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23Apr, 2022
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Role of Big Data in Retail and Wholesale Trade

Retail and wholesale trade are important sectors of the economy, and big data plays an increasingly important role in these sectors. This article provides an overview of the history and development of big data in retail and wholesale trade, statistics on the growth of big data in these sectors, the current role of big data in retail and wholesale trade, trends and future of big data in retail and wholesale trade, and a conclusion.

History and Development of Big Data in Retail and Wholesale Trade

IBM did the first big data analysis in the retail and wholesale trade sector in the 1950s. They developed a computer program to help supermarkets manage inventory and sales.

One of the first big data applications in the wholesale trade was the Walmart supply chain, which they implemented in 1988. This supply chain used big data to improve inventory management accuracy and reduce the cost of goods.
However, it was not until the 1990s that big data became more widely used in retail and wholesale trade. The arrival of the World Wide Web in 1995 led to a boom in online retailing, which brought new challenges related to data storage and analysis. Three main trends have driven the growth of big data:

This growth is being driven by improvements in technology, including the development of cloud computing (which allows companies to store and analyze their data remotely). In addition, advances in machine learning (which allows computers to analyze large amounts of data without human input) have contributed significantly to the growth of big data in wholesale and retail.

The first big data application in retail was IBM’s Smarter Planet initiative, launched in 2009. This initiative used big data to improve the efficiency of cities, including reducing traffic congestion and improving energy efficiency.

Statistics

Big data is growing rapidly in both retail and wholesale trade. In retail, big data spending is expected to grow from $3.2 billion in 2016 to $11.9 billion by 2020. This is according to a report by IDC. In addition, in wholesale trade, big data spending experts expected to grow from $2.1 billion in 2016 to $8.5 billion by 2020.

Current Role of Big Data in Retail and Wholesale Trade

Big data is playing an essential role in the retail and wholesale trade.

Improving customer experience

In retail, companies are using big data to improve the customer experience. For example, companies are using big data to personalize customers’ shopping experience, recommend products based on past purchases, and provide customized coupons and discounts. Customer satisfaction is the key to the growth of any brand. Personalizing products to meet customer needs and preferences is critical for brand loyalty and growth.

Improved products and competitive advantage

The growth of big data in wholesale and retail has led to increased competition among retailers. As mentioned previously, companies use big data to offer personalized promotions to their customer. They can easily acquire feedback from a wide array of their clients. As a result, retailers can use big data effectively to act on client preferences and improve their products. It allows companies to gain a competitive advantage by providing them with information that they can use for decision-making purposes.

Inventory management

In wholesale trade, companies are using big data to improve the accuracy of inventory management. For example, retailers and wholesalers are using big data to track the location of goods in real-time. Also, they are using big data to forecast demand for goods based on past sales data. Finally, they are using it to identify trends in consumer demand.

Furthermore, retailers use big data for real-time inventory management. Using information from the Internet of Things and machine learning, retailers can predict how many units of a particular product to order from the manufacturer. They base this on an analysis of how many units they have sold within a specific time frame. As a result, big data has enabled a more efficient process with little wastage of resources.

Marketing and advertising

Big data is increasingly vital for retailers, who can use it for marketing purposes. For example, retailers use big data to predict consumer trends based on past spending habits and adjust their products accordingly. This has greatly improved their conversion rates.

In addition, companies are using big data for targeted advertising campaigns. For example, companies can now predict which customers are likely to buy certain products based on their past purchases or browsing history. After that, they tailor their advertising campaigns accordingly.

Finally, retailers use big data to determine which products are the most popular among their customers. After that, they use this information to decide which products to carry in each location.

The ethics regarding this form of advertising is still being debated widely amongst experts. However, its impact on increasing conversions by retailers and wholesalers is accepted widely.

Trends and Future of Big Data in Retail and Wholesale Trade

Improved accuracy of inventory management

Big data is playing an essential role in both retail and wholesale trade, and this role experts foresee this role to continue to grow in the future. In retail, entrepreneurs will use big data to reduce wastage and make business more efficient continually. Retailers will have a clearer picture of the number of goods to stock at a particular time. Furthermore, entrepreneurs will use big data in wholesale trade to improve inventory management accuracy. They will also use it to forecast demand for goods based on past sales data and identify trends in consumer demand.

Data rights and protection

In addition, companies will continue to use big data to personalize customers’ shopping experience and recommend products based on past purchases. As a result, there will be an increased infringement of individual private data rights as companies continually seek a competitive advantage. Governments will increasingly become vigilant and enact more laws that protect consumers’ personal data online. Experts foresee more companies suffering hefty fines due to infringement of these rights.

Big data will continue to play a vital role in wholesale and retail.

Big data is an integral part of the retail industry because it allows companies in this sector to gain a competitive advantage over rival companies. Retailers who will use big data to their advantage will be able to make better decisions than those retailers who do not have access to this information. They will have more accurate records, and their process will be more efficient.

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