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Noreen Seebacher

Retailers Warm Up to Big-Data

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Lyndon_Henry
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Focus analytics on the disconnect
Lyndon_Henry   2/4/2013 7:38:28 PM
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Noreen writes


Companies like SAS believe big-data, coupled with high-performance analytics, can help retail companies tailor their offerings in a way that's beneficial to the company's bottom line as well as the consumer. What do you think?


 

Well, it seems to me one of the emerging problems that analytics might focus on in the retail industry is the disconnect between online vs. in-store marketing and consumer behavior.  Stores need to be ready to price-match their online competition.  They need to be able to eliminate the Shoo-bee (SHBE, shop here buy elsewhere) syndrome, where "elsewhere" very often means Amazon or another online site.  Right now, even big retailers seem partially stuck in the last century.

 

kq4ym
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Re: convention
kq4ym   1/28/2013 8:55:17 AM
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Retail will be the big one for analytics. New trade magazines, new firms opening to service their data, and companies to service the servicers, and on and on.

Of course Target was one of the first to explore "relationships" with customers and got into some hot water over their promotions to discovered pregnant customers.

They managed to eventually get over that hurdle, modifying marketing so it wasn't so obvious to customers just how much they knew of their lives.

Big data will surely make more profits down the road for the big guys and hopefully to the smaller outfits too.

tinym
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Re: convention
tinym   1/16/2013 10:29:32 PM
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@Noreen Good point. Somebody will always need new shoes.

BethSchultz
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Re: Secret Analytics
BethSchultz   1/16/2013 5:31:20 PM
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@ecox, thanks for your insider's perspective -- makes a lot of sense. I'm fascinated by the cooperation you describe among retailer analysts. I would have thought competitive considerations would make that sort of interaction tricky.

ecox
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Secret Analytics
ecox   1/16/2013 1:47:22 PM
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Beth,

Retailers are generaly a secretive bunch. They dont advertise or discuss what they are doing on the analytics front.

Most trade shows, like The Big Show bring in the merchandise Buyers and Planners. Not the analytics teams that specialise in predictive modeling.

So it doesnt surpise me that few people discussed analytics. Most of the discussions I had at these were around production quantities, over seas availability, who else have you talked to about buying this/that.

Now if you are at the SAS Analytics conference, you will not find merchandise buyers, but you will find analyst from every business. And you wont hear anyone speak about the hottest color this year.

You may find analyst from various competiting companies getting together to discuss.. what else... Analytics, types of tests, types of models etc. But these are generaly off the main path, in a side room way in the back. Away from prying eys and ears. This is the underground network. While working at Kmart, my team often shared ideas and problems with Target, Wal-mart, PC Pennies etc. And they also shared the same with us. This communication path worked very well thank you.

Retailers tend to not present analytics or fact based results to other retailers. 

Obviously there are some exceptions but not too many.

BethSchultz
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Re: convention
BethSchultz   1/16/2013 8:15:15 AM
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@SethBreedlove, I don't have an answer to your question regarding Walmart's buy American push, but I understand that 60 Minutes ran an interesting piece this weekend about US companies bringing manufacturing back to the states (from places like China) thanks to the advancing state of robotics -- ie, they can use robots to do the jobs more cheaply than low-cost human labor outside the country. And interesting trend, but one that doesn't do a thing for the American workforce! Here's a 60 Minutes interview (text) on the subject: Are Robots Hurting Job Growth?

SethBreedlove
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Re: convention
SethBreedlove   1/15/2013 8:36:15 PM
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Some can be like going to Las Vegas. 

Slightly off subject, but I wonder what kind of analytics goes into Walmart and their newest "Buy American" push.  Wal-Mart Plans $50B 'Buy American' Push »

Four ways Walmart uses analytics - Business Analytics



BethSchultz
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Re: convention
BethSchultz   1/15/2013 8:43:55 AM
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Conferences do definitely take a certain amount of stamina! 

Alexis
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Re: convention
Alexis   1/15/2013 8:11:10 AM
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Conferences sound exciting until you get there. Then they are just exhausting!

Noreen Seebacher
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Re: convention
Noreen Seebacher   1/15/2013 1:02:51 AM
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Well the BIG Show is technically about retail, not analytics and as long as we have a need for shoes, then there will be retail activity!

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