Big data may be dirty. That is what MasterCard Worldwide group head of information services Andy Mantis told LS:N Global at the 2012 World Retail Congress. But when it is in the right hands and cleaned up it can provide very useful insights for your brand.
Top five take-outs
1. Big data is dirty. ‘Big data, especially when it comes through a big eco-system, can be relatively dirty,’ says Mantis. ‘It needs a lot of care and feeding.’ Mantis pointed out during the same time as it took LS:N Global to interview him that MasterCard would process 20m pieces of data. For more on how data is changing how consumers see the world and how brands can engage them, read our Personal Information Economy macrotrend.
2. Being first or second matters during big shopping days. When MasterCard analysed one client’s sales performance on Black Friday, Mantis and his team ‘found the purchase sequence mattered. If you were the first or second customer shopping that day, you had an exponential share of their spend. Once you were the third or fourth retailer you were kind of in the crumbs.’
3. The data proves it: consumers really are shifting to online shopping. In mature markets, retailers need to focus on e-commerce to protect their share, says Mantis. While UK retail is growing by ‘zero to a couple of per cent’, says Mantis, e-commerce is growing 15% year on year. If you are in Asia, e-commerce is a new opportunity because your brand’s overall growth will be better.
4. The data proves it again: consumers buy online during the week – especially on Tuesdays, and at weekends they shop in-store and search for deals on their mobiles. ‘Early-to-mid-week, online rules,’ says Mantis. ‘And then at weekends when people are in stores with their smartphones, they are price shopping.’
5. Be multi-channel to avoid price comparisons. Your brand, says Mantis, should create ‘a customer experience across channels so you are not just competing on price with the person who is doing a mobile search in your store at the weekends’.