If a company can anticipate what its customers want, why they want it, when they want it, how much they can pay for it, and deliver it satisfactorily, a good part of optimizing the business and maximizing sales has been covered. And with Big Data, this scenario, which may sound idyllic, is possible.
The world is currently going through a new industrial revolution, led by digitization and technology, and one of the main elements that feed them is information. Virtually any interaction in the digital world leaves a trace, a mark that can be traced and that, once analyzed, is an invaluable input to know a specific individual.
This is where Big Data comes in. One way to define it is to manage and analyze vast amounts of information or data that conventional software systems cannot process because the volume of data exceeds its algorithmic processing capacity. In other words, specific plans must be created to be able to process all this information.
The origin of this data can range from simple information such as form data, through emails, audio files, digital images, camera sensors, and survey data, to name a few sources. The objective of Big Data is to transform this entire set of data, which may or may not be structured, into accessible and valuable information for decision-makers.
And although large companies had been handling large volumes of information for a long time, the evolution of technology gave access to a more significant amount of data, so they were forced to create tools to analyze it.
Today, Big Data plays a fundamental role in different business aspects, including knowing people’s purchasing habits, needs, characteristics, and other data to optimize a business, including its electronic commerce.
And although Big Data can be used for dozens of disciplines or business areas, which can range from medicine, automotive, architecture, engineering, and security, among many others, electronic commerce is one of the branches in which it is most beneficial. Can draw, even for small businesses.
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Why Is Big Data Important?
Thanks to all the information on the network about each individual, with a robust Big Data system, a company can structure the profile with the purchasing habits of its customers, with simple data such as demographics, even those that give more detail about each one as the average value of each purchase, its geographical location, the time at which it connects to visit the electronic commerce, the display time of each product, cart abandonment, the means of payment used, estimate the other individuals who interact with the subject at home, among many other data.
For example, there are marketplaces that, with the information mentioned and additional data, configure a client’s profile in such a detailed way as to create a credit risk profile and know if said person is an excellent subject to receive a line of credit, by the marketplace.
Below are four elements that detail the importance of Big Data for e-commerce:
Electronic commerce has become a necessity in business to the extent that Internet access has been growing, coupled with other factors such as the pandemic. The vast majority of companies know it; the competition is high.
Through Big Data, a competitive advantage can be gained by defining the most appropriate sales strategies for the business that target the right target audience. Systems that can also be customized which has become essential in ecommerce. You can also know how the competition acts to differentiate yourself positively and your consumers’ expectations.
Track The High Volume of Data
To say that infinity increases sound redundant, but with the amount of information available on the Internet today, it is as close to reality as possible. Every day there are more devices capable of providing information that determines people’s behavior.
The next step in the available data revolution is with the arrival of 5G networks and the Internet of Things (IoT). 5G networks allow data transmission between 10 and 20 times faster than 4G networks and allow the connection of more devices; therefore, there will be greater access to information.
When an element such as a refrigerator to generate data is added to the transmission speed, it is possible to know how often a person replenishes the ketchup in his house.
With Big Data, all this data, which continues to emerge, can be tracked, accounted for, and used to make strategic decisions within the business. Without a doubt, those companies that know how to follow all the traces that their clients, and potential clients, leave in cyberspace are the ones that will be one step ahead on the constant path to success.
Accurate Consumer Tracking
A person’s behavior today may differ from six months ago, and the same goes for their buying habits. The digital transformation also influences the behavior of consumers, who every day have access to more information, ideas, and all elements that can affect their decisions.
Also, every day the interaction between companies and their customers is more significant, so the possibility of being aware of changes in their behavior is more accessible. Using Big Data tools, this monitoring can be done to determine if there are changes in customer preferences and predict behaviors that can directly impact the business.
Thanks to Big Data, you can get to know what people think about each business and how they react to the actions taken within it. One of the tasks of Big Data is precisely to offer accurate data on the interactions that consumers have with the business platform to find out the areas for improvement.
Information has always been a valuable asset for business, and today it is imperative that complex data support decisions.
Pillars of Big Data
Big Data was initially considered to have three fundamental pillars, its three V’s: volume, variety, and speed. But over the years, two more elements have been added: integrity and value of the data. In other words, today, we can talk about five pillars that make up Big Data.
- Volume: Given the speed with which information evolves in the digital world, the concept of data volume does too. However, in this case, the large volumes of information can refer to hundreds or thousands of Terabytes or Petabytes (1,000 terabytes), that is, much more than the thousands of Gigabytes that an ordinary computer is used to processing.
- Variety: refers to the types of data that the software receives and can be of three types. It is structured, semi-structured, or unstructured.
- Speed is the speed with which the data in question is received, processed, and analyzed to make decisions. Although it may be more complex, the idea is that the results are returned in real-time, especially if you want to provide a personalized experience during a purchase in e-commerce.
- Veracity: it is the confidence that can be had in the processed information, that it is of quality, and that it can evolve and add other elements such as time and the economy’s behavior.
- Value: refers to the importance of the information being analyzed for the business. A pre-selection of the fundamental data must be made, with which the processing process becomes faster and more precise.
Advantages Of Electronic Commerce
Two words that can encompass the advantages of Big Data within electronic commerce are optimization and personalization. The detailed knowledge that makes it possible to have all business areas, including the client, is a tool that allows you to stay ahead of your competitors.
Here are seven advantages that Big Data brings to e-commerce:
- Improve the user experience: UX is increasingly valued by customers; not only does the quality of the product and its value matter, but also what was experienced during its acquisition. Problems in the usability of the ecommerce platform can result in a bad experience and make the customer not return. With all the available information, you can provide a personalized experience based on purchasing habits and send interactive content of interest or ads based on your profile analysis. Likewise, it can be determined if all the web page elements yield the desired result or if any of them require attention according to the response obtained from the public.
- Predict demand: thanks to existing information and the patterns adopted by customers, through Big Data, it is possible to try to predict future demand for a particular good and consumption trends. With these elements in hand, a business can anticipate its competition’s marketing campaigns and gain positioning with its target audience. You can even tailor products based on that prediction of your customers’ preferences.
- Online positioning: if you want to have a successful digital marketing strategy, Big Data is essential since all the available data allows you to be more segmented, assertive, oriented, and consequently more efficient. Among the marketing tools that can be used through Big Data are voice commerce, the use of voice within the online purchasing process; social commerce, which is not only limited to sales through social networks, but also other activities such as the search for opinions from other clients, and reviews about the product, to name a few; Finally, the use of search engines or SEO is essential to position yourself better on the Internet, and in the case of virtual stores, the process must be a little more technical because it is necessary to “show” the search engines the specific characteristics of the products that stand out on the Internet. The competition.
- Storage and distribution optimization: when it comes to e-commerce, probably few things generate a more negative user experience than misinformation about the stock of a product or that it is not delivered within the promised period. To avoid these inconveniences, Big Data is essential to: know in which period a product is most in-demand, reduce delivery times by generating more efficient delivery routes or processes, and automate product data such as available sizes, colors, quantities, etc. to create positive user experiences.
- Personalized attention: Personalization helps create more personal, human, and close interactions, and the data generated with Big Data allows this personalization to be completed. The digitization of commerce has brought companies closer to customers, which opens the door to offering new recommendations and experiences that translate into sales and boost brand loyalty.
- Understand the gaps in the purchase process: in electronic commerce with Big Data, not only can you encourage purchases, but you also know in detail the consumer’s behavior throughout the purchase process, which allows you to identify if there is any obstruction to its subsequent improvement.
- Find the exact moment: with the knowledge of purchasing habits and other Big Data tools, businesses can determine the most appropriate moment to approach the customer so that the approach is seen as a solution to a specific need and not as one more sale that the person faces. In addition, with this information, it is possible to guarantee that the approach is made to clients who are interested in the product or potential clients.
Big Data in Logistics
As has already been reiterated, Big Data is the processing of a lot of information put at the business service, and the logistics link does not escape it. Thousands of data can be collected to make the logistics process more efficient and provide a better user experience.
Among the five aspects in which Big Data can be applied within logistics are:
- Last-mile: more problems usually occur at the moment and where there is generally more loss within electronic commerce. With the IoT, real-time data transmission, and Big Data, some risks can be neutralized at this stage of the purchase process, such as traffic, the location of the cargo, the risk areas it can cross, and availability. The customer to receive the product.
- Fraud control: With real-time supervision of cargo and vehicles, postures that compromise productivity and efficiency in the delivery process can be avoided.
- Routing: the information is vast, so much more efficient routes and schedules can be drawn up to improve the logistics process. Accident rates, environmental or social risk areas, and traffic, among other variables, are data that can be analyzed within Big Data.
- Reliability: Just as Big Data is used in internal business processes, it can also be available to customers or suppliers. In this case, the transparency generated by real-time data updates works as a driver for external reliability. That is, the market can consider the level of reliability of the company.
- Warehouses and stocks: automation in inventory processes and more innovative warehouses are other applications of Big Data to the logistics process, in this case, supported by the IoT, to optimize electronic commerce.