Big Data: How It Can Help for E-Commerce

Big Data: How It Can Help for E-Commerce

October 17, 2016

Big data is the vast amount of data generated by our internet usage: what sites we visit, what we search for, what we buy and when and why and how often. This cache of information was first collected by online retailers via cookies, which tracked data from their customers’ shopping carts in order to help the retailer learn about their clients’ needs. However, these days, big data has become the primary tool for maximising profits and making sure a business is operating as efficiently as possible.

There are many advantages to tracking big data. However, because the information being generated is constantly being updated as internet users search, click, and buy, specialised programs are needed to process it fast enough that the results are still relevant. Take advantage of processors such as Google Analytics to analyse relevant data and get the most out of your online business.

Data mining and analysis usually helps companies in two ways. First, you can make faster and more productive decisions. Because you can track your own company’s actions, you can make fact-based adjustments and then measure the results. For example, UPS famously used big data to redesign their shipping routes, which saves them 85 million miles of driving, 8 million gallons of fuel, and 85,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide annually.

Second, you can profoundly improve your customers’ experience. By using personalization strategies in your website, you can improve a lot your conversion rates. The aim is to create customer loyalty and keep them coming back to your site for all their purchases. By using data mined from shoppers’ previous purchases or interactions with your company, you can personalise their experience and tailor the recommendations, advertising, even the landing page they see according to their preferences. If you make it easy and pleasant for customers to find what they need (or possibly something they didn’t know they needed), they will be more likely to return to your site the next time they need something. Amazon is a great example of this. The online behemoth is well-known for using data mining to make product recommendations to its customers. By providing shoppers with a “Customers who bought this item also bought…” banner, Amazon helps its customers find related products, thus resulting in more time spent shopping and, inevitably, more money spent buying. In fact, this feature was so successful that Amazon saw a 30% increase in sales when it was first introduced.

Most importantly, however, big data helps you track what’s selling and what’s not, as well as how much to charge for it. Estimates say that we produce 2.5 billion gigabytes of data each day, which means there’s an unbelievable amount of information that can help you track trends in your field. Not only that, but this information can also tell you about your customers, as social media data can provide their age and ethnicity as well as how and why they use your product. Armed with this information, you can decide what to stock and the best ways to target your specific audience.

Moreover, big data also allows you to track prices, letting you to keep on top of market fluctuations. If you want to stay competitive, dynamic – or fluctuating – pricing is a must. This means using data from various sources, like competitors’ prices, product sales, and regional and customer preferences, to choose the right prices for your products depending on what’s happening in the market. To go back to Amazon for a moment: Amazon uses various web platforms and plugins to automatically adjust its products’ prices according to the market demand – sometimes as often as ten times a day! Harnessing the power of big data for dynamic pricing will give you a huge competitive edge, no matter your field. And now you can do just as Amazon does with our price tracking solutions!

Overall, learning to use big data will help your online business stay ahead of the pack. Not only will you be able to make fast and accurate decisions about your company, you will be able to provide your customers with the best possible price and service quality, which, in turn, will keep them coming back for more.


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