Big Data in Retail Industry

Big Data in Retail Industry: Now we can discuss to have a better understanding of how Big Data is transforming the Retail Industry. This will facilitate you to understand how Big Data these days is not only limited to the technological domain but is a weapon for retailers to connect to their customers in a significant manner.

Big Data in Retail Industry supports retailers in forecasting the demands of customers, specifying the experience of customers, and most importantly, it supports retailers in enhancing their operational efficiency. 

Why retail companies using Big Data?

The implementation of Big Data by various retail channels has boosted competitiveness in the market to a great range. Retailers are now considering up to Big Data Analytics to have that extra competitive edge over others. They are quickly implementing it to get improved ways to reach the customers, understand what the customer needs, providing them with the best possible solution, guaranteeing customer satisfaction, etc.

Use of Big Data in Retail Industry

The utilization of big data in the retail industry is gathering speed rapidly, and with it, the demand for businesses to find the best use cases for the same.

Big Data use cases in Retail Industry

Below are some of the use cases of Big Data in Retail Industry:

  • specifying customer experience
  • Predicting demands
  • Operational efficiency
  • Customer journey analytics

1. Specifying customer experience 

The triumph of any business is merely based on how satisfied their customers are and how well they are being treated. A satisfied customer is the one who is loyal as well. Big Data offers retailers opportunities to boost their customer experiences. Big Data Analytics will support retailers in expecting a customer’s demand and therefore would encourage them in taking effective and customer-centric decisions and thus customizing their marketing based on consumer data. The bases of these shoppers’ data include websites, mobile applications, social media platforms, sensors, etc.

This will support retailers in attaining greater heights in the market and thus will boost the competition as well. Assume being able to buy products that are personalized exactly according to what we need. We as a customer need what else? We like everything customized these days and that’s why Big Data is here for.

Big Data Case Study – Personalized Customer Experience

a. The ChatBot Revolution

Let’s start Big Data in Retail Case Study – Chatbot Revolution

The biggest shopping complexes in the Northern States of the US are a host to 500+ retailers, 50+ restaurants, 14 movie theatres, 2 hotels, an indoor theme park, and a museum. With such a vast database of customers, it was quite difficult for them to provide a customized experience to every one of them. Then what helped them in delivering a better experience to their customers? What made their lives simple? Big Data. IBM gave them a chatbot (a simple text messaging platform) named ELF to please their customers to guide them through the vast mall. This chatbot helped them to understand the needs of their customers in the best way and thus helping them generating a superior customized experience for the customers.


2. Predicting demands

Here comes the second use case of Big Data in retail – Demand forecast in Retail Industry.

Being initial to market with a product or service has many advantages – but it comes with many challenges as well. And Big Data gives you the suppleness to deal with both. To stay alive in this progressing technological and social media world retailers are believed to be a step ahead of the customers. If retailers trail behind the customers they will lose them. Through Big Data Analytics, retailers will be able to create insights on customer habits which would help them in understanding their products and services which are most in-demand and the ones they should stop offering. It would also encourage them to forecast the next big thing in the retail industry and then produce new products according to the current tendencies in the market. In this way, Big Data in retail supports retailers in forecasting the demands of consumers.

Big Data Case Study – Predicting Demand

A. Weather Forecast for Retail Industry – Bright and Sunny

Can you guess a Weather Forecast helped a retail chain in improving their sales? Strange? Here’s the incredible story.

The weather forecast is not just about the weather. It has much more to offer. A weather channel predicts the effect of weather on their viewer’s feelings.

One such instance of Big Data Analytics in retail is the partnership of Pantene, Walgreens, and The Weather Channel. The Weather Channel collected the data about the humidity level in the air and the time it will be at peaks. This helped Pantene and Walgreens to advertise their product relating it to the hair problems that a woman might face due to the increase in humidity in the air. It then provoked women to seek out for a product at their local stores to avoid themselves from getting any kind of hair problems.

This gives rise to a 10% increase in sales of Pantene at Walgreens for July and August, along with a total increase of 4% in sales across the entire hair category at Walgreens. This was identified as “hair cast” and trended on social media under the #haircast tag.

3. Operational efficiency

Productivity across various channels within the retail firm is something that authorizes them to operate freely. Synchronization between the inventory department and the production unit is something that is of the highest priority. Big Data in retail supports retailers monitor the store-level demand in real-time to guarantee best-selling items remain in stock. It has come to the support of dealing with faster product life cycles and ever-complex operations and thus helping them to understand supply chains and product distribution to decrease costs.

Big Data has assisted them in dealing with extreme pressure to enhance asset utilization, budgets, performance, and service quality. Servers, plant machinery, customer-owned appliances, energy grid infrastructure, and even product logs are few examples of assets that produce beneficial data. This data increases quickly with every passing day and collecting, preparing, and evaluating this data is a task.

How to deal with this data???

Big Data Analytics.

4. Customer journey analytics

A crisscross pattern on the Cardiac Monitoring Machine (a machine that continuously monitors the activities of your heart) shows that there’s life. A customer’s journey is also the same. It is also a crisscross pattern across various channels from research to purchase. And this is what shows that there’s life in the market. Big Data is an essential tool to handle and evaluate this journey. With the progress in the technologies and the growth of social media, customers can have the right of entry to information about any product, anywhere and that too within a short time. Customers these days are more enabled than ever before. Big Data will support retailers to recognize the most effective ways to reach them and force them to purchase.


Big Data is like the cardiac machine that will support retailers to track customer activities and thus will enable them to improve the quality of customer experience.

Big Data Case Study – Customer Journey Analytics

a. Retail – Faster than AirMail / Email

Let’s begin reading the third case study of Big Data in Retail – Customer Journey Analytics.

Before the arrival of Big Data, a customer was meant to inform about his needs to the retailer personally. From the products that are out of stock to the products, he would need shortly, each and everything was needed to be conveyed to the retailer. And since Big Data has taken over the market, this knowledge has been entirely different.

In the current world, there’s barely anything that we don’t post on social media platforms. We were planning a family trip to Jaipur, I posted about it on social media a week before showing my enthusiasm for the trip. And just a day after that, I got a message from one of the retail chains that there is an ongoing offer on sunscreens and deodorants. I was shocked. Before I could even plan to go out and buy those things, they already know what are the must-have things that I would need on the trip. They are already conscious of my trip and the weather conditions there. What more I could have asked for. What a change Big Data has brought into our retailing experience.


In this constantly growing digital world, Big Data is all over. Almost everything we do online can be evaluated. Big Data is the future of Retail Industry and to survive and succeed in this advancing digital world, customer visions are the biggest treasure retailers can ever have. If not utilized properly and on time, a retailer would stand to fall behind the rest. On the flipside, Big Data has boundless advantages and can take your business to incredible heights.

The use of big data in the retail industry is amazing. Big Data is growing limitless.