Progressive Grocer

DEC 2016

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Big Data Technology B ig Data means big business for grocery chains. Kroger leverages data to drive basket size, shopping visits and retention over time via highly tar- geted promotions. Raley's, in Northern Califor- nia, creates a world-class customer experience by analyzing its transactional and shopper card data, connecting this with customer comments, and by listening to shoppers on social media. "In order to use Big Data to the fullest, grocers need transaction history with data like demograph- ics, social media activity, geolocation, and personal preferences and behavior, to predict their consumers' next product purchase and deliver coupons, offers and messaging that they're actually going to respond to and use to make a purchase," explains Craig Alberino, CEO of Grey Jean Technologies, a New York-based AI-powered personalization company. But not every grocer has the resources of a Kroger or a Raley's. Experts advise food retailers of all sizes to make leveraging Big Data more of a priority, and perhaps partnering with a consultancy to guide them within the limits of their budgets. Why? Because the insights from Big Data may prevent them from losing customers, and will en- able independent and midsized retailers to compete more effectively with larger chains. Big Data: In Search of Benefits Making insights actionable is key. By John Karolefski What you do with your data is much more important than how much data you have." —Craig Alberino, Grey Jean Technologies "It's clear that grocery chains are taking learn- ings from their data and using it to target custom- ers in smarter ways," affirms John Kyriakides, as- surance office managing partner with BDO USA, a Chicago-based professional services firm. "We're seeing this in strategic shelving as well as how they send targeted coupons to customers through email, text and sometimes in-app. "As for the smaller and more niche grocery stores, they know that they must be conscientious of their regular customers," he continues. "It's impos- sible to say, in general terms, whether all grocery chains and all small grocers are using data to the fullest, but it's obvious that many are clearly using it to their advantage in smart and meaningful ways." Here are some of the specific benefits that gro- cers can gain by leveraging Big Data: Understanding Customers Better "One of the biggest benefits grocers can acquire from Big Data is a better understanding of their customer base, which in turn drives revenue," says Eileen Kolev, marketing program manager for Ty- sons Corner, Va.-based MicroStrategy, provider of an enterprise analytics platform. "is understand- ing is especially critical in the grocery industry, where margins are razor-thin and food waste is a crucial issue. By effectively leveraging shopper data, 86 | Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What's Next | December 2016

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