Companies are using retail Web sites to test and monitor customers’ purchase patterns, gauge demand for products, and send that information back to the companies’ brick-and-mortar stores to make entire retail operations more efficient, according to a report Monday in The New York Times.
E-tailers have been plagued by low revenue and even lower profit margins, and have begun to make up for the shortfall by using their data, The Times reported.
For example, data from ToysRUs.com has been used to help the Toys “R” Us store chain forecast sales for some products. The Web site worked closely with Amazon.com on a promotion of Nintendo’s Game Boy Advance console.
Through the promotion, Toys “R” Us determined that indigo was the most popular for game consoles. The Times also reported that the stores decided to stock games such as Hot Potato based on what was learned through the promotion.