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Applied Data Science in Modern Retail Businesses

The time where companies can put all of their customers in one box has passed. In the Internet era, marketing is personalized and exclusive to each customer thanks, in part, to data science and analytics.

This level of focus lets companies make more sales while reducing costs, improving working conditions for employees, and even making a positive impact on the environment. Online strategies save paper and energy, while segmentation makes advertising cheaper and more efficient.

In order to refocus your retail businesses and take advantage of the many benefits of data science, you need to be ready for the huge volume of information you will collect. Fast, safe and successful business growth depends on it. But first, let’s discuss what data science for business is.

What is data science for business?

Data creation has increased so much that in the past few years, more data has been created and stored than in the entire history of humanity. Technology allows us to extract and store data in both structured and unstructured ways. Data comes in many formats (such as numbers, codes and text), comes from various sources, and can be stored on different devices (such as hard drives, servers and the cloud).

Data science for business is the combination of all the different disciplines that process, analyze and extract useful information from this data. To apply this science to your business, you have to implement systems designed for collecting, maintaining, processing, analyzing and interpreting data.

There are more and more tools are being developed to automatically carry out these processes. Algorithms that can identify and extract relevant information from huge quantities of raw data are also currently in development. Companies store an enormous amount of information that could give them a competitive edge in the market thanks to the extraction of new KPIs and to quick and intelligent decision making.

Why is data science important in retail?

Retail companies are usually compartmentalized, meaning there are departments that aren’t used to collaborating with each other. Many of these companies find themselves in the middle of the complex process of digitization. Their goal is to optimize different areas of the company by implementing new technologies.

A successful digitization process relies on companies integrating artificial intelligence and machine learning systems with all the data generated by different business processes. Creating a collective and collaborative system will help automate processes, learn, and discover new business opportunities by comparing data.

It’s not just the machines that need to get ready. Workers will need to prepare themselves too. Data scientist and data manager jobs are in high demand from companies. They are looking for new profiles and using current employees to help lead the complicated process of digital transformation.

How can modern retail businesses benefit from data science?

  • A system that collects customer data (always in a nonintrusive way and in compliance with GDPR standards) lets companies focus their general strategy on data science.
  • It is cheaperto take care of current customers than to get new ones. Data science systems give you the opportunity to increase customer loyalty by creating exclusive offers.
  • By linking predictive trend analysis with your inventory, you can learn what items will sell out so you always have it in stock.
  • Detecting sales patterns will let you get ahead of trends. Data science is the key to strategic sales and automated recommendations.
  • During implementation, it is common that the workflow will slow down. However, once a system is in place, companies see an increase in efficiency and speed as well as a notable decrease in costs.
  • A data strategy combined with a system that integrates all the data systems in the store (interpretation, extraction, application, automation and optimization) will detect trends and customer preferences.
  • Making customers the focus of business decisions will let retailers innovate and keep up with a competitive market.

Transform your business with applied data science

E-commerce has changed retail customers’ expectations. Now they seek shopping experiences, both online and offline, that are omnichannel, personalized, and as comfortable as possible. Data science lets you fulfill these expectations by providing a unique experience on every company channel.

Making what you know about your customers the basis of your decisions and applying this information successfully will have a positive impact on all areas of your business, including processes and results. Using data science to extract company knowledge isn’t an option, it’s a necessity.

Guiomar Fernandez