E-Commerce Cos Looking To Embrace Big Data Analytics

by Manish Arora    Dec 31, 2014

big data ecom

More and more e-commerce companies are investing in big data and data analytics to improve customer engagement. Experts believe as the competition in e-commerce is steaming upmany of these players companies want to focus on more personalized customer services, and to understand and provide individual centric services, Big Data is the only tool to analyse the structured and unstructured data and convert into meaningful services for their customers experience. In the recent months, not only big names like Snapdeal, Amazon and eBay are looking to embrace Big Data, but a plethora of smaller e-tailers are also investing in the same.

While, not many online stores in India used Big Data analytics to provide customers personalized interests and make suggestions based on the customer’s behaviour earlier, there has been a steady rise in past one year. According to research by Avendus Capital, the data analytics market in India is expected to reach $1.15 billion by 2015, and will account for a fifth of India’s knowledge process outsourcing (KPO) market of $5.6 billion. Market leader US is expected to have a shortage of 140,000 – 190,000 analytics professionals by 2018, which opens up a huge opportunity for product and service companies in India.

Sandeep Malhotra, Founder & CEO, HomeShop18 said, “Big Data Analytics is being used by digital commerce companies in India to deliver post facto or real time analyses of customer buying behaviour. HomeShop18 uses a Hadoop based Business Data Analytics to track the entire customer journey – right from how customers navigate the site, to the products they choose, and their action/response to visual and technical triggers.”

“Using Big Data Analytics helps companies personalize the online shopping experience of the customers. For example, if a customer is shopping for a mobile phone, our Analytics engine identifies this, and subsequently crunches data to suggest the right set of products that are likely to meet that particular customers’ expectations. Also, we track insights generated by looking at recommendation patterns from millions of customers and visitors, akin to crowd sourcing, to further personalize our suggestions. Deployment of Analytics tools has increased our conversion rate by 30-40%,” added Malhotra.

Kulpreet Kaur, Co-founder, Shop Piratefor believes that looking from past experiences and see how big businesses houses are benefited from Big Data, it is high time for online retailers to get ready for Digital future. “Basically this myriad data which is well sorted and analyzed, if used effectively can not increase volume of sales but also help companies to adapt various marketing strategies and achieving desired sales target. But at the same it does come up with its drawback back like privacy issues, maintenance, time management etc. But a larger picture shows only benefits as this data will also act as a suitable example for any new business foundation,” he says.

Vikram chopra, founder & CEO, Fabfurnish.com pointed out that data analytics helps e-retailers in pinning down customer preferences. “This data can provide relevant and personalized content and promotions based on the internet behaviour, purchase history and other details like age & location of the consumer,” he said.

In order to ensure constant renewal of the marketing strategy,it is highly important to study the data regularly, understand customer behaviour and then use it to retain the existing customer base. Big Data Analytics include tracking the entire customer’s interest, which includes customer behaviour—how customers look at the site and what products they usually choose, action taken by a customer on the website and how customers navigate the website.

Ankit Pruthi founder Unicommerce, stressed on the importance of big data in large enterprises, “Online Shops don’t have ‘Store Salesperson’. And the scale of online business is much more than a single physical store. These two things necessitate the use of Big Data Analytics for the large Online Retailers. This is the only way they can turn their Scale into an advantage.”

Shachin Bharadwaj, CEO and Founder, TastyKhana.in, said, “Data is core to every business and this is even more significant when it comes to online businesses where everything can be measured. Large online retailers need to analyse big data because this gives them detailed insight into customer behaviour. With big data there is virtually no limit to how you can slice and dice data, so it is critical that you understand what parameters you need to analyse and accordingly take business decisions based on the same.”

Rajeev Nayar, associate vice-president (VP) and head, Big Data practice at Infosys said, “Analytics is only being used by Indian online retailers for front end in the context of personalization, increasing sales and decreasing abandonment.”

A NASSCOM and CRISIL Global Research and Analytics report predicts that the global Big Data market will reach $25 billion by 2015, up from $5.3 billion in 2011, the Indian industry in Big Data will reach $1 billion by 2015. At the 2014 edition of its Big Data and Analytics Summit, NASSCOM released another report in partnership with BlueOcean Market Intelligence, which predicts that the analytics market in India could reach $2.3 billion by the end of 2017-18.

Supam Maheshwari, CEO and Founder at FirstCry.com said, “To leverage this massive and varied data, technology has seen a paradigm shift in form of Big data. It empowers e commerce companies to understand and interpret customer behaviour more accurately and personalize its offering to see higher ‘buy’ conversions”.

Vivek Mathur, CEO at Giftease.com felt, “Leveraging big data is not really an option for large online retailers, and they would probably not be so large if they weren’t already be doing so. Even for smaller, niche sites like Giftease, this is an opportunity to enable us to strengthen delivery of our proposition, and enhance customer experience. Given the large number of customer interactions on the site, as well as through other touch points like ads, mailers etc. , the ability to leverage this to target customers better, and improve their onsite experience, will be a crucial factor for our growth”.

R. Chandrashekhar, President, NASSCOM, said, “Big data offers a unique suite of advanced analytics and helps derive meaningful insights from customer data to increase sales, better target customers, improve reach and gain competitive advantage. The Indian market is still in early stages of adoption of analytics and there is a need to industrialize use of analytics to derive long term value.”