Increasingly, the largest retailers in markets across the country are employing sophisticated personalized marketing and thereby becoming the primary shopping destination for a growing number of consumers. Meanwhile, other retailers in those markets, once vigorous competitors for those loyalties, are being relegated to the role of convenience stores.
In this war for customers, the ammunition is data — and lots of it. It began with transaction data and shopper data, which remain central. Now, however, they are being augmented by demographic data, in-store video monitoring, mobile-based location data from inside and outside the store, real-time social media feeds, third-party data appends, weather, and more. Retail has entered the era of Big Data.