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

Blog Posts

5 cornerstones of a strong digital culture

Creating a strong company culture may sound like a daunting task, but it’s actually pretty straightforward. In fact, company culture is created in exactly the same fashion as a religion or democracy. Behaviours created from the organisation’s inception are reinforced over time by leadership, attracting like-minded people and eventually reaching critical mass to become an accepted ‘truth’.

Anthony Stevens

Founder and CEO, Digital Asset Ventures

Should you rebuild your company’s tech stack in blockchain?

The question I get asked most regularly these days is: ‘Do I need to rebuild my company’s systems on Blockchain?’ And the answer, every time, is ‘No, you’re asking the wrong question’.

Michelle O'Keeffe

CEO, Engaging.io

Customer value proposition: Getting the brand promise to your customers right

Throughout my career, I have witnessed a litany of brand names that profess to have a unique customer value proposition (CVP). In reality, however, they’ve had little more than a ‘value proposition’: A simple list of benefits applied to a general audience.

Ric Navarro

Global director of marketing and communications, Norman, Disney & Young

RE: Sales and marketing SLAs, often the choke point isn't the teams but them getting the data into the tools they want to use with the da...

Ed Fry

Why sales and marketing alignment is more important than ever

Read more

Thank you for the good and very helpful information. It is very interesting. I love all the things you share and see your beautiful creat...

รัตนาวดี ภูมิวรรณ

Former eHarmony marketing chief joins telco startup

Read more

Colin Kaepernick, not Mike Kapernick.

thisisw

Zenith's innovation leader: Mid-digital age not benefitting media, brands or consumers

Read more

AGA KHAN HOSPITAL is in need of kidney donors for the sum of 2 crore, Contact us today if you want to sell your kidney for money, and thi...

Sebastian Friedrich

Mindshare gets behind blockchain advertising alliance

Read more

WelcomeThe world 's coolest Mercedes companyI am a personal addict on this carBut poverty does not allow me to watch on YouTube for us po...

amer hassan

ASX-listed GrowthOps appoints inaugural CMO

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in