Getting the most out of ecommerce big data initiatives

Like many industries implementing Hadoop big data solutions, the retail sector has witnessed early strong returns on investment. The ability to analyze and predict consumer behavior has been an invaluable tool for retailers looking to engage customers and gain an edge over competitors. While the data analytics field has been historically dominated by major corporations, smaller businesses are beginning to implement big data solutions as well. With the huge volumes of customer data at their fingertips, online retailers stand to benefit from predictive analytics applications.

Dealerscope contributor Rob Schmults recently examined the potential of big data solutions in the ecommerce marketplace and found that there are several ways in which data analytics can facilitate the marketing efforts of an ecommerce vendor. One of the most pressing issues facing online retailers is the need to optimize customer conversion rates. In the ecommerce industry, only a small percentage of site visitors ever actually make a purchase. Online businesses will utilize any opportunity to engage potential clients and convert them into paying customers. Data analytics can be employed to identify consumers who would be more likely to make a purchase if offered certain promotions as well as those who would not be swayed at all. By launching Hadoop big data initiatives, online retailers can manage their marketing campaigns more efficiently and avoid wasting resources pursuing website visitors who are unlikely to ever make a purchase.

According to Practical eCommerce, data analytics software can also help online retailers identify the potential causes for why a particular product is not moving units. For instance, if a product is not selling, a vendor might assume there is no consumer interest and drop it from his or her inventory. However, big data applications designed on the Hadoop platform can provide businesses with tools that may glean more meaningful insight. If low sales numbers are matched with high web traffic, the issue could be the product's pricing and not a lack of customer appeal. With data analytics programs in their corner, ecommerce retailers can more effectively manage their resources and engage customers.

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