Imagine everything being known about you the minute you walk in to a department store – your name, measurements, purchase history in-store and online, even your views on life, the universe and everything.
Would that make you feel like a celebrity or a victim of intrusive surveillance?
How you answer could affect the future of retailing, which is undergoing a radical transformation driven by real-time big data analytics.
Ever since Tesco-owned Dunnhumby helped the superstore set up its Clubcard loyalty card scheme in 1994, we’ve grown used to retailers collecting large amounts of information about us.
But now, historic sales data is being supplemented by a whole range of new data sets, such as weather – crucial for knowing how many barbecues, beers, or brollies to stock up on, for example – social media content, and location from mobile devices.
And the ability to analyse all this data in real-time is giving retailers and their staff an unprecedented opportunity to offer us tailor-made services, online and offline.