Big data is already a big deal for e-commerce—but this is only the beginning. Here are the opportunities and challenges you need to plan for.
Data is increasingly woven into every aspect of people’s lives. From artificial intelligence to the internet of things, social media to the global economy, the science of big data separates, sifts, and scrutinizes an ocean of information to discern patterns and relationships, evaluate opinions and trends, and present these findings in a way that can be visualized and acted upon.
Big data already plays a significant role in e-commerce, where data is rich and readily available. But this is only the beginning. As our lives become increasingly digital, the quantity of data will grow exponentially, and the commercial insights that can be gleaned from it will soar.
Here are seven current trends that look set to continue in the coming months and years.
1. Enhanced Analytics
The volume of data available for analysis is expected to rise sharply as the Internet of things (IoT) is projected to bring at least 75 billion connected devices online by the year 2025 (almost three times the current number).
At the same time, advances in machine learning, artificial intelligence, natural language processing, and other analytical technologies will allow us to examine and evaluate this vast pool of data faster and more effectively.
This upscaling of data supply and processing power will unlock a greater magnitude of increasingly detailed insights covering a wider extent of people’s lives than ever before.
Knowledge on this scale and accuracy will help businesses make better decisions and improve their effectiveness—eventually leading to the real-time streaming of actionable data that enhances the customer experience ‘on the go’, adapting the offer as shoppers browse the site.
2. Deeper Insights
As the quantity of data available for analysis increases and the quality of the findings improves, big data analytics will be able to delve deeper into individuals’ actions and emotions to provide valuable insights at a granular level.
Looking at customer behavior while visiting an e-commerce site, for instance, could result in products being displayed to suit the browsing pattern of a single consumer.
Insights gathered from their use of social media, for example, could go far beyond ‘like/dislike’ and identify trends that reveal subtle shades of opinion and their underlying customer needs.
3. Greater Automation
As the use of big data expands, we could see the swift, 24/7 service provided by automated customer-service chatbots extend to other repetitive tasks, such as automated language translation and content creation.
This is an area where Summa Linguæ Technologies is ahead of the curve, as Lea Backhurst, Nordics Managing Director, explains:
“By gathering an increasingly detailed understanding of shopper behavior for each segmented market—from how people respond to content that has already been created to how they search for and purchase goods—the better we can automatically create and translate content that is tailored to the requirements of a target consumer.”
Powerful computer systems will absorb the endless torrent of raw data, process it, and present it in a graphical form us humans can understand. This ‘big data visualization’ will provide a vital interface that prevents humans from being left on the sidelines.
4. Improved Infrastructure
The huge datasets and processing demands that will be at the core of the next wave of big data analytics will require cutting-edge, cloud-based technology.
According to IDC (International Data Corporation), the next generation of cloud computing will be of a sufficient scale and flexibility to handle enormous amounts of data processing in short periods of time. Crucially, it will also incorporate the most up-to-date, end-to-end security, to ensure personal data and business intelligence is protected at all times.
To ensure sufficient scale, speed, and security, larger e-commerce companies may choose to optimize their data analytics operation by investing in dedicated servers that put the power of cloud computing into their own hands.
5. Precision-Targeted Marketing
Why send a fashion-clothing promotion to someone who only buys DIY equipment? Why create a meme-style advertisement when the recipient only responds to detailed product specifications?
Improved big data analytics will bring an end to this kind of blanket offer.
Segmenting big data analytics to an increasingly refined degree will allow online retailers to target marketing campaigns at a personal level, such as email campaigns that provide recipients with bespoke offers.
6. Strengthened Data Security
As the quantity of data being collated and processed escalates, so too do the associated security challenges. Failing to protect data from cyberattacks, theft, and other malicious activities can have devastating consequences for your customers and your business.
For your business, this means reputational as well as financial damage. Consumers are increasingly aware of the importance of reliable security. As such, they are attracted to businesses with a reputation for data protection, transparency, and providing users with control over their own data.
7. Fully Personalized Shopping
On Main Streets and in malls, personalized shopping is usually reserved for the rich and famous. Improvements in big data analytics, however, will bring the tailored shopping experience to every e-commerce customer.
Arrive at the website and everything is made easy for you. The retailer knows what you want, your personal preferences, and what you have your eye on. This is shopping at its most effortless and enjoyable.
The ultimate end-point of this individualization will be the fully personalized store, where every detail is tailored to fulfil the requirements of the individual.
There’s already big value to be gained from big data—and the opportunities are only going to get bigger and better.
The seven trends identified in this article make it clear that for an e-commerce company to stay competitive, it needs to be data driven.
Summa Linguæ Technologies’ advanced data-gathering and processing services help businesses stay at the cutting edge of big-data opportunities. Contact us now to discover what the future of big data holds for your e-commerce business.
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