Jack Hanlon of Jet.com presented at this year's America's Customer Festival

LIVE FROM THE EVENT: How Jet.com uses customer preference to compete with eCommerce giants

In Data & Analytics by Kim Xrossing

“Technology does not win. Technology enables the winner.”

Today’s Big Data stream at America’s Customer Festival was kicked off by Jack Hanlon, Vice President of Analytics at Jet.com, with his session titled “David and Goliath: How Jet.com’s understanding of customer preference will help competing with eCommerce giants.”

Jack started off by explaining Jet.com, a membership-based eCommerce marketplace launched just 60 days ago and already getting noticed. Summing it up, Jet.com is where people can go to save 10-15% on millions of products that you buy.

The main point of Jack’s presentation was that it’s not what you buy – it’s how you use it. Profitability doesn’t just happen because you’ve purchased new IT – you need to increase price, increase the quantity sold, or decrease costs if you want to increase profitability. Making an investment in computers alone doesn’t necessarily yield the kind of results people want – productivity and IT investments are related, but there is massive variation within these statistics.

Acquiring Big Data alone, for example, doesn’t get you to the place you want to go – you need ‘IT savvy’.

It’s not just about different technologies, but how you integrate them into everything you do. You need to make sure they’re fundamental to how you’re thinking about solving your company’s problems. As Jack puts it: “Technology does not win. Technology enables the winner.” The critical factor is changing the decision-making process by seeing member information, understanding what a member is doing, and employing technology in real-time.

Jet.com also makes it a factor to ‘democratize’ their data – the three big words are ‘trust, transparency, and fairness’. All statistics are available to anyone in the company, allowing them to make sound decisions based on that data. After all, if you can’t get the data, you can’t make a decision. This is an organization all about cohesive well-informed decision making. On a related subject, Jet also provides training to people as well as a portfolio of different level tools so that no one is impeded from doing their job based on a lack of experience with a given program. While analysts need the best tools and tactics, not all members of an organization will be comfortable using them. Jack describes Jet.com as ‘tools agnostic’ and believes that whatever tool you feel comfortable with, we should be able to support these tools.

Jet.com is working to achieve true data democracy, using the above as well as the data pyramid:

– Data management
– Data collection
– Analysis and intervention

To sum up, having a clear vision and map of how you will support your technology with processes and people is even more important than the technologies you select and how you deploy them.

If you missed this presentation at today’s America’s Customer Festival, it’s a real shame! Don’t make the same mistake next year – make sure to register for America’s Customer Festival 2016!

Contact Andre Singer at +1 616 619 1797 or andre.singer@terrapinn.com to find out how you can get involved for next year’s event.