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Big Data is all about gathering and analyzing unstructured data from diverse sources which cannot be easily processed using traditional database and software techniques. Big data can be immensely useful for e-commerce websites since these websites need to interact with their customers in real time.
The key ways Big Data can make a difference for e-commerce websites or online retailers include:
• Pricing dynamically: You require this feature if you compete in a highly competitive market with price differences between different retailers. This might require you to procure data from multiple sources, product sales information, customer preferences and local preferences. This is important to close the sale and large retailers like Amazon have already implemented this functionality. Big Data can help you with a huge competitive advantage through this feature.
• Supply Chain efficiency: You need to be aware of the exact availability, status and location of the product which has been ordered by a customer. Even for products which are being drop shipped by a vendor you need to make sure your commerce, transportation and warehousing departments are in complete sync with any third party system in your supply chain to provide the customer with the most updated information.
• Personalized experience: Customers might access your website through different mediums and devices. The websites should have intelligence enough to demarcate between loyal customers and new customers. Also they should be received with personalized greetings. Loyal customers should be greeted with offers and deals not normally available to new customers. Big data helps you demarcate between different customers through real time analytics.
• Predictive analysis: This is essential for retailers to be able to predict what would be the next turn of events. For example what could trigger an explosive sale of a particular category of products or the exact requirement of stock for the holiday season. This helps retailers build their inventory levels accordingly and hence improve supply chain and product cycle efficiency.
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