The retail industry doesn’t utilise valuable customer data

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The report commissioned by SAP (UK), data processing specialists, found that retailers are failing to analyse and act upon the growing amount of customer data.

Examining plans for technology investment this year amongst 100 retail companies, it found that Big Data is swamping the industry, with over half of the respondents admitting to having access to more data than they can act upon. In addition, 88% of companies surveyed claimed to experience problems gaining valuable insights from customer data.

Chris Osborne, retail industry principal SAP UK and Ireland, said: “The retail industry recognises the need to analyse data whilst improving customer service, but how to achieve that in harmony is clearly where there’s cause for confusion. By investing more heavily in customer-facing technology, companies are opening themselves up even wider to receive more data which they are already struggling to utilise effectively.”

Almost two-thirds (64%) of the retail companies surveyed said they were under increasing pressure to provide IT innovation that would improve both customer retention and loyalty. In addition, over three quarters (78%) of respondents claimed that their customers had become more responsive to offers and 75% reported a rise in customer demand for a more personalised service over the past two years. 

Over a third (37%) of retail companies surveyed said they had seen customers become increasingly reluctant to provide information and just under half (49%) reported that their customers’ expectations for service improvements had been a direct impact of the increased availability of data.

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