Retailers fail to utilise big data, new white paper from Columbus shows

Omni-channel retailers struggling to convert big data into a better customer experience can find help in a new white paper released by specialist retail systems consultancy Columbus.

The paper explores the use of big data in retail, taking an in-depth look into how retailers can use data more efficiently, how they can measure and analyse big data to offer enhanced customer service, and how modern retailers can ensure that they are continuing to respond to changing demands of customers. The paper also looks at why modern retailers must invest into efficient back end systems, and explores the benefits of seamless data integration, over the challenges brought about by disparate systems.

Mary Hunter, managing director of Columbus, said: “Retailers often talk about the importance of understanding Big Data for efficient store management and marketing promotions, but its importance to providing a seamless customer experience is often overlooked – and vital for the modern day retailer, especially those that operate through multiple different channels.

“When this data is brought together in one place and analysed with the customer in mind, the results can be extremely positive for retailers and their bottom lines. But where do companies start if they want to use data more efficiently, and how can they use it to improve customer experience across multiple channels? This is what our white paper investigates, speaking with retail commentators and retailers themselves to gauge different viewpoints.”

The paper is available to download through the Columbus website and draws upon the experience of Columbus as an established international provider of end-to-end omni-channel retail solutions. Building a solution on the Microsoft Dynamics AX Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) platform, the company works with retailers globally to help them deliver a complete shopping experience. And according to Mary Hunter, as customer expectations continue to evolve, and same-day delivery requirements become the norm, it will be the retailers using their data effectively that are going to be the ones delivering the best customer experience.

Hunter said: “Few industries are changing as quickly as the retail industry, and as consumer behaviour continues to change, retailers need to keep up. Those that do not have data held and accessible in one single place are going to struggle to continually provide a seamless customer experience. Our white paper will help retailers learn more about best practice on big data usage and enable them to practically improve their customer experience across a number of channels.”