So you’ve started an eCommerce business: your website is up and running and giving you some revenue. If, however, you want more than just “some” revenue, you need to use your customers’ data. And unless you have some unique and useful product to offer, you’d rather make sure you use the data to the full. In this article we would like to show you how to properly manage and profit from your data.
Data analysis is critical to achieving a better ROI. Properly collected and analyzed data helps you understand which marketing programs work best and which you should drop or modify. Knowing your customers’ behaviour helps you make more effective decisions, cut your expenses, and increase revenue. And you can get all that really quickly.
Collect every piece of information possible: emails, search requests, web analytics, customer behavior. Google analytics is great for a start. It shows you data about sessions, visits, bounce rate, time on a page, etc.
However, if you are serious about understanding your customers, get a tool that provides more important information: unique buyers, new buyers, new buyers revenue, conversion rate, sources of buyers, trends, funnels