Harness the power of data in retail

The multiplication of retail channels and the increasing use of social media are empowering consumers. With a wealth of information readily available online, consumers are now better able to compare products, services and prices—even as they shop in physical stores. When consumers interact with companies publically through social media, they have greater power to influence other customers or damage a brand.

In order for retailers to capitalize on these and other changes in the industry, they need ways to collect, manage and analyze a tremendous volume, variety, velocity and veracity of data. If retailers succeed in addressing the challenges of “big data,” they can use this data to generate valuable insights for personalizing marketing and improving the effectiveness of marketing campaigns, optimizing assortment and merchandising decisions, and removing inefficiencies in distribution and operations.

Adopting solutions designed to capitalize on big data allows companies to navigate the shifting retail landscape and drive positive transformation including these critical objectives:


Deliver a smarter shopping experience

Effectively analyzing the large volume and variety of customer data opens new opportunities to gain a deeper, more complete understanding of each customer and create a smarter shopping experience.

If are you are faced with this challenge, IBM’s big data platform can help collect and analyze customer information from a wider range of sources than before—including POS systems, online transactions, social media, loyalty programs, call center records and more. That information deepens their understanding of customer preferences, helps them more accurately identify shopping patterns and enables them to generate more precise customer segmentation. Retailers can then use new insights to deliver highly targeted, location-based promotions, in real time.

Constant Contact improved analysis performance by over 40 times, reduced wait time from hours to seconds, and increased client campaign effectiveness by almost 25% using IBM InfoSphere BigInsights.
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Build smarter merchandising and supply networks

With better knowledge of competitive pricing and demand trends, retailers can initiate sales and promotions that help avoid losing business. Implementing IBM’s big data platform can help retailers build smarter supply chains and optimize merchandising across a multi-channel retail operation:

Barnes & Noble helps suppliers track sales and inventory trends over time to reduce inventory levels and carrying costs.
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Capitalizing on the power of big data for retail

Adopt new approaches to keep customers engaged, maintain a competitive edge and maximize profitability


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Retail, Big Data and the Transforming CMO

Learn how CMOs are working to bring creative and data-driven marketing and advertising together in order to deliver relevance to consumers, drive stronger sales and discover deeper insight into audiences.

Big Data in Retail - Examples in Action

big data, big opportunities: retail industry

This use case looks at how savvy retailers can use "big data" to predict trends, prepare for demand, pinpoint customers, optimize pricing and promotions, and monitor real-time analytics and results.

Big data for retail resources


The big data platform is a key enabler of IBM's Smarter Analytics approach.

Featured retail experts

Jim Kerney

Global Industry Lead: Distribution & Industrial

Swanie Tolentino

Manager, Industry & Solutions Marketing Distribution, Industrial, Life Sciences, Public Sector

Graeme Noseworthy

WW Marketing Director - Digital Media, Netezza & Big Data Solutions


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Big data discussions, idea sharing, direct interactions with big data experts, and more happening all day, every day.