How Machine Learning Keeps Retailers Ahead of Trends

The surge of portable devices, internet connectivity, and social media manifests itself as a sudden spike of global data traffic. What it also shows is that customer-related data has sky-rocketed. Up until now information generated by the customers was largely overlooked, even by the tech giants, like Google. However, the introduction of big data solutions paired with machine learning functionality has rapidly changed the business-intelligence market landscape. This seemingly unimportant data becomes the driving force of business decision making and, as some call it, the electricity of today.
Collecting big data, interpreting and capitalizing on it – is the path to success endorsed by many big retailers, telecom operators, tech companies, media outlets around the globe. Companies across all industries get in on the hype of big data and adopt various solutions. Retailers were among the first ones to catch the wind of this opportunity. An opportunity that promises giving companies unprecedented insights into understanding their customers.

Turning ‘big data’ into ‘smart data’ and getting real business insight from all the influx of information you’re collecting, is the ultimate goal of the solution. Managing this data tsunami is the real problem for businesses and the answer to that is machine learning. Machine learning technology processes massive amounts of unstructured data and comes up with insights that can bolster decision-making, sales and marketing performance, quality assurance and, virtually, any and every area of the retailer’s operation.

Machine learning enables retailers to enhance and automate end-to-end performance. Starting from service or product availability checking at the back-end to telling you what customers write about you on the social media through sentiment analysis and next-best-action tips at the front-end. Businesses can build data-driven ecosystems and have every step of the operation carefully calibrated thanks to forecasts, trends, and insights derived from big data analysis. This information enables the retailer to execute marketing campaigns, customer communication, sales almost perfect accuracy and ROI. Big data enables the retailers to tune themselves to gain maximum business value.
When previously business decisions were made by management based on basic available data (like customer purchase history), executive’s ‘sixth sense’, or the company’s general strategy, today big data comes in as a complete game-changer. Your big data solution will build accurate forecasts and predictions on how marketing campaigns will fare, which sales rep to assign to the most valuable client to ensure maximum deal closure probability, when to retire your products and which ones to pitch to your customers at a given time. You’ll be able to pro-actively monitor your service quality and anticipate problems before customer himself even notices it. All by the virtue of machine learning analysis.

The moment when you see a product you actually really need being offered to you as an add-on to your current purchase in not a lucky accident. On the contrary – it is a predictive machine learning analysis in action. Derived from multitude different sources by extremely complex algorithms it is aimed at one thing – to engage the customer and trigger the sale. If you’re in the selling business, ability to do that is nothing short of revolutionary.

With machine learning as your main tool, the chances of scoring a home run with every business decision you make are off-the-charts comparing to old-school approaches. Big Data aggregation coupled with machine learning capabilities gives you tangible business intelligence where a disparate mosaic of unstructured data has been. This trend ushers a new era of how businesses will operate and hesitating to get on board is not an option.

AI.Business Team