Diapers and Beer – The beginnings of data science in retail

July 17, 2012 No Comments

When asked for white papers or case studies on how predictive analytics works, I often give a few stories on how different industries use analytics to find patterns in their data and then applied that knowledge to their existing data to predict what future trends are going to happen.  I get asked quite a bit about a legends that roam the retail world:  the study that found that milk is the most purchased item so it is always in the back of the store, making you walk by everything thing else they have before you get there, the fact that women’s shoes are always are the way to mens clothes, and the fact that bananas are at the front of stores because they are found to be an impulse buy.  The one that seems to be the oldest: men who buy diapers for their kids are most likely to have beer in their carts.

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