Retail mapping helps build relationships with customers, but there are other ways retailers can leverage Big Data.
For instance, the UK supermarket chain Tesco has a huge amount of data. Much of this is collected through its customer loyalty card scheme. Tesco recently introduced a free online streamed TV service for these customers.
Clubcard TV shows programmes and films that are interrupted by targeted advertisements based on the buying habits of Clubcard users.
While, on one level, this can be applauded as a demonstrable, targeted use of Big Data, on another level…well, it’s rather underwhelming. Not least because of the quality of the content on offer.
Value to customer
What exactly is the value for Tesco’s customers?
In terms of free online TV, the UK is more than well catered for, not least by the BBC, one of the world’s premier broadcasters, which has its iPlayer (free, if you’re a UK TV licence payer). Also, BBC doesn’t show commercials.
Tesco’s use of Big Data seems as if it has been transplanted from another era – one that required the consumer to sit back and take it all in, without any interactivity or empowerment. But, for better or worse, those days are behind us.
eSpatial retail mapping
As a Big Data advocate, specialising in mapping software, could we at eSpatial have come up with smarter Big Data ideas?
Well, this morning I challenged my colleagues to think about how eSpatial might be prompted to pitch its retail mapping services to Tesco.
I won’t pretend they were all genius responses, but there were some nuggets:
“Tesco could take its data, segment its older customers within a certain radius of a particular store (using eSpatial distance mapping tool) and then set up a shuttle bus service to run at certain times of the day.” ([Watch distance mapping video)
“When I was looking after my toddler, I would have liked to meet up with other mothers when I took a trip to Tesco. I would have loved to be put in contact with them, perhaps with incentive of a free coffee in one of the cafe chains that you normally find near a Tesco. The store has a wide catchment area, so it could filter us into groups who lived near one another. If they’d done that, I would never have thought of shopping anywhere else.”
“I buy a lot of health food in Tesco. My receipt defines me as a bit of a health freak. I don’t want to watch TV – I want to be in a gym or swimming pool. Tesco could have mapped fitness facilities in my area and allowed me to gain loyalty card points whenever I used these.”