With big data analytics emerging as a key tool to generate business intelligence, many retailers in the country, leading the way are Shoppers Stop and the Tata Group’s Trent, among others. are adopting the technology, albeit at a slow pace, to give customers a more customised shopping experience.
Fashion retailer Shoppers Stop also recently announced plans to go digital, changing its strategy for third time in five years. The city-headquartered retail chain is targeting to net 15 per cent revenue through digital touch-points by 2020 and it plans to invest Rs 60 crore over the next three years.
“Next year, we plan to invest in warehouse management systems to strengthen our supply chain, and subsequently in master data management to strengthen our omni-channel operations,” Shoppers Stop Managing Director Govind Shrikhande said.
Similarly, Trent is also planning to tap the technology for better understating of customers. The retailer is also looking at in-house analytics in the near future to better serve its customers.
“At present we outsource analytics, but the company is thinking of building an in-house analytics team,” IT head at Trent, Vikram Idnani said.
Consultancy firm PwC however, believes that while big data adoption is the way forward, the pace of adoption is slow among the retailers as of now.
“While the adoption of big data analytics in the retail sector is happening, the speed is still slow given the volume of data that is generated and can be leveraged,” PwC India Partner and Technology Sector Leader Sandeep Ladda said.
But more than decoding the analytics a bigger step for both online and offline retail would be when the data can be used real-time to target shoppers during their shopping experience, he added.
According to technology industry estimates, globally over 95 per cent of the data being generated across sectors has been generated over the last two years, and less than 2 per cent of this is being analysed so far.
“Companies have to find ways and means to decipher the huge quantum of data,” Ladda said.
City-based consumer Internet and mobility engineering firm Ambab is working with several retailers who want to leverage e-commerce.
It is piloting a store assistance application, Pretr, that can be used by retail stores and consumers alike.
“We are looking to help retailers serve their customers more efficiently whether it’s offline or online, and will also connect consumers to discover brands of their choice,” Ambab founder Bhavik Jhaveri said.
Trend-spotting, demographics and psychographic evaluation are some of the areas where big data analytics has been deployed so far by various brands in the country.
“Lot of brands will engage in social listening for accurately building psychographic profile of their target groups to drive brand engagement,” Sundeep Dawale, marketing head at social media management company KonnectSocial said.
Crisis management is also something brands can do more efficiently with big data application, he added.