between retailer skills and brand skills. Supplier brands are keen to set up direct-to-consumer models and are as a result looking to hire CRM, data and ecommerce professionals, roles that would traditionally be much closer associated with online retailers.
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