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4 Retailers Putting Big Data to Good Use

David Bosley

Big data is big business in digital marketing, and various companies are putting it to work to identify prospective customers better. Obvious companies utilizing big data include Amazon, Netflix, Facebook, but many retailers are currently on the cutting edge of the tool.



Have you ever received a recall notice in the mail? Chances are it doesn’t include you, and you ignore it. Thankfully, Costco figured out how to take the “boy who cried wolf” variable out of the equation. Recently a California fruit company sent out a contaminated batch of product, many of which were sold in Costco locations.But rather than send blanketed warning to all its customers, Costco called and mailed every individual customer who purchased the items in question. If that doesn’t reinforce customer loyalty, we don’t know what will.



Many expecting parents wait until the perfect time to announce that a baby is on the way, but Target might find out before any of their loved ones. Through the power of big data, Target is able to pinpoint women purchasing certain products, such as large quantities of unscented lotion, cotton balls, and supplements, and identify them as expecting mothers. However, in one particular instance, Target’s digital marketing team may have been too good at the task.


The Weather Channel

You might be thinking that The Weather Channel merely provides the forecast, but it’s actually a very powerful advertising channel. For example, if a region is expecting a lot of humidity, The Weather Channel allows haircare companies to advertise anti-frizz products on its network and app. In fact, following a partnership between The Weather Channel, Pantene, and Walgreens (branded “haircast”) sales of Pantene products at Walgreens spiked 10% during the months of July and August.


Red Roof Inn

You’ve probably been the victim of a flight cancellation and experienced the panic of booking last-minute overnight accommodations. By correlating weather conditions and flight cancellations, while strategically positioning locations close to major airport across the country, Red Roof Inn targets areas with high levels of stranded travelers due to flight cancellations. By harnessing big data, Red Roof Inn experienced a 10% sales increase in the impacted areas.

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