Wednesday, June 01, 2016

Big Data and Category Management

I believe category management is on the hedge of a new revolution. A revolution that will be based on big data.

Let's not forget that most of category management steps of innovations have been made available thanks to technology:
  • Walmart has been able to master its supply chain by launching satellites to control data over it.
  • As say Terry Leah, former CEO of Costco, he has been able to launch its loyalty reward program only when computing power was strong enough to deal with the large amount of data.
And today, technology has never been so big. Big data is for sure something that could impact big time retail, because retail owns massive amount of data about shopping behavior, sales, and supply chain.

We all know that there are many factors that could impact sales in store:
  • Product location within a store
  • Product availability : minimizing out of stock
  • The store's traffic: more traffic = more probability one shopper would go by a product, improving the probability to sell it.
  • Stores location: how many stores distribute the product.
  • Other media advertizing: Radio, social media, TV, etc...
  • POS marketing: Animations. 
  • Weather: sun lotion, soft drinks, ice cream when it is hot.
  • Shopping experience
All of these components may impact on one product. And at the moment, it is difficult to analyze those data:
  • You need to register all the components to be taken into account
  • You need high computing powers to process them.
  • Lastly, you need software that will help you get the right information.

So far, I believe not much of those big data have been developped, and I am eager to see how big data is actually leverage in retail to boost sales.