February - 2017 - issue > CEO Insights

The Evolution of e-Commerce and its Impact on Retail Industry

Sanjeev Sularia, Co-founder & CEO, Intelligence Node
Friday, March 3, 2017
Sanjeev Sularia, Co-founder & CEO, Intelligence Node
In today's consumer-focused retail universe, obsessed as it is with super-personalization and relevance, every retailer needs to understand the shopper. The reason is clear, retailers and e-tailers have to create curated, synchronized, relevant, and simplified customer engagement at every touch point, in real time. The consequence to that business driver means proper analytics are becoming more and more imperative, as they may be our only way of meeting our goals of increased customer relevance, reduced customer churn and higher basket sizes as well as locally relevant offers.

The sector knows this, of course. Among those retailers with a mature technology strategy, the CDW Retail Market IT survey found that 33 percent of line of business managers and retail innovators say drawing intelligence from data is their organizational top priority right now. Business intelligence solutions have been used for decades - so what's changed? The problem is that first-generation BI (Business Intelligence) is nowhere near the standard of modern big data analytics tools hitting the market today.

That's because of the rapid explosion of data that has taken place since the introduction into our lives ofmobile Internet/smartphones. In response, brands have been seeking any way they can to turn unstructured and structured information into more actionable insights.

Analytics serves as the best path forward. Big Data analysis is a key competitive advantage that can bolster razor-thin margins, streamline operations and increase sales, even in the toughest markets. Data analytics can tell you, for example, what the competition is doing, and enables a rapid turn round in pricing strategies in product lines. It can also pinpoint trends, enable ordering to keep in line with demand and target promotions and customer preferences.

It is worth noting that big data analytics and retail customer intelligence solutions have also been rapidly evolving for years; indeed, there are no signs that innovation will begin to drop off anytime soon. The cause is again clear to those working at the coal-face; retailers are demanding to be kept competitive with the best practices available, and so crave for the best tools to achieve goals in order to avoid falling behind the pack and putting themselves at risk of suffering poor retention and loyalty.

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