Back when big data didn’t exist, it was difficult for businesses to learn more about their customers. In fact, they only knew as much about their customers as mortgage brokers did: their credit score, household size, and monthly salary. Without understanding their customers and their individual preferences, however, marketers found it difficult to tailor their advertising efforts to a specific consumer group.
The advent of big data changed, however, as businesses were given access to huge sets of information that allowed them to get to know their customers better and on a personal level. This, in turn, made it easier for them to employ a successful marketing strategy.
What is Big Data?
Big data describes huge sets of information found online that humans alone can’t interpret or organize — the sheer volume of data requires special help from digital gathering and analysis tools. Big data is crucial for businesses because it helps them predict the spending habits of consumers and help them create targeted marketing opportunities that will appeal to customer needs.
Data brokers can easily harvest information about consumers online. All they have to do is perform a process called mining. Mining involves tracking internet sources, such as social media platforms or online shopping sites to know more about customers and their own unique preferences. Companies may then use this information to understand how they can create offers and deals that will appeal to their customers.
Does Big Data Violate Privacy Laws?
While searching for personal information on the web may seem like a questionable way of obtaining information about customers, the methods that data brokers employ aren’t as invasive as they seem. Firstly, the information that data brokers gather covers only what consumers have agreed to disclose themselves. For example, by agreeing to a website’s terms of service, users acknowledge that other entities may gain access to a site, their online stores, and uncover other related information.
Furthermore, data brokers are able to skirt privacy laws through a process called “anonymization.” Instead of using a user’s name, address, or location, data brokers assign a unique code to a user, and that’s how they keep information confidential.
The Best Way to Boost eCommerce
Businesses can use big data to their advantage by offering customers the best deals, coupons, and recommendations. In fact, big data allows businesses to present customers with aggregate deals, which can help businesses focus on offering customers what they need through a single website, instead of having them visit different websites or Google listings. In fact, using big data is beneficial for both consumers and businesses: happy customers will be encouraged to make repeat purchases while companies will enjoy the boost in brand awareness.
A Personalized Shopping Experience
A majority of online customers have to deal with a large amount of online ads that appear on their browser. Some, if not most, of the ads that appear are irrelevant and feature products or services customers are not interested in, however. This often leads to an unsatisfactory browsing experience. Through big data, businesses can avoid the trouble of offering ads from a range of products and tailor suggestions based on what their customers will enjoy.
Big data also allows businesses to track past shopping behavior and promote similar, attractive deals customers will be interested in. On a similar vein, business will be able to forecast demand and make sure that they can adjust their inventory accordingly — even if a lot of customers want the same product, businesses can avoid running out of items their customers want to buy.
Big data could spell success for businesses, as it allows them to keep track of consumer preferences and offer the best, tailor-made deals to a particular customer. While big data holds a lot of potential, however, businesses are still a long way from knowing exactly what consumers want before they know it. With the current technology, businesses can ensure that each customer gets the best out of the online shopping experience, though — and that’s not bad at all.