Guest Column | May 27, 2015

With Big Data and Analytical Tools In Hand, The Challenge Is Human For E-Retailers

Big Data and Analytical Tools

By Channie Mize, Global Retail Sector General Manager at Periscope, a McKinsey Solution

The world’s leading e-retailers now understand the promise of big data and analytics. They know competitors are finding insights and making advances, and many have seen their own pilot projects deliver measurable gains in marketing efficiency, customer loyalty, sales or margins. Data-driven insights can create value across the business, helping managers tailor assortments at the online store level, simultaneously enhancing the customer experience and improving unit economics.

Turning insights into action requires the right people, processes, data management, and self-serve tools for merchants. This perfect mix embeds the insights, ongoing expert support for usage and adoption, and targeted expert support for the toughest or highest-value opportunities.


 E-retailers have always struggled with operating at scale, and many are struggling now to embed insight-driven approaches across their organizations. The challenges are so daunting, in fact, that we expect only a handful of companies to overcome them any time soon. Inertia is a fact of life in every large organization, from government agencies to sports leagues, and e-retailers are no different. As the pace of change increases and the marketplace becomes more complex and competitive, merchandising and marketing teams may not feel they have the time to learn new approaches or master complicated new tools—even if they recognize the value.

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