Retail / eCom

Case study: How big data powers the eBay customer journey

With 50TB of machine-generated data produced daily and the need to process 100PB of data all together, eBay’s data challenge is truly astronomical.

This deluge of data is helping eBay to emulate the know-how that customers used to get from a local shop owner; the only difference is, it is trying to achieve this across its global auction sites.

Speaking at the Gartner CRM Summit in London, David Stephenson, head of global business analytics at eBay, said the auction site’s goal is to make shopping successful.

As a marketplace, eBay’s primary business involves being successful from a buyer’s and a seller’s perspective.

The company is using analytics to help it understand its customers better. Stephenson’s ambition is to take the kind of personalisation possible in a small shop and apply it to the world of eBay. “In a small store, engaging the customer is key, helping them with search and recommendations, understanding their preferences and learning from existing customers,” he said.

Web metrics data is the raw material Stephenson has at his disposal. The auction site generates a huge amount of web analytics, which Stephenson described as “the customer journey data”. This tells him what people do on eBay and how they use the site.

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