Never miss a blog....get your retailiation first

Friday, 4 April 2014

Tesco: Big Data, Little Evidence

If you didn’t catch the news yet, Tesco is now the world's 3rd biggest continent. Having bought US big data firm Sociomantic it now has access to a database of one billion shoppers making Tesco's citizenry almost as populous as China or India. 

Acquired through Dunnhumby, Sociomantic (according to Marketing Week April 3rd 2014) “runs a programmatic digital advertising service, buying and selling online ads via an automated process” and the aim is to improve Tesco’s “online marketing to offer a better experience for consumers and advertisers”.
But does big data necessarily lead to big loyalty?
Tesco Clubcard was a 1993 brainchild of then just plain Terry Leahy and since then has grown into the UKs biggest loyalty program. Yet for all  Clubcard and Dunnhumby's efforts, like for like sales in the UK, including petrol and VAT, over the 2010-13 period grew; 2.6% (2010) 1.0% (2011) 0.0% (2012) and -0.3% (2013) respectively and the 2011 and 2012 figures include the impact of VAT rising to 20%. One can make the case “think what the numbers would be without clubcard!” – it is hardly the most compelling argument you’ll ever hear.
From little data to little dates, one date actually: April 16th and the publication of Tesco’s 2013/14 preliminaries. With Lawrie McIllwee’s imminent departure, the market is anticipating another set of challenging results.
Could this be a case of big data vanity? It’s the little numbers that keep you sane.