Success Story E-commerce

WidasConcepts has designed a database solution for a web-shop of a large mail-order company.

Overview

Not once do half of the customers who put a product in the online shopping cart, according to statistics, actually complete the purchase. This high dropout rate means massive loss of sales/revenue in e-commerce. Thanks to a data analysis of customer interactions in real time, web-shops can still counteract by identifying trends and behaviour-patterns of the customers at an early stage. WidasConcepts helps shop operators, with Big Data solutions to target customer needs, to increase the conversion rate, and thus drive the business forward. In a concrete case WidasConcepts shows how this works in practice. 

The Challenge:

When online merchants want to permanently reduce the number of shop-cart-abandonments, they need to know their reasons/motivations. More than that: they need advice on which products the customer is interested in, and information about the probability with which he may return, to make the purchase once more. The answers to these questions lie in the multitude of user data. Conventional analytical methods that require several days for evaluation are ineffective. The customer has already left the shop by this time and perhaps shopped elsewhere. The negative shopping experience hardly makes him return.

Only a quick reaction can therefore effectively counteract shop-cart abandonments and awaken interest in prospective customers. Thomas Widmann, founder and managing director of the IT consulting company WidasConcepts emphasizes: “E-commerce companies that work with Big Data, generate up to 73 percent more sales/revenue. Big Data analyses the needs of the customer in real time and can delight them with customized products and services and ensures customer-loyalty. That’s in the future the key to success. “But how can these large volumes of data most efficiently structured, stored and evaluated?

The Solution

Hadoop: a reservoir for large amounts of Data

WidasConcepts designed a database solution based on the software framework Apache Hadoop for a web-shop of a large mail-order company. This online shop is visited by several million people every day, who generate all the search-queries, navigation-trails and purchase transactions. Before collaborating with WidasConcepts, this information was largely stored in expensive, relational databases, which are not designed for this large amount of unstructured raw data and real-time analysis.

Results

Cost reduction and to know what a customer wants: Harness data in real-time

By switching to the Hadoop platform implemented by WidasConcepts, the operating and hardware costs of data-management could be reduced significantly. The entire system is characterized by a distribution of the components on multiple nodes in a cluster permanently available and enables the distribution and fail-safe storage of mass data. By using real-time frameworks, customer-behaviour can be permanently “live” analysed. Customer wishes and interests are constantly communicated by changing the information accordingly on the advertising-drivers. In this way, it is possible to target potential buyers after their visit to the online shop by displaying the right advertisements on web-sites they connect to. This retargeting allows the seller, to much more accurately respond to customer requests and to bring back prospective customers to the shop.

Delighted customers: Dynamic prices and customized Offers

The continuous monitoring of the probability of purchase additionally allows the shop owner to react directly to the growing and declining shopping-interests of users. The manner in which the customer navigates the Shop implies consistency or uncertainty. That helps in deciding if a customer can be moved with the help of personalized offers and discounts towards purchase.

Closer to the customer through Big Data, Big data strengthens Ecommerce.

Every online merchant can better scale his product offering with Big Data and meet specific customer needs. Using Big Data for example, it is possible to display different portals depending on the region or target groups – that means, that in rainy Berlin another offer is displayed than in Cologne, where on the same day the sun shines. This makes it possible to increase customer satisfaction and to lay the foundations for lasting faith.