The Significance of Big Data in Brick & Mortar Fashion Retailing

The power of Social Media, Analytics, Mobile and the Cloud has reached such a crescendo that the retail industry cannot remain untouched anymore! Why is this so? Technology propels creativity, and creativity fosters competition. If there were to be no competition there wouldn’t be a thrust for excellence – and consumers these days would undoubtedly go with the companies which provide excellence, be it with the products or the services.

In India, the retail sector happens to be one of the biggest contributors of data. This data, created at various points in the value chain, holds tremendous business opportunities – only if a business is smart enough to access and analyze this data professionally.

This is somewhat more readily applicable in the e-tailing segment, with the traditional retailers not yet making any serious efforts in capturing each and every shred of data they can potentially get from customers visiting their stores.

Big data means just what the name suggests – data in literally trillions of megabytes in digital form. Traditional retailers have one plus when it comes to gathering this data – physical interaction with customers.

With a little focused and trained approach consumer data can be captured on so many fronts by traditional retailers such as:

  1. Demographics
  2. Buying behavior
  3. Likes & dislikes
  4. Convenience
  5. Age patterns
  6. Decision-influencing factors

However, what would further fuel the efficiency of the entire exercise is determined efforts on part of store managers to go the extra mile to eliminate the elements negatively impacting store sales. They have to do so in order to remain competitive with the online business model in areas of shopping convenience and overall consumer experience. It could be something as simple as offering complimentary soft drinks to customers/washroom facility in-store right down to free home delivery of altered garments at the customer doorstep.

The point here is: Effective big data collection and study is co-related to your consumers’ readiness to share their views on your business in a way which would make them feel valued – rather than them thinking it’s yet another futile exercise for which they cannot be bothered.


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