Retail in Asia

In Trends

EXCLUSIVE : I have all this data, now what?

Burberry is using AI and Big Data to drive success

Big Data is a term that constantly pops up today, but how many people actually know what it means or what to do with it.

In simpler terms, Big Data enables companies to dive deeper than just a surface level understanding of its customers and gain insights on their buying patterns, spending habits, interests, likes, dislikes, and much more.

SEE ALSO : Burberry is using AI and Big Data to drive success

If this data is leveraged correctly, it can bring in desirable outcomes as it separates companies from their competitors and puts them at a competitive advantage. With the increasing number of retailers emerging, status quo is no longer an option. Retailers must rise above expectations in order to get noticed.

Customization through Big Data

In today’s retail landscape, customers expect personalization and individual attention from retailers. For retailers to remain relevant in the retail industry they must work towards customization, whether it be offering tailored products and services or personalizing messages and promotion. How can retailers achieve this? Big Data is the answer.

Big Data that is collected from sales channels and social media platforms and enables companies to analyze, pinpoint, and predict what their customers need and want.

In retail, knowledge is power- the more you know about your customer, the more you are able to cater to them. You would not treat your friends as if they were all the same person, so why would you do that with your customers? It is key to understand customers beyond just a name and an e-mail address. How old are they? What do they like? What was their most recent purchase? What types of products do they frequently purchase? Once more insight about them is available, retailers are able to tailor products, offerings, and promotions based on their interests, while improving their shopping experience and assisting them through every point of the sales funnel.

Building long-term relationships through Big Data

Long-term, brand loyal customers do more than just buy from the company; they connect with the company, which ultimately incentivizes them to come back. Connection is key because that is what converts a customer from a one-time purchase to a repeated, long-term company-customer relationship.

One way companies can use Big Data to do this is to get customers excited about their own data. Take loyalty programs for example, customers have access to meaningful information which tells them how much they are spending, what loyalty level they are at, how far away they are from the next level, and the perks and benefits they are entitled to. By providing customers with data that is useful to them, it hooks them on their own personal data and develops them into super fans. Customers who dedicate an increasing amount of time and effort into a brand are more inclined to check back frequently and continue using the product or service.

The case of OnTheList and the use of Big Data

OnTheList is a flash sales company situated in the heart of Hong Kong on Duddell Street, which combines the best deals and attractive brands. At OnTheList, Big Data comes into play in terms of operating hours.

Through in-depth analysis of members’ shopping patterns, approximately 70% of them prefer to shop earlier in the morning before they go to work. As a result, OnTheList alters it’s opening hours to cater to this demographic, opening at 8 a.m. so that members can fit in at least one hour of shopping before they need to be in the office at 9 a.m. Knowing that members are normally more time sensitive in the mornings, operational efficiency is maximized by opening 10 cashiers, to ensure that the wait at the cash register is no longer than two minutes.

This has proven to work extremely well as some of our members have turned “Wednesday 8 a.m. shopping” at OnTheList into a weekly regimen. During more popular sales, over 100 members line up outside the showroom just to be able to get access to the sale first.

With the increasing number of players in the retail landscape, it is important for retailers to disrupt the status quo in order to stay relevant. Listening to customers for the sake of listening is no longer good enough. Shopping today is focused on experience, if brands want to stay relevant; they need to work on enhancing customer experience in order to do so and ensure that demands are being met.

SEE ALSO : Alibaba reveals big data tactics

While all analysis starts with Big Data, it goes beyond just simply collecting consumer data. Companies need to be able to filter through, extract useful information, and draw actionable insights from the analysis. Only then are companies able to have a better foothold on their consumer segment and properly cater to them.


Diego Dultzin Lacoste

Diego has a wealth of international retail experience looking after markets in Europe and Asia. From business development to brand management, Diego has worked for some of the leading lifestyle brands in France and Hong Kong, overseeing regional operations. Working for brands such as Chanel, Kenzo, Paul & Joe, JB Martin, Kooples and Maison Ullens, Diego’s extensive career in the luxury retail space is invaluable to the business he co-founded with his business partner, Delphine Lefay. Understandably this knowledge was applied from the get go when establishing OnTheList.