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Big Data is the driving force behind the continued growth of the e-Commerce and recent years we've seen businesses small and large embrace it on an enormous scale. In light of this, we take a look at the ongoing impact and possibilities of Big Data within e-Commerce moving forward in 2017.

Retailers across the board are prioritising data collection from a wide range of sources including; location based information (via mobile and GPS logins), open data sources, social media, transactional data, web analytics and customer satisfaction surveys to increase profitability, drive down costs and realign business strategies. Harnessing big data within e-Commerce is crucial in its ability to inform strategic decisions on how to best to effectively reach and most importantly, retain customers. 

Turning Insights into Relationships

UK-based fashion house Karen Millen use Omni-channel interaction to develop and expand the value of their customer base.  By reaching out to customers through social media, customer surveys, and other on and offline channels, they are able to transform regular customers into powerful advocates for the brand. "The more we know about our customers – the way they shop and when, their preferred methods of communication, their buying patterns and habits – the more that allows us to tailor our client proposition". Andrew Ware CFO | Karen Millen.

They also use a recommendation engine which combines predictive analytics and machine learning to capture their users’ behaviours. By doing this, it allows them to offer items related to their customers needs and therefore increasing up-selling and cross-selling directly at the point of sale.

Driving Efficiency and Cost Savings

Big data and analytics can also drive further efficiency savings and encourage more effective business strategy across the following areas:

Supply Chain Management - This includes managing data for every stage of the journey from storage to customer. E-Commerce industries use big data analytics extensively to manage inventory, with a significant amount of work also put into optimising transportation and pricing of delivery.

Merchant/Customer Fraud Detection - Currently, customer and merchant fraud are usually handled manually but e-Commerce is gradually moving towards developing predictive algorithms to identify frauds with the intention of avoiding them altogether. At present, it is mostly banks that are applying analytics to this area, however large retailers are also in the process of implementing.

Merchant Analytics - Merchants form the core of e-Commerce industry - if the merchant grows; the e-Commerce provider grows too. E-Commerce players do extensive analysis for merchants to get into new markets or set the right price for their goods. For instance, Amazon can recommend a cricket bat vendor to keep hockey sticks because of a growing demand in his locality. Such decisions would have been much more expensive for the vendor had they not partnered with e-Commerce players.

Product Specific Analytics - Teams generally work on product specific details including satisfaction rate of customers for a product, forecast of sales for a product etc. Their work cuts across verticals and is specific for a family of products or a single product. This information can be used by product management and user experience teams to alter the products accordingly.

Online Marketing Analytics – Online analytics have improved in leaps and bounds over the past few years and webmasters are now able to gain much more granular insights into customer behaviours across multiple channels. Using in-depth, customised data, businesses are able to analyse the funnel of new prospective customers and maximize the likelihood of a customer clicking on an ad and thus converting.  

This piece was written by Alex Cosgrove who heads up the Data, Analytics and Insight division at Consortia. If you would like more information on available Analytics roles or if you're in need of support in recruiting for a position, please get in touch at analytics@consortia.co.uk or call 0203 397 4565 for more information.

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