A Conceptual Framework of a Cloud-Based Customer Analytics Tool for Retail SMEs
Periodicals of Engineering and Natural Sciences (PEN)
Since customers are seen as a strategic element in a company's downstream supply chain, many retail organizations have been employing a customer-centric business strategy and started investing into such technologies and solutions known as customer analytics that are capable of processing huge amount customer data for enhanced decision making. Customer analytics has been of significant importance in most developed economies around the world particularly for large organizations. The off-the-shelf
... analytics solutions provided by vendors are perceived to be unmanageable, risky and unaffordable especially for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) operating in retail sector. This becomes more vital for the SMEs in developing countries especially in the Eastern part of Europe where they constitute a noteworthy part of the economy. The majority of the SMEs in these countries lack of facilities, infrastructure and abilities to perform such analytical applications. Not being able to extract strategic knowledge using customer data is a missing component for them to be competitive and sustainable in the market from relationship marketing point of view. The aim of this paper is to propose a conceptual model that addresses this problem by providing retail SMEs with a cloud-based open platform for customer data analytics and knowledge extraction. The platform will be able to connect with numerous apps already employed at the retail SMEs, acquire customer data and then perform customer analytics in order to produce a rich set of reports and knowledge.