So, you’re in eCommerce, and your business is booming. But you have a slight problem with storing data. All those images, descriptions, mailing lists, customers, orders, shipping data, and reviews are already too much! And when all of these pile-up, you will be forced to think about big data storage.
But let’s start from the beginning, revealing what big data is, why you can’t grow your eCommerce business without it, how big data impacts eCommerce, what you need to know regarding big data storage, and what options you have.
What is Big Data, and why is it so important?
Okay, it’s an eye-opening moment. What makes big data big?
Believe it or not, it’s not all about the quantity or size of your files (though their deployments often involve terabytes or even larger scales). It’s about their importance, format, data collection speed, and ability to use them for prediction.
All the data you’re storing on your local system come in different forms and formats, making handling much more challenging.
Not only that. When talking about big data, the important segment is the speed of data entering the system and how long it takes to process them.
Overall, what defines big data are four specifics:
- Volume – typically a large volume of data in various environments
- Variety – wide variety of data types
- Velocity – the speed at which data is generated, collected, and distributed
- Veracity – accuracy, and reliability for forecasting
The importance of Big Data
Have you ever wondered why Amazon is so great at what they do? The simplest answer is because they mastered the big data game.
Amazon captures every click that users make while browsing their site. They capture and process it in a blink of an eye, enabling them to offer (display) to the user what they prefer.
The importance of big data lies within the possibility of using these data for system, operation, and customer service improvements, for better and more personalized marketing campaigns, and finally, for increasing the revenue.
If you want to be one step ahead of your competitors, use these data to get an advantage. It will enable you to move faster and make wiser decisions.
Big data is all around us, and almost every industry like Media, Healthcare, Financial technology uses it for marketing, risk management, managing supply chains, optimizing delivery routes, crime prevention, etc.
As you can see, it’s omnipresent and can immensely impact your business if you learn how to use it correctly. It can lower your expenses, save you from wrong decisions and wasted time, and improve the results of the effort you put into your business.
Do you want to be like Amazon when you grow up? If so, master the game!
Big Data in eCommerce
Do you want to find out who your customers are? Do you want to know what target group is really interested in your product? What reviews do you get from your customers all over the internet? And what is the best-selling product from your catalogs on multiple sales channels?
Let me guess, the answer is yes, but you think it’s too complicated, too time-consuming, and requires a considerable budget. Well, I have to disappoint you. It’s possible and affordable, and you can get these answers quickly. We live in the 21st century, after all. And no, you don’t have to be a tech geek or coding expert.
No need to do all that by yourself. You can use tools, software, and platforms specialized for collecting and handling these data. That’s what your competitors are doing.
What these tools can do for your business is to make your online shop more visible, more appealing to the customers, and create a better user experience.
- Improving SEO – Big data provides valuable insights into what customers are searching for, allowing you to optimize product pages so that these items appear at the top of search results. The more visible your pages are, the higher the chances are of increasing sales. So using collected data to optimize product pages will directly impact your revenue.
- Personalization – Big data can help tailor your products and promotions based on what the customers buy or browse.
- Managing customer relationships – You must admit that better understanding your customers’ shopping habits and key requirements are a huge advantage. It makes it easier for eCommerce companies to identify what features or products are most important to different types of shoppers, etc.
- Customer service – Your eCommerce shop is not going anywhere without listening to your customers, and an efficient customer service system makes it possible. And, guess what, collecting data from your customers who contacted you is, again, a big data game.
- Inventory management – Advanced inventory management systems supported by big data go beyond ensuring accurate inventory and automating key business processes. Those systems can process vast quantities of your past sales data and anticipate future demand for your inventory.
- Payment security – Security plays an essential role in eCommerce, and big data enables payment processing engines to pinpoint fraudulent activities within online payment flows, leading to a safer shopping experience.
- The right pricing – Prices should be balanced following your business plan, competitors’ actions on the market, and target audience demands. And big data helps you joggle between these three sides.
Big Data impact
I have already explained the importance of big data in eCommerce, and it is evident that it has irreversibly changed the eCommerce we’re experiencing today.
- The marketing segment with personalized service and customized offers
- Pricing strategies with the dynamic pricing to attract new customers
- Customer satisfaction with customer service and proactive maintenance
- Supply chain management with the customers’ ability to check the order’s exact availability, current status, and location
- Online safety with software solutions able to detect fraud and security issues
- Predictive analytics uses historical data to create patterns and predict future supply and demand trends.
Where to store all big data?
And here we are, coming to some of the most frequent questions; where to store big data or, even better put, how to do that? No, USB won’t do the job.
There are two big data storage methods: warehouse and cloud storage.
Warehouse storage is the physical storage of big data; just like any other warehouse for material goods, it has its own building. It’s a building facility for storing and processing data on the company’s level.
The most significant advantage of this system is the processing speed, and no one can deny that. But, on the other hand, there’s a catch. If you need more space for your data (as the amount increases), you will need to add more space (storage) physically.
Yes, I know what you’re thinking – it must cost a fortune, and you are partially right. In-house data storage is a much more expensive option than the cloud one, which is why most eCommerce businesses opt for cloud storage.
Massive amounts of data can be stored and processed within cloud storage, which is the preferred option due to its cost, maintenance, convenience, and accessibility.
And if you ever used Google Drive, that means you’ve already used cloud storage, but perhaps you weren’t aware of it.
