Many, if not most, CPG retailers have a wealth of consumer data available to them, and many of them are making various uses of this so-called Big Data.
More than three-quarters of CPG retailers responding to an exclusive Retail Leader survey use and analyze store-level and shopper-level data. These data come from a variety of sources. Overwhelmingly the most common, at 86.2 percent, is point-of-sale systems. Other sources include loyalty programs (55.2 percent), social media interactions with shoppers (31 percent) and shoppers' interactions with company websites (24.1 percent). One respondent also mentioned surveys that are provided or referenced on receipts.
The use of these data also varies. The most common use is developing insights into consumer behavior, at 82.1 percent. (For other uses, see chart.) A majority of respondents, 54.5 percent, run these data through analytical software. Common purposes for this include price optimization (85.7 percent), inventory management (78.6 percent) and new product development (57.1 percent). A minority, 21.4 percent, use analysis for hiring, recruiting and other HR-related decisions. Other responses were assortment planning and store-specific planograms. One respondent was blunt, saying he or she uses analytical software "so I can sleep at night."