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Big Data Impact on Online Shopping

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Big Data Impact on Online Shopping

Big data is the term for massive data sets that require computer processing to uncover minute bits of data that may have otherwise gone unnoticed. As calculating power increases, such data points are becoming used for many things, and retail is one of them. Macy (2013) notes that the use of big data has been driven by retailers as they seek to enhance their "path to purchase" methods. Online retailers in particular seek to develop their websites in ways that encourage the most purchases, and that requires the use of big data. For the shopper, this is also a benefit.

Hockenson (2013) argues that the website improvements that result from big data better the online shopping experience. Websites expert at the use of big data are able to provide users with the deals and offers that they are most likely to seek out. This is good for the site, but it also resolves one of the major problems for consumers. Sometimes consumers have difficulty finding what they need online. Amazon stocks far more items than any physical store, so big data is essential in helping users to work their way through such a massive inventory, and to do so more quickly that most consumers will in a store.

An example of how big data has impacted shopping – and online shopping in particular – comes in the form of plans that businesses are making for the upcoming holiday season. For retailers, the holiday season is the busiest of the year, and they have been using big data to prepare for this, by using data that they have capture in previous years to learn more about how their consumers make buying decisions. By giving consumers experiences that have background relevance, retailers hope to sell more. A good example is ...

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... impersonal online shopping experience will become personal, and that will convince more people to shop online, for more things. When offline retailers become adept at big data techniques, they too will begin to adapt to them. One can imagine a point where there is junction between the online and offline worlds, since most of us are permanently connected through our mobile devices, even when we are in the malls.

Works Cited

Macy, B. (2013). How we shop: Internet of things, big data, social and mobile changes everything. Huffington Post. Retrieved November 13, 2013 from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/beverly-macy/retail-30-internet-of-thi_b_4210230.html

Hockenson, L. (2013). How big data makes shopping online suck less. Gigaom. Retrieved November 13, 2013 from http://gigaom.com/2013/11/06/how-big-data-makes-shopping-online-suck-less/
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