Big Data Means Big Business For E-retailers | SupportBiz


Big Data Means Big Business For E-retailers

Consumer Focused Analysis, personalized by Big Data, can boost the online marketplace.

New Delhi: Big Data has proved to be a boon for all the e-commerce companies, who can provide the customer with a tailor-made suggestions. A consumer gets informed about the upcoming discount offers, personalized assistance about the products in his budget powered by the Big Data analytics.


Understanding the consumer’s behaviour is the best thing that can help an e-commerce company to grow. Imagine you want to buy a formal shirt from an online portal but you couldn’t find a match trouser or a matching tie, then suggestions and combos from the store can easily help you out.

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 feels, "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."

Vikram chopra, founder & CEO, 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.

Basically, 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."

Not many online stores in India use Big Data analytics to provide customers personalized interests and make suggestions based on the customer’s behaviour but the numbers have seen a consistent increase in past one year.

Shachin Bharadwaj, CEO and Founder,, 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.” are among those who introduced Big Data analytics a way time back for making their interface more user friendly and easier.

NASSCOM and CRISIL Global Research and Analytics in its 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 said, "Unlike the brick and mortar stores who can see their customers in person, e Commerce retailers see their customers only through the lense of data.  This data generated by end customer actions on the site and elsewhere is varied and voluminous. Its getting generated at unprecedented rate which is beyond the processing capacities of conventional data technologies. As the scale of e commerce grows in leaps and bounds, user data will be the one of the largest asset any e commerce companies would possess. 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 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”.

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.

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.”

Why Companies Still Fear?

Awareness about the big data is still a big challenges for large enterprises as they still lack in information about the benefits of using the same.  Companies have to find out and invest in the right kind of people to tap into data’s hidden potential.

According to a ‘Global Information Technology Report 2014’ released by the World Economic Forum, “Moving up the knowledge pyramid from data to insights and informed decisions, is a critical challenge facing businesses and governments. Equipping IP networks to better transmit data to processing centres, as well as enabling the network to create, analyze, and act on data insights is one of the comprehensive approaches. Building this capability will require improving network infrastructure, building analytical capabilities and “intelligence” into the network, and distributing computing and analytical capabilities throughout the network, particularly at the edge.”

Manav Sethi, Head-Marketing and Digital Products, “Big Data refers to the deployment of vast troves of information to make businesses more efficient and responsive. In order to sustain and remain competitive, it is imperative that online retailers embrace latest trends in digital domain and Big Data is one such wave, which will help them reach customers, at the same time offering customers with exceptionally tailored experiences.

Future prospects

As per the market experts it is expected that a large number of companies would shift their focus on Big Data analytics 2020 as they would now realize the importance of getting deeper into knowing a customer and bringing suggestions based on that experience.”

Mehul Jobanputra-CEO and Cofounder of "India's largest online shopping community for deals and coupons talk about the future potential in big data saying, “While a number of  online retailers are already using  consumer data to build powerful recommendation systems, big data has potential to take things to the next level. With predictive analytics, e-tailers can forsee what  people need even before they start looking for it. This can give a huge advantage to online retailers, right from identifying what kind of inventory should be stocked to building a customized experience for shoppers when they land on their website."

Nijesh Shah, CEO, Sapna Online and "Big Data analytics is essential and key for consistently engaging with the end users. Big data implies gathering enough data that will power 'personalization' to the end user. For example - Not treating loyal customers the same way as new ones is possible only by applying this big data. It also includes dynamic pricing, which companies need to use to change prices impromptu, based on situations and estimated user demand. Big data is also used to manage fraud. Online retailers can use Big Data analytics to process their sales transactions against known patterns of fraud - to detect fraud in real time. At Sapna Online and Bookadda, we have inbuilt technology to capture as much data as possible from a user and apply the same to offer them personalization in the best way possible. We understand that an online user needs to be engaged in a 360 degree manner to stay loyal towards an online brand. Big data enables an online retailer to offer that engagement."