The big shopping season may be over, but it’s never too late for retailers to prepare for the next big shopping surge – before it has a chance to break their stacks.
Many if not most retailers and ecommerce businesses depend heavily on the holiday season to meet revenue goals. According to one recent study, half of all businesses — and 73% of small businesses — generate more than 25% of their annual sales during the final three months of the year.
Making the most out of the final weeks of the year is only possible when retailers can process data in real time. And when we say real time, we mean actual real time — meaning intelligent decisions on relevant data in less than 10 milliseconds.
If you had some latency issues this holiday season and are wondering what happened, then you need to understand why your business requires a powerful data platform that can analyze and act upon data as it’s being generated and before it has a chance to lose its value.
Here are the four key reasons why today’s leading retailers ensure use data platforms that move at the speed of right now.
1. Faster, easier orders
A real-time data processing platform helps retailers ensure faster, easier orders by giving them instant access to inventory levels. As a result, retailers can confirm product availability immediately, which enhances customer satisfaction by making sure customers can only order items that are in stock.
Additionally, real-time data processing also enables automation that streamlines the entire ordering process, from selection to payment, which minimizes manual errors and reduces checkout times. Not only does this efficiency accelerate the customer’s purchasing experience, it also allows retailers to manage high order volumes seamlessly during peak periods. This is critical to maximizing sales during the holidays because customers are more likely to abandon their carts when checkout takes too long.
Real-time data processing also enables retailers to send real-time updates on order statuses, shipping, and delivery, providing customers with timely and accurate information. Since 90% of customers want to be able to track their orders, this functionality helps retailers meet customer expectations.
2. Better offers and personalization
Real-time data processing helps retailers serve up better offers and personalized experiences by quickly analyzing customer behavior and preferences and using them to recommend products that each user is more likely to be interested in based on user activity. By capturing and processing data in real time, retailers can instantly adapt promotional strategies, offering discounts and incentives based on the individual actions a customer takes. In an age where customers increasingly expect personalized experiences, this is a big deal.
What’s more, real-time insights enable retailers to adjust prices dynamically, optimizing the competitiveness of each offer in the moment. With immediate access to customer data, retailers can craft targeted recommendations and marketing messages to capitalize on cross-selling and upselling opportunities as prices change. This responsiveness, in turn, boosts conversion rates and increases customer loyalty.
3. Higher accuracy
Thanks to real-time data processing, retailers get more control over inventory levels, which reduces the likelihood of overselling and stockouts — both of which are detrimental to the customer experience. By instantly validating customer information, addresses, and payment details during transactions, real-time data processing also improves order accuracy, which reduces shipping and order errors.
On top of this, real-time data processing also helps retailers ensure accuracy in their pricing — and that they are charging the perfect amount based on immediate market conditions, consumer preferences, and competitor pricing.
4. Less risk
Retailers need to sell as much as they can to maximize the holiday season. But they also need to protect their businesses against fraud and cyberattacks during the holiday season, which can cause the most expensive kind of downtime there is.
Real-time data processing can help here, too. By continuously monitoring transactions and customer activity, retailers can swiftly identify irregular patterns and anomalies that could indicate fraudulent actions are taking place. By analyzing and acting upon data in real time, e-commerce companies can prevent fraud before it occurs by automatically blocking suspicious transactions or requiring additional verification steps to finalize a sale.
By staying current with cybersecurity threats, retailers can proactively implement security measures to protect sensitive customer and financial data. At the same time, they can also integrate advanced algorithms and machine learning models that continuously learn and adapt to evolving fraud patterns. This helps them identify suspicious activity as it occurs and take immediate steps to prevent bad actors from infiltrating their networks or rendering them inaccessible (e.g., with a DDoS attack).
Real Time Equals Real Revenue
In short, if your e-commerce business can’t process data in real time, you won’t be able to maximize profits the next holiday season. It’s that simple.
Without the right data platform in place, inventory levels are harder to track, the checkout process takes too long, personalization is more difficult, and you can’t capitalize on in-the-moment cross-selling and upselling opportunities.
Making matters worse, it’s much easier for bad actors to commit fraud or successfully launch a cyberattack that grinds your business to a halt when every minute matters.
If you’re looking to sell as much as you can this holiday season, Volt Active Data can help.
Take Volt for a test drive today to learn more about how you can act on data within milliseconds — much to the delight of your customers and your bottom line.