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RSR Research: Retailers focus heavily on customer behavior


Walnut Creek, Calif. – Retailers are taking advantage of volumes of Big Data and advanced analytical technology to uncover deep insights on customer behavior. However, according to a new study from RSR Research, they may be focusing on customer behavior to an extent they overlook other valuable insights.

According to “Advanced Analytics: Retailers Fixate on the Customer,” 81% of 113 retail respondents think analyzing customer behavior and cross-channel purchase decisions is very important, and another 17% think it has some importance.

But the percentage of retailers who think analyzing other types of transactional data is “very important” drops substantially. For example, only 52% think analyzing data security is very important and 38% think it has some importance. Results are similar for cross-channel promotion effectiveness and price elasticity (48% very important/49% some importance). And when it comes to forensic examination of breaches, 40% say it is very important and 42% say it has some importance, with 18% saying it has little or no importance.

According to RSR Research analysis, these findings are surprising and even somewhat troubling, given that retailers are aggressively cutting prices and offering promotions. In addition, the numerous high-profile retail data breaches of the past few years suggest that data security and breach analysis are undervalued by many retailers.

RSR Research analysts Brian Kilcourse and Paula Rosenblum conclude that this data does not indicate retailers aren’t spending money on advanced analytical technology. However, it does indicate at least some retailers are taking too narrow a focus in how they utilize advanced data analytics. Customer behavior is important and worthy of detailed analysis, but retailers should recognize the importance of other parts of the enterprise, as well.

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