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Well played, Big Data, well played…

by Molly Brien

June 7, 2012

By Molly Folan, Conference Producer

There’s no denying that I’m a complete sucker when it comes to shopping. It can be for anything, regardless of logic or any type of need for it. I can quickly justify it via the furthest stretch of imagination. (What if I get a flat tire, my spare tire goes missing, my AAA membership just expired, and I’m stranded on the side of the highway, alone. I should definitely get a spare, spare tire. Can never have too many back up tires. Nah, I should probably just go ahead and get a new car…better safe than sorry.)

My lack of retail resistance considered, the last thing I (or, my wallet for that matter) need is increased temptation while perusing a department store. Enter Big Data. 

I went to a local department store last week to purchase new sheets for my daughter’s bed. I came home with $300 worth of “crap” for myself as my husband called it. The best (or worst, depending on who the story teller is) part is that I forgot the sheets ---the sole purpose of my shopping trip. After being sent back to said store to purchase said set of sheets, I retraced the day’s earlier happenings and realized quickly that it wasn’t my fault for forgetting the sheets after all (and spending hundreds of dollars on “crap”). It was Big Data’s fault. 

With every intention of walking directly to the bedding department, I unassumingly passed through the women’s shoe section and at the same time received a text with a coupon. If I bought one pair of shoes, I could get a second pair for half off. Done. My j ourney continued into accessories and another text offering “buy one, get one” earrings. The story continued for 2 more text messages containing 2 equally tempting coupons. I didn’t stand a chance. Department store wins in a sweeping upset. 

Big Data ---I’m sure you’ve heard this buzzword before, but likely didn’t realize how much it may have already impacted you (or your wallet). 

So just imagine how many people like me, victims of this Big Data revolution, have succumbed to stores’ real-time analytics and as a result, spent hundreds of dollars more than otherwise would. Stores are smarter, shoppers are, well, obviously not as smart. Or at the very least far more vulnerable and willing to spend more money than they normally would ---or should. 

And to that I tip my hat to Big Data; well played…

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