WibiData launches big-data platform for personalized retail

WibiRetail represents the new wave of applications that take advantage of Hadoop

Startup WibiData has launched a platform aimed at giving marketing teams and data scientists the means to create highly personalized retail shopping experiences.

WibiRetail, announced Wednesday, builds on a more general-purpose personalization platform WibiData has built on top of Hadoop.

Large retailers are using audience segmentation and other means to provide general product recommendations, but the results are rather "unimaginative and undifferentiated," Wibidata said in its announcement.

In contrast, WibiRetail can help retailers go much further, such as through "intent-aware" e-commerce applications that can figure out who an individual is shopping for, such as their spouse, Wibidata said.

The platform provides tools for bulk import of data; creating a single schema for all of the data a company has on a customer; a set of predictive models for organizing large product lists into subsets such as best sellers or what is low on stock; and consoles for monitoring the performance of models, according to the company.

WibiData's leadership brings significant technical credibility to the problem its software seeks to solve. It was founded in 2010 by Christophe Bisciglia, a co-founder of fast-rising commercial Hadoop vendor Cloudera, as well as Garrett Wu, who previously served as technical lead of Google's personalized recommendations team.

While Cloudera and other companies have done plenty of work building up Hadoop as a data-processing platform, WibiRetail represents the market need for applications that target specialized tasks and abstract away the underlying complexity of Hadoop, said Rob Seaman, vice president of product.

WibiRetail sits natively on top of a company's existing big-data infrastructure, Seaman said. There's no need for enterprises to replace their e-commerce or email marketing systems in order to use it, either, he added.

When it comes to personalizing the retail experience, there are a number of market segments to consider, Seaman said. One consists of "big, pureplay, tech-based retailers like Amazon," he said. "They've been using big data for some time. It's core to their business."

On the extreme opposite end of the scale lie smaller, mom-and-pop business that don't need technology on the scale of WibiData, he added.

One sweet spot for WibiData are large traditional retailers that have had a difficult time competing against the likes of Amazon. WibiData has already landed Macy's as a customer, although Seaman declined to offer much detail about how the company is using WibiData's product.

WibiData's approach to big data and personalized retail is "compelling," Gartner analyst Robert Hetu wrote in a recent report. The toolset "allows retailers to take a page out of the playbooks of the leaders in consumer technology and rapidly iterate, deploy and learn from new personalization strategies that optimize their customers' experience."

But one downside for WibiData lies in the fact that there are "many competitors vying for control of the retail personalization marketplace," with moves being made by big players such as Oracle and SAP, Hetu added.

Chris Kanaracus covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Chris' email address is Chris_Kanaracus@idg.com

Join the CMO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Supporting Association

Blog Posts

People in vegan houses shouldn't throw bacon

Picture this. You’re at a Gourmerican burger joint chomping a cheeseburger, when an outspoken vegan friend starts preaching that you’re killing the planet. Last week, that same vegan downed a pricey glass of pinot before their flight to a far-flung destination, armed with their strongest mossie repellant and first aid kit. Anything amiss?

Abbie Love

Strategist, Ikon Communications

The role of the CMO is evolving: Are you keeping up?

My (amazing) vacation in the Galapagos Islands earlier in the year got me thinking about Charles Darwin and his theory of evolution. What does this have to do with the role of today’s CMO, you ask? Plenty.

Sheryl Pattek

Vice-president, executive partner

Getting your business ready for the Entrepreneurial Consumer

We all know the digital revolution has completely transformed the way consumers are interacting with brands, and that a lot of businesses are finding it hard to catch up. One way to closing this brand gap is to understand consumer behaviour and build a brand experience that meets these new needs.

Pip Stocks

CEO and founder, BrandHook


Kerry Edwards

Open Colleges taps into social for better student interaction

Read more

Or just go to sites like www.shopsthatshiptoaustralia.c... and others and be sure that the stores will send to where you live :-)


Why online shopping is like dating – RedBalloon CEO

Read more

Personalisation is the key. Customers demand a very relatable and well defined CX where the sincerity and understanding of their disposit...

Hitesh Parekh

In pictures: Improving cutomer experiences through smart personalisation

Read more

Thanks for this. The key for me is the effective of governance where it dictates and sets the proactive policy when it comes to CX. Tech ...

Hitesh Parekh

6 lessons in modern marketing from a customer experience chief

Read more

Very well said “With today’s consumers more demanding of the brands and merchants they shop, it’s imperative for merchants to not just co...


CMO's top 10 martech stories for this week - 29 September

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in