eCommerce & Merchandising

The Happy Button: Pushing Back On The Big Data Pushback

A recent RetailWire article is one of the latest to bemoan the complexities of Big Data and pine for a simpler time that, like most simpler times, probably wasn’t all that it was cracked up to be (“Is simpler better when it comes to shopping analytics?”)

The article highlights a new technological offering called a “Happy or Not” button that customers can press on their way out of the store. It’s a fine idea and likely gives shoppers some feeling of empowerment and connection, but I imagine most customers will grow weary of pushing that button, especially if their issues, which the button does little to identify, are not redressed.

Two points: those who bemoan the era of Big Data probably lack the ability to deal with it. They or their suppliers, or both, lack the information technology, software and support necessary to tame the growing Big Data stack and use it effectively. The second point is a basic misunderstanding of the promise of Big Data: Big Data isn’t about making lives more difficult and complex; it’s about making lives simpler and more effective.

Happy customers are the point of IBM DemandTec solutions. What assortment do your shoppers truly need?  What pricing is fair and effective? Which promotions engage shoppers productively and which do not? The bottom line: does my store know me and what does that mean? It means having what I want and only what I want, at fair prices, with deals and offers that engage, excite and reward me. It also means the ability to measure the results of these efforts with shopper level reporting. That’s what #SmarterCommerce is all about!

A Happy Button won’t get you there, but employing Big Data and analytics with the help of a company like IBM is the quickest way to get that Happy Button pressed.

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Ulrich Leuthner

Great point about the requirement to holistically understand the needs and deeper sentiments of a customers. This is about continuous engagement, not a binary happy vs unhappy status.


Quentin Smeltzer

Thanks, Ulrich. I completely agree. We all want happy customers. Big data and analytics is really about understanding what makes them happy.



Woah nelly, how about them appesl!



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