The buzz term in the e-commerce industry these days is Big Data. Everyone is talking about it; there are seminars and conferences about its impact and significance. It is the next big thing in Internet Marketing. Those in the field of online retailing probably know what it means and perhaps have general idea of how it could impact their business.
What is Big Data? Explained in the most basic term, Big Data is the huge amount of unstructured and structured data available on the web space. This data could be audio files, videos, photos, numbers, text or anything else. Instagrams, pins, Facebook updates and Tweets- all these too constitute this massive database. All this data, if used properly, could help create business strategies that are not only customer centric, but also thought forward. Since the amount of data obtained online is simply enormous, putting it together to make sense of it could be a Herculean task. Using techniques such as columnar databases, parallel processing, clustering and more, all this data could be collaborated and consolidated into meaningful information.
How can this huge amount of data help you improve your business prospects?
Whether you are looking at social media sites or customer feedback forms, you will be able to identify your customer’s needs, preferences and likes. Analyzing data trends will help you understand where the customer is heeding to and how to customize your marketing strategy to meet his requirements. Data keeps flowing in and out at fast speeds, so you should be able to quickly adapt to the changing trends to stay ahead the race. Big Data also adds value to your retail strategy. It not only makes information transparent, but also makes it more usable. Plus, it helps you segregate customers into various segments, so you can easily target the right kind of service or product that matches their needs. Based on the data expectations and trends, you will be able to design next-gen products or design future services. The most important value-add that this data can give you is improved decision making. With all the information, structured and consolidated, you will be able to make a wise decision. Big Data is not just exclusive for the e-commerce industry, it has also moved into other sectors such as airlines, healthcare and more. The future will probably have marketing techniques and strategies based on data analysis, which are designed to create a “customized shopping experience” for each customer.
Using Big Data to Understand Customer Behavior
With the advent of big data, it is now possible to analyze all your marketing activity, every email, every web impression, every click and more, to build a holistic picture of how marketing impacts customer buying decisions. Analyzing this data will quite naturally lead you in the direction of advanced statistical techniques, perhaps exposing you to terms like “survival model” but fear not, with current technologies, this brave new world is now accessible to you without needing a PhD in statistical methods.
Intuitively, you must know that a customer’s decision to purchase a particular service or product is beyond your control. This will lead to a more accurate model and a better understanding of your specific customers. Be prepared for some surprises- not everything you have been doing will look positive under this new light, but savvy marketers understand that improvement can only come if they are willing to change. Avoid defending the status quo and be prepared to look at your marketing investments in a new light.
Trust your data and your model
Armed with a new understanding of your customer, it is time to look for results. Remember, information can lead to insight but only action can lead to results. Big Data industry has successfully traversed the 50 billion dollar spot and almost 64% of the top 720 companies worldwide are interesting to invest in this forward-thinking technology as revealed by Gartner in 2013. According to an IDC report, the Big Data industry is growing at the rate of 31.7% per year.
Big Data and Hadoop are widely used in applications such as call center analytics, social media analytics, fraud detection and IT log analytics. Big Data jobs are a hot deal in the market and Java professionals with the required skill set are easily picked by big companies for high salary packages. All you have to do is attend a big data online training program and learn the concepts from an expert. By doing this, you can be sure that you will successfully discover the real world of Big Data industry.