How retailers are using Big Data this holiday season

December 12, 2013

In the past, businesses have used customer information to determine how to market their goods and services, but this holiday season, Big Data is making that process easier than ever, according to the Associated Press.

Stores across the United States have been doing what they can to maximize profits with a shorter shopping season, and the trend is to use these types of data processes. AP explains that the days of loyalty cards and zip codes are now combined with mobile applications, cookies and public Wi-Fi networks. Retailers have the opportunity to truly customize the shopping experience. 

"You can't have Christmas any more without Big Data and marketers," Jeff Chester, executive director at the Center for Digital Democracy, told the AP.

Online databases were commonly used to organize information and determine a company's strengths or weaknesses, these mechanisms have created a powerful marketing tool. Big Data has taken these same figures to create a report that can pin-point what types of coupons retailers should offer to advertisements that tailor to their needs.

"There are lots of potential uses of information that are not revealed to consumers," Susan Grant, director of consumer protection at the Consumer Federation of America, explained.

While these strategies vary from business to business, small organizations can also benefit from this valuable information. A study from the Harvard Business Review showed that in three years, entrepreneurs were able to build products that competed with major companies.

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