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Big data has been one of the biggest buzzwords related to anything technology. It’s thrown around as something to both respect and fear. However, what is it exactly? How can we utilize it to leverage e-commerce businesses?

If you're wondering this, don't worry - you are not alone!

“Big data is not about the data. It's about the analytics.”

Gary King, Harvard Professor & Director

In the past few years, we’ve come a long way in gaining a better understanding of big data, how we can work with it, and the importance of utilizing it to help make informed business decisions. Now, it’s time to delve into the questions above.

What is big data?

In essence, big data is mountains of unstructured data collected across your e-commerce site. Without interpretation, it can seem meaningless and daunting. Yet, it contains valuable information about your webshop visitor’s search history, click history, browsing patterns, page visits, order history, and much more. With some untangling, big data can provide a scientific, in-depth understanding of your customers, both individually and collectively.🤩

Clerk CDP

Big data is usually first collected by a data management platform (DMP), and then, filtered and processed through a demand-side platform (DSP).

5 best ways to apply big data in e-commerce

By the end of 2020, there were 4.66 billion people online worldwide, and the number is still rising every second. While people are browsing around the Internet, they also leave a lot of data, which means a lot of insights. 💡

Here are 5 ways to apply big data to your e-commerce business:

  • Forecasting: Take how big data can be applied for Christmas sales as an example. While it’s no doubt that the Christmas big sales opportunities, big data can be utilized to predict the scale of the increase as well as upcoming peaks and troughs. This forecast can not only help make sure that you are prepared for seasonal sales but also signal when it’s time to put some products into clearance.
  • Personalization: Nowadays, the chance of using one-size-fits-all product recommendations to convert customers is getting slimmer. Do you know that Accenture's recent study shows that 83% of consumers are willing to share their data to create a more a personalized experience? Big data analysis can be used to determine what a customer is interested in buying with a high level of accuracy. Clerk’s AI-driven system can automatically generate personalized recommendations based on a number of behavioral data points (visitor's click history, order history, search history, etc.) as well as product data points (best sellers, trending, best-cross sell products, etc.).
  • Merchandising campaigns: E-commerce merchandising is all about choosing and presenting the right product at the right time, in the right place and quantity, as well as at the right price with the right content to maximize sales💰. As the figure below exhibits, creating a truly great shopping experience for customers requires both merchandising and personalization. Clerk can help you utilize these two powerful tools in combination.
  • Lost sales: When a customer leaves an item in their basket without checking out, it can be for a number of reasons. Data analysis can easily help you interpret why they didn’t convert and take corresponding measures to bring them back to your site through a number of different tactics such as automated, smart-triggered emails to maximize abandoned cart recovery of your webshop.
  • Feedbacks & insights: In the old days, after putting out a hard copy of an advert (e.g., billboard and magazine advert), you had no way of knowing whom it reached and what effect it had. The success of e-commerce campaigns, on the other hand, can be measured with the help of data. With the right software, you can monitor who your campaigns have reached, if they responded positively or negatively, and if they went on to visit your store or even converted. Clerk can provide your webshop with real-time analytics and insights, as well as actionable feedback to better understand what exactly drives conversions.

Top 3 reasons keeping businesses from using big data

Despite these clear benefits, there is still some hesitation in using big data. The three top reasons businesses are not using big data include:

  • Lack of understanding and knowledge.
    47% of companies chalk their hesitation down to this factor. But with good software, you don’t need to be Alan Turing to decipher your big data. Good software will provide you with a user-friendly interface that makes your data easy to work with and understand.

  • The lack of technology. It's close to impossible to decipher big data without a DMP and DSP. Similar to lack of knowledge, this isn't something you have to worry about by yourself. External providers will offer not only the technical know-how but also the right software.

  • Security concern. With General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) coming into effect, security is a hot, unavoidable issue. We all know that a security breach can be unforgivable for your customers. Yet, a trustworthy software provider will always make its data handling protocol clear to its clients and comply with the proper guidelines.

The solution

While it’s true that there is a high throughput of data, the lack of technology and lack of knowledge shouldn’t hinder you from getting the most out of your data. Outsourcing is a great way to get the help you need! 🙌 The data already exists, so why not let Clerk help you utilize it to your advantage?

To learn more about Clerk’s solutions, schedule a meeting with one of our specialists:

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