For accessing data within cloud storage, all you have to do is to go to enter your credentials, and you will have access (not to mention that you have access from any device you use, as long as you have the Internet connection).
What do you need to know about big data storing?
Okay, here’s the thing: If we look at the data that could be stored, we can notice there are three types, and you are looking for a way to combine and handle all of them, regardless of the format they use. Your data can be:
- Structured Data – these are data accessed, processed, and stored in a fixed format or form, similar to Excel sheets.
- Unstructured Data – these data, such as images, text, videos, etc., come in various forms and formats that are not pre-determined and, therefore, are pretty challenging to handle.
- Semi-structured Data – are mixed data containing the combination of both structured and unstructured, and the best example is an XML file.
The biggest Big Data Storage issues
Though we all know that massive data is all around us and that we rely on it for growing our business, there are some common issues related to this topic:
- Lack of proper understanding of Big Data – If your employees are not entirely familiar with big data importance, perhaps the best way is to automate your business so that the system automatically pulls data necessary for further analysis.
- Lack of skilled professionals – Since this is a relatively new segment, there are not so many experienced professionals who can deal with big data.
- Growth issue – The fact is that most of the data is unstructured, which makes them difficult to handle and almost impossible to find in the storage as the company grows and more data comes in.
- Choosing the tool – Yes, even if you know your data needs to be stored somewhere because it exceeded the existing local capacity, sometimes choosing the right big data tool for storing and analyzing.
- Integrating data from various sources – Your data comes from multiple sources, especially if you’re running multichannel sales. Sometimes, combining all the platforms, apps, and tools can be tricky without an adequate integration tool.
- Security of the data – Taking care of data security should be one of the most important things to pay attention to when choosing a warehouse for your data. Don’t forget that and always choose the safest option, even if the cost is a bit higher.
If you’re searching for the right option for your big data storage, you might want to check the DataHub solution. Why? Because it ticks all the boxes that one eCommerce need.
You have the option to create a space that suits your needs which eases big data management! No more stress in managing your eCommerce business!
With SyncSpider DataHub, you can easily create, import, change, filter, use, and export data to your desired destination.
And, did I mention you can create or add an infinite number of records? Yes, that too!
It allows the systematization of your data
You can create storage that is easy to navigate through by using Attributes while creating different Entities and Views. That way, you’ll be able to search, access, or manage any specific data without effort.
You can access your data anytime and change your item lists, views, or entities whenever needed. And on top of all, your team members can have access, enabling seamless workflow.
Various filters enable you to search for specific data by attributes or validation.
Allows different file formats exchange
You don’t have to worry about your file format; DataHub has the solution for data structure issues. You choose the format you want your files to be automatically adjusted and let the system do the work.
Allows synchronization of multiple sales channels
As an eCommerce business owner, you know precisely the importance of multichannel sales and its challenges. With DataHub, you can easily sync two, five, ten, hundred, or more online shops from various platforms or marketplaces you use and run your business from one place.
Use Case Scenarios
Okay, let me show you how it looks in real-life situations.
Using ERP system for multiple online shops on various platforms
Users with multiple online shops (from 2 to unlimited) using their ERP systems with no API rely solely on online stores to pull descriptions, images, SKU, price, and other product data from the sources.
If for any reason, they need to change something within these data to insert additional fields, for example, they need to do that manually, which is time-consuming and increases the chances of making mistakes.
That’s where DataHub hops in. They use DataHub to send data from their ERP systems and enrich them with information from external API connected to the DataHub. That way, users have total control over their API (DataHub). They don’t rely on Shopify, Magento, eBay, or any other platform and don’t have any limitations.
They can even send only changed (updated) products to the target automatically and connect different systems with DataHub and track, update, or list new products on various platforms automatically based on the tags in your DataHub system by using filters.
Unifying order management
The next most common reason why users opt for DataHub is when they want to track all orders from various platforms on their ERP system.
That means they must create an integration for every platform, marketplace, or app they use. But files are all different, and one unified system cannot receive data from various fields, meaning that without additional customization, they cannot achieve that.
Using DataHub enables them to create an Entity that will pull data from various sources and control how the data is structured, qualified, and handled.
It’s handy when you have different CSV files from different suppliers needed to be harmonized and sent to their eCommerce store.
Impact on API system
Most eCommerce businesses don’t even think about this until they face the issue with an overloaded API system. And that happens the moment their business starts to grow.
If they have a system with 100, 200, 500, or 5000 vendors or more where vendors send frequent product updates to their stores, it has a massive API impact on your system. Not to mention that your API system might recognize this as a threat and start misbehaving.
The most useful thing about DataHub, when it comes to extensive ecosystems, such as multi-vendor marketplaces, is that it serves as the catalyzer between your marketplace system and your vendors.
It can prevent incomplete updates from being sent to your system, gives you the option for filtering products that are not yet verified, and represents the middleware that can protect your system.
The point is that your API receives requests only from one place – DataHub, which decreases the negative impact on your API system.
When you’re running an eCommerce business, especially when starting, you have no clue what issues you might encounter. And one of them is definitely Big Data storage.
If you have thought you could manage it from the USB Flash Drive, mmm, you might think again.
You need a Big Data storage that is flexible, reliable, adaptable, manageable, and able to collect and store a large number of various data formats.
I hope this helped, and if you need any additional information, feel free to book a free session with our automation experts.
Chief Operation Officer at SyncSpider
Aleksandar shares his knowledge gained through more than 15 years of working experience in C-level executive positions