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Retailers developing data plans to understand, target customer preferences

Richard Jones Archive
The holiday season is in full swing, with comScore reporting that consumers have already spent upward of $29 billion on products and services through ecommerce alone. Some of the companies that have seen the most sales success have had a secret weapon up their sleeves - big data - which has enabled them to understand customer preferences better, according to GigaOm. In turn, these retailers can craft promotions with personalized information that sparks shoppers' interest and encourages them to make purchases.

Business are also finding that big data analytics allow them to manage omnichannel supply chains by identifying trends and then anticipating when demands will spike, Forbes reports. That way, there is less of a chance that shelves will be empty when consumers commit to buying items they have been eyeing for months.

However, retailers are also working to cut that lead time down by sending tailored messages when customers are likely to buy, no matter where they are. One high-fashion clothing company has gathered so much data about its clients, their buying habits and their product preferences that it sends out 3,000 different versions of its email marketing messages to suit each recipient's preferences.

These tactics are possible when retailers develop robust data plans in advance with consideration for the information they will need to track and how they will uphold data quality