Is Big Data a Big Deal for Retailers?

1010data recently commissioned the 2014 Big Data in Retail Study. It’s our effort to learn about the state of Big Data in retail. The study is based on interviews with over 200 North American retail executives representing a range of retail sub-segments including grocery, drug, specialty, discount, department store, restaurant, hospitality and more. Respondents came from nearly every department across the retail enterprise from businesses of all sizes, including more than 50 respondents from retailers with annual revenues greater than $1B. 

One of the things we weren’t surprised to find out, is that retailers are still struggling to get the insights they need to succeed. And many retailers share exactly the same struggles:

  • 41% of respondents said that different users and different departments all have different ways of measuring the business
  • 38% said they can’t analyze data at a low enough level of detail (e.g. SKU-store-day-transaction-customer)
  • 34% cited difficulty accessing and integrating the 3rd party data users need to analyze


And many retailers view Big Data solutions as the potential answer to their struggles. In fact, 73% of all retailers surveyed said that Big Data is either “Very Important” or “Important” to staying competitive in retail.
When it came to the retail business processes that can most benefit from Big Data Technology, retail executives ranked them as follows:

  1. Targeted offers and promotions
  2. Demand forecasting and supply chain modeling
  3. Customer-centric merchandising
  4. Loyalty program management
  5. Workforce management
  6. Store design
  7. Loss prevention

Executives also see big value in Big Data’s ability to enable:

  • High-value data sharing between retailers and suppliers
  • Improved on-shelf availability of store merchandise
  • Simplified processes for in-store testing of new innovations 

To see all of the data, download the full 2014 Big Data in Retail Study

 We hope you find the study useful and enlightening. After you’ve had a chance to read it, let us know whether Big Data is a big deal for your organization.  We’d love to hear what you think.