An interesting insight into the retail industry during the morning session of day two at TM Forum Big Data InFocus in Amsterdam with a keynote presentation from Frederico Santos, director from Sonae Retail, a leading retail and telecommunications company based in Portugal.
During his compelling presentation Frederico posed some powerful questions, including asking if you pull data that was different from one minute ago what are you going to do differently? He stressed the importance of understanding within your organization what you will do with data before you pull it.
According to Frederico, Sonae has been utilizing data to develop very specific demographic models of their shoppers, and this data influences nearly all of their business decisions, from the amount of stock that they order through to the position of it within the store. By using customer loyalty cards, they can track the behavior of their customers and offer specific deals and offers that ensure each customer, not just a demographic group of customers, but each individual customer has a valued and personal experience within their store.
Although developing this ideal model has not been without challenges, including following the privacy and data protection laws and regulations in Portugal similar to the rest of Europe and the world, and understanding the magnitude of their data and how to utilize the valuable information.
Despite these challenges, Sonae has been voted one of the most ethical companies in the world. They not only value their customers’ privacy but also believe that big data and the way that they are utilizing it will continue to improve their relationship with their expanding customer base.