Big data is the buzzword of our age, but few of us understand what it means, how to implement it or what it means for retail.
Alex Gledhill, global account manager for Tesco at Intel, has been working on ways in which brands can use the beginnings of big data and the Internet of Things to make stores more immersive, compelling and profitable.
‘E-commerce and big data are enabling us to create a much more bespoke experience for people when they decide to walk into a store,' says Gledhill. ‘It’s all about making sure that the experience is joined up and intuitive.’
In a landscape in which we fetishise the latest technology, we sometimes risk overlooking the ‘why’ as we focus on the ‘what’. Gledhill believes that the ways to implement technology in retail come from external innovators rather than internal staff.
For companies looking to kick-start a big data drive, Gledhill recommends hosting a hackathon. ‘That’s a really nice, relatively simple way to start looking at data analytics for any business, and it’s really innovative,’ he says.
1. Focus on meaning over function. Don’t be too eager to trial new technology without interrogating its purpose.
2. Join up experiences. Use your audience’s online habits to inform the services that they are offered in-store.
3. Use big data. The innovators in this space will empathically understand the needs of their customers.
4. Create seamless transactions. Convenience is key to consumers in FMCG companies.
5. Be predictive. Use the connected world to pre-empt the behaviour of your customers.