Last updated: Big Data and cloud computing: The crystal ball of commerce?

Big Data and cloud computing: The crystal ball of commerce?


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In the internet’s infancy, suddenly brands and marketers were presented with huge amounts of data that could be leveraged to help identify the demographics—and some of the behavioral activity—of consumers who were turning to e-commerce for the first time.

But today, with the sophisticated systems of Big Data and cloud computing, marketers are being handed what amounts to a crystal ball of commerce, letting them offer up deeply personalized incentives for consumers who didn’t even know they were ready to buy.

So says Rachel Spasser, senior vice president of marketing at Ariba, in a QA session with ZDNet. Spasser talks at length about how structured and unstructured data can be combined to present potential buyers with offers compelling enough to tip them right into the purchasing cycle. She tells ZDNet:

When we talk about the networked economy, business networks, and connected commerce we’re really taking that to a whole other level, where as marketers, we’re able to hyper-target our potential customers not just on their demographics, but also be able to predict when they’re going to be ready to buy.

In the same session,  Kris Hart, account manager at LLT Barcode & Label, says that his B2B company is reacting to the new internet consumer, the same one who uses Amazon or eBay at home and not only looks for but expects a certain amount of personalization.

While the QA focuses heavily on B2B networks and e-commerce, what Spasser and Hart have to say applies to the e-commerce market at large—marketers have more and better tools at their disposal than ever before to acquire, approach and anticipate what consumers are looking for, whether it’s industrial supplies or a new pair of shoes.

Combining the two technologies of cloud computing and Big Data can tap that potential, but it takes both infrastructure and human resources dedicated to mining that information in order to make a significant impact on the bottom line.

Big Data and cloud computing are no longer novelties. They are maturing, and as they do, it is the responsibility of marketing professionals to use them as the leading-edge advantages that they can be.

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