STORES Magazine - May 2011 - (Page 29)

BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE / OPTIMIZATION What Shoppers Want Using analytics to bring a personalized touch to online retailing BY SANDY SMITH G ilt Groupe sales move quickly, as each event typically lasts less than 36 hours. While that adds to the exclusivity of the online retailer — known for its “insider” pricing on luxury merchandise — it also makes it more vital that the company understands individual customer preferences and what motivates purchases. “It was an extremely challenging environment for analytics because all of our data assets are stored in multiple locations WWW.STORES.ORG and various formats,” says Tamara Gruzbarg, senior director of analytics and research for Gilt Groupe. “There was some data stored in-house, some with third-party ven— Tamara Gruzbarg, dors, and in all formats that Gilt Groupe we can possibly think about.” When someone wanted information, engineers had to extract the data and then someone else had to analyze, format and create the reports. “Everyone was looking for data and there was no efficient way to access it,” Gruzbarg says. Information is extremely important to retailers, but Gilt Groupe’s experience highlights the need for access, especially in the fast-moving online world. Otherwise, the report can be as outdated as that Dolce & Gabbana belted dress — so two days ago. According to the Aberdeen Group’s December 2010 report, “Data Management for BI: Fueling the Analytical Engine with High-Octane Information,” the typical organization sees a 41 percent increase in data volume year over year. That same report also showed that a company tends to manage about 15 unique data sources. For a rapidly growing retailer like Gilt Groupe, the data volume can be even more overwhelming. Founded in 2007 as an invitation-only shopping site, Gilt now has more than three million members and has expanded to include menswear, children’s clothing and home décor. With each expansion, it has become even more important that Gilt “make the browsing experience better for customers,” Gruzbarg says. Because Gilt requires registration before anyone can access the shopping site, the data possibilities were rich; the company just did not have an efficient way to access it. Enter SAS and its business analytics software. Though the terms “business analytics” and “business intelligence” are often seen as interchangeable, SAS describes “It is important to marry the product to the customer at the right time.” STORES / MAY 2011 29 http://WWW.STORES.ORG

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of STORES Magazine - May 2011

STORES Magazine - May 2011
Editor’s Page
President’s Page
Retail People
Supply Chain
Getting Closer to Customers
Workforce Management
Customer Satisfaction
Customer Rewards
Human Resources
2011 Software Sourcebook Guide
Website Security
Divisional Update
NRF News
Point of View
Retail Industry Calendar
End Cap

STORES Magazine - May 2011