Big data is something that has been a core part of every enterprise strategy for a long time now, and the technology behind it is finally becoming accessible to smaller companies as well. We can expect to see some huge steps forward in the use of big data over the next year, with smaller companies being able to take advantage of analytics, tracking and sophisticated marketing techniques on a whole new level.
High-Tech for Old Problems
One particularly interesting technology that an increasing number of stores will be looking to take advantage of is indoor location technology. This has been attempted numerous times over the last few years, but early attempts used Wi-Fi, which was not accurate enough to calculate a shopper’s position in a store. It could not calculate elevation, and it was prone to noise and interference. Today, Bluetooth Low Energy technology allows store-owners to track shoppers on a much more granular level. Imagine knowing exactly where people are, and how long they spend looking at individual displays. This information could help you find the best layouts and product placements and help you to identify bottlenecks or products that are simply being overlooked by your customers.
Affordable Data Mining
Your own website will be the main starting point for a lot of your analytics work, but if your existing shoppers and visitors are the only people that you get information from, then your data sample will be less than ideal. You should make an effort to collect data from others in your target demographic that are not existing users. Thanks to affordable data-collection services and crowd-sourcing companies, this is far easier to do today than it was a few years ago. With a modest budget and access to the right tools, anyone can get some valuable insights into trends in and around their business.
Consumer Experience Management
Why rely on direct manual feedback from your customers when you can get usage reports, failure reports and other streams of data from the devices or software that you sell automatically? Wearable tech and motor vehicles are already doing this on a regular basis, but the technology could be applied to any Wi-Fi-enabled appliance and any software application. Collecting usage data allows you to fix issues and provide improved customer service without depending on proactive customers to report issues directly to you. This could save you a lot of time and effort.