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More startups should leverage big data during festive seasons, says FNB

Big data doesn’t just benefit big business.

According to head of analytics for FNB Business, Yudhvir Seetharam, more startups are leveraging the power of big data to predict consumer trends and increase profitability during busy holiday seasons.

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“From a customer demand perspective, businesses often plan ahead by identifying the peak time for sales and the products that customers spend most of their money on,” Seetharam says in a recent press release.

Read more: What can big data do for small startups?

For example, he points out, business owners usually analyse historical data to figure out peak and off-peak times for sales, and use the information to determine trading hours for the festive season.

Seetharam further notes that startups are using big data to establish the amount of stock needed for busy periods and how much it should be sold for. In essence, businesses have to strike the correct balance between volume and value.

“Carefully managing stock and cash flow becomes crucial at this time of the year, since SMEs will be selling more and paying suppliers in advance for two months’ worth of stock,” he explains.

Read more: How B2B startups promote big data for business growth, efficiency

He says startups can learn a lot from big retailers who have leveraged big data to develop an art and science for packaging and displaying products on store shelves. That is why, for instance, frozen foods are strategically placed on one side of the store and certain brands on top shelves. Retailers have gone the extra mile to use big data to better understand customer behaviour and preferences.

“As customers become more sophisticated, it is important for SMEs to start using platforms like big data to gain a competitive advantage. They will not only increase sales, but attract new customers and retain them,” concludes Seetharam.

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