Retailers Tap Into Data Analytics for Amazing Customer Experiences

A shopper is pleased that her local store uses the Intel Retail Sensor Platform for inventory tracking. As a result, she just scored the best bag ever.

Big data analytics is one of the decade’s biggest buzz phrases. One place it can really deliver value for retailers is in data-driven decision making. Today’s retailers have a wealth of technology at their disposal to gather, analyze, and use many kinds of data to understand markets, improve satisfaction, and be more profitable. Here are a few of our favorite innovative solutions available to retailers today.


Campaign Optimization

Intel collaborated with Cloudera on a predictive analytics solution shown at NRF16.

Predictive analysis is a powerful tool that helps retailers realize the fourfold dream of right product, right message, right person, and right time. Predictive analytics solutions enabled by Cloudera and Intel mine insights from past and present sales and customer data to anticipate those customers who are most likely to purchase.  The result is increased demand planning precision, optimize marketing campaigns, and make more strategic decisions by understanding customers’ past buying habits and predicting future spending patterns. Learn More.


Intel Retail Sensor Platform

Intel Retail Sensor Platform.

How does pinpoint inventory accuracy sound? With the Intel Retail Sensor Platform, retailers can achieve this and a whole lot more. The platform enables retailers to gather actionable inventory intelligence in near real time, tracking items through RFID tags—keeping sales staff informed about stock levels, misplaced items, customer traffic, and local demand. Sales associates get replenishment alerts when inventories are low at a subcategory level like size and color. The system reports which items are touched, tried on, and eventually sold in the store, delivering valuable understanding of how inventory moves as part of the customer journey. Learn more.


Nordstrom 3D Foot Scanning Solution

A 3D foot scanner using Intel RealSense in use at NRF16.

American retail clothing institution Nordstrom is using 3D scanning technology to improve on 114 years of leadership in the fitting process. Using 3D scanning technology solutions from Volumental and Intel RealSense cameras, 3D scanning of customers’ feet is done in seconds, yielding exact measurements that can be used immediately by store associates to make precise, data-driven recommendations that ensure every customer leaves with shoes that fit. Sizing information is stored with a customer profile for subsequent store visits and cross-channel shopping experiences. In addition, aggregated data can be used to drive future product development decisions. Learn more.


COOP Supermarket of the Future

A girl in a grocery store fills her arms with all the yogurt she can carry. She knows that high protein foods will give her the energy she needs to score in tomorrow's big softball game, and she's in it to win it.

COOP is the largest cooperative of supermarkets in Italy. Working together with Accenture, Avanade, Intel, and Microsoft, they showcased a new supermarket experience that feels like a local open-air market while using advanced digital solutions to share information, facilitate navigation, and improve staff communication. Interactive display tables and smart shelves provide information on origin, allergens, nutritional data, even carbon footprint.

Data is collected and analyzed for inventory control, sales trends, and customer behavior, enabling operational improvement and reduced costs. The solution is an innovative blend of industry expertise, specialized services, and a cloud platform that is demonstrating the power of data analytics to transform the retail experience from both the customer and business side. Learn more.


SAP Digital Board Room

A group of people sit around a conference room table. Behind them on the wall is a monitor displaying analytics.

The SAP Digital Board Room is an analytics dashboard that simplifies performance reporting across all areas of a business in real time—giving decision-makers across departments, roles, and devices a unified view of the company’s critical business metrics. SAP Digital Board Room is based on total transparency, with standards-based, 360-degree reporting view of financials, operations, marketing, and sales; instant data-driven insights, with powerful analytical exploration functions down to a very granular level and support for ad hoc questioning; and simplified processes, with an intuitive user interface enabling natural interactions through a touch-screen experience. Learn more.


Big Cloud Analytics: A Clienteling Solution for In-store Engagement

A man taps a monitor with his middle and index fingers.

This clienteling solution from Intel and Big Cloud Analytics enables retailers gain an understanding about customers in their stores, engage with them more effectively and predict their future behaviors with near real-time accuracy. The technology delivers not just recognition when customers enter a store, but insight into what products they are most likely to be interested in exploring. Analytics help determine appropriate discount levels to offer and also predict the logical product or category the shopper is most likely to be interested in. These scores can be sent to a sales associate who can then offer a more personalized experience, or sent via a communication channel like email, text, or mobile ad—resulting in increased shopping basket size and more profitable customers. Learn more.


Data-Driven Decisions in Retail

Intel IoT and Accenture connected restaurant demo at Digital Signage Expo 16.

Leaders in the retail industry have embraced the practice of data driven decisions by investing in analytics packages and the analysts who perform queries for strategic questions. They gain a competitive edge by applying analytics to functional areas such as marketing, operations & customer intelligence. Analytics can help retailers stock popular items based on real-time trends, know when to run promotions, and match customers to the most relevant products.

So what does a data-driven decision making culture look like? Ideally, every person in an organization is trained in the practice of using data and equipped with the appropriate tools to inform their tasks. This applies equally to the category manager who is optimizing planograms to the store associate who restocks the shelf. To limit the practice to within the confines of high-end analytics will hamper your ability to compete with the pure play on-line retailers and survive digital disruption.

Analytics teams must both strive to improve their craft as specialists as well as implementing automated tools such as dashboards and alerts for lay personnel. This is not something accomplished overnight, rather, it is a journey with a number of focal points including assessment, culture and the application of usage models.

Enjoy a collection of blogs authored by retail industry experts on the IT Peer Network. For solutions geared specifically for retailers, visit our retailer solutions page and visit @retailerinsight on Twitter. To learn more about the latest Intel IoT connected retail innovations, visit

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About Paul Butcher

Paul Butcher is a marketing manager with 22 years of experience at Intel. In his current role as one of Intel’s retail strategists, Butcher delivers insights and direction for Intel and Intel’s customers on the current and future state of the retail vertical. Butcher’s passion is in the area of fostering loyalty by exceeding consumer expectations. His informed perspectives are not only shaped by his store floor experiences but also through his training and experience as a clinical counselor, financial analyst and marketing roles. His vast experience is complemented by his technical understanding of store floor technologies, networking, wireless broadband, PC and server management. Butcher actively maintains a network of forward-thinking retail visionaries in the retail industry as well as the university, analyst, SI, ISV, SP, consulting, and OEM ecosystem. Butcher is a faculty member with the International Institute for Analytics retail analytics research council. He received his Bachelor’s degree in psychology from Linfield College and an MBA from Portland State University. You can follow him @greatretail on twitter.

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