Marketers today hardly know their customers. What they know is an aggregated cluster of people who are out there to buy. That is where the strength of big data analytics lies. It can help any retailer deliver a smaller, but more intimate, experience to the end consumer. This, in turn, may positively impact purchasing experiences and deepen customer relationships and brand loyalty. Today, retailers rely on data like wish lists, browsing histories, and purchasing history to create individualised product suggestions, marketing offers, e-mail and SMS campaigns, etc.
It is a big game changer and retailers are beginning to accept this fact. Big Data analytics is now being applied at every stage of the retail process – working out what the popular products will be by predicting trends, forecasting where the demand will be for those products, optimizing pricing for a competitive edge, identifying the customers likely to be interested in them and working out the best way to approach them, taking their money and finally working out what to sell them next.
MD, M&B Footwear, Bhai Ajinder Singh says, “In the last 4-5 years, the company has invested a lot in technology because we realised going forward we have to think like a software company and not like a product company. All the value additions that are going to be captured by using the technology will be based on the quality of the data that we have and the quality of analysis we can do on top of that.”
Big Data is all about turning extremely large quantities of data into useful information. When companies aggregate data and analyse them effectively, patterns emerge, ideas are born, and fashion companies become trend setters. In an industry where the success of next season’s collection hinges on picking the right patterns, colours, fabrics, shapes and sizes, Big Data is a big deal. Fashion companies and retailers can leverage Big Data analytics to quickly understand which trends are gaining momentum and which ones are losing ground at any point in the product’s life cycle.
Director IT, Adidas Group India, Vishal Kapil says, “There are different ways and means in which people are keeping the data and we realise that having a harmonise data is a very big task. It is not the internal data, there is a lot of external data as well on which your business is dependent. Data harmonisation just not spans only over enterprise level but on the partner level also. It is an exercise one must undertake in a fashion-oriented product because the advantages that comes along with it are multi-dimensional.”
Fashion companies today, understand that the more data they collect and analyse on the basis of their interactions and engagements with customers, more will the individual preferences become easier to predict, in a more comprehensive and detailed way than ever before.