US retailer Kohl's develops prototype to predict shopping trolley abandonment

Wants to build predictive data models on its platform

American department store chain Kohl's is testing "event-based architecture" which can track online or in-store movements so it can intervene when customers are about to abandon a purchase.

Using information gathered from customer devices, websites and in store, Kohl's can develop algorithms to predict when a customer is about to change their mind about a purchase and send relevant offers to tug at their purse strings.

Kohl's, which has 1160 stores in 49 states, recently hired Starbucks' CCO, Michelle Gass, to boost revenue. This year, the c-level told the company that it wanted to increase its US$19 billion revenue to $21 billion within three years, Gautam Kotwal, Johl's big data engineering director told Apigee's 'I love APIs' conference in San Francisco this month.

The business now realises that to do this it must understand its customers better, he said.

This push will be underpinned by Kohl's digital and data strategy - which means extra funding for new technologies and supporting infrastructure and IT skills.

"We are investing significantly in APIs and store infrastructure which means all stores are Wi-Fi enabled; we are increasing data pipes in our stores," he said.

The firm has built its first version of a "data-lake" with a Hadoop-based platform which will ingest data and send summarised, usable information into Kohl's existing data warehouse. Kohl's is currently using this to drive customer recommendations on its website.

Kohl's has developed 78 algorithms to correlate its customer data, Kotwal said.

"But we want to do more to leverage this data-lake to understand customer journeys and get insight that will inform our strategies," he said.

"We have just started our journey to predictive offers and recommendations."

Related: Shoppers more willing to share data for a better omni-channel retail experience
Why customer engagement isn't just about data or digital at Ozsale
How chat is allowing CostumeBox to tap into new customer data

Kohl's are using various off-the-shelf tools like Scoop and Apache Flume with Hadoop. It is also working with API management company, Apigee, to use its API platform.

Despite these advances toward predicting customer behaviour, the 52-year-old firm is up against its legacy IT. This includes clickstream (every click a customer has made on Kohl's channels), sales data, reviews and ratings data and in-store wifi data, to name a few, Kotwal said.

"Our pricing and inventory sits in our mainframe system so that is the first challenge. Mainframes - yes I have to deal with them," Kotwal said.

Kohl's is currently piloting a smart fitting room in some of its stores. It is also piloting real-time trending product recommendations based on in-store and online purchases, shares and "pins" on social media on its website.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Latest Videos

Conversations over a cuppa with CMO: ABC's Leisa Bacon

In this episode of Conversations over a Cuppa with CMO, ABC's director of audiences, Leisa Bacon, shares how she's navigated the COVID-19 crisis, the milestones and adaptability it's ushered in, and what sustained lessons there are for marketers as we start to recover.

More Videos

Zero proof spiritsUsa since 2011 www.arkaybeverages.com🤪🤟

Sylvie

How this alcohol-free spirits brand rode the health and wellness wave

Read more

okay this a good newsmaybe i gonna try it

kenzopoker1

CMO's top 8 martech stories for the week - 9 July 2020

Read more

Very insightful. Executive leaders can let middle managers decide on the best course of action for the business and once these plans are ...

Abi TCA

CMOs: Let middle managers lead radical innovation

Read more

One failing brand tying up with another failing brand!

Realist

Binge and The Iconic launch Inactivewear clothing line

Read more

I am 56 years old and was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease after four years of decreasing mobility to the point of having family dress ...

Nancy Tunick

The personal digital approach that's helping Vision RT ride out the crisis

Read more

Blog Posts

MYOD Dataset: Building a DAM

In my first article in this MYOD [Make Your Organisation Data-Driven] series, I articulated a one-line approach to successfully injecting data into your organisation’s DNA: Using a Dataset -> Skillset -> Mindset framework. This will take your people and processes on a journey to data actualisation.

Kshira Saagar

Group director of data science, Global Fashion Group

Business quiet? Now is the time to review your owned assets

For businesses and advertiser categories currently experiencing a slowdown in consumer activity, now is the optimal time to get started on projects that have been of high importance, but low urgency.

Olia Krivtchoun

CX discipline leader, Spark Foundry

Bottoms up: Lockdown lessons for an inverted marketing world

The effects of the coronavirus slammed the brakes on retail sales in pubs, clubs and restaurants. Fever-Tree’s Australia GM Andy Gaunt explains what they have learnt from some tricky months of trading

Andy Gaunt

General manager, Fever-Tree Australia and New Zealand

Sign in