How Pendleton & Son uses Big Data in practice
The first step was to install simple sensors inside the store window to track overall footfall and measure how effective displays and promotions were with passing customers. These sensors allowed the Pendletons to track how many people walked passed the shop, how many stopped to look at displays/signs and how many people came into the store.
In this case, the data showed that meal suggestions on the sandwich board outside the shop proved more popular with customers than messages about special offers (which were available every day in the nearby supermarket). For example, on a cold, wintery day, the sign outside might read “How about venison sausage & bean stew?” and inviting customers to come inside.
The sensor data also pointed to an unexpected additional income stream. As two popular pubs were located on the same street, the hours of 9 p.m. to midnight provided a lot of pavement traffic– almost as much as the busy lunchtime period. So the Pendletons started opening on Friday and Saturday nights, serving premium hot dogs and burgers to hungry folks making their way home after a few pints. Not only did this provide much-needed additional revenue, it also introduced the company and their products to new customers.
The technical details
The Pendletons worked with a Big-Data-as-a-Service(BDaaS) provider, which meant they only paid for work needed, as opposed to investing in new systems and analytics staff.
Most of the data used was internal data: data from a small sensor placed outside the store window, plus other internal data such as transaction and stock data. The sensors used were cellular phone detection sensors, designed to detect the presence of phones through their Bluetooth and Wi-Fi signals. All data analysis was done by the BDaaS provider’s team.
Ideas and insights you can steal
This case study shows how smaller businesses with small budgets can still make data work for them. Using a BDaaS provider is a great way to keep costs down, and sensors today are surprisingly cheap – and getting cheaper all the time.
*The name of the company has been changed to protect its anonymity.
You can read more about how companies are using Big Data to drive success in Big Data in Practice: How 45 Successful Companies Used Big Data Analytics to Deliver Extraordinary Results.
Bernard Marr is a world-renowned futurist, influencer and thought leader in the field of business and technology. He is the author of 18 best-selling books, writes a regular column for Forbes and advises and coaches many of the world’s best-known organisations. He has 2 million social media followers and was ranked by LinkedIn as one of the top 5 business influencers in the world and the No 1 influencer in the UK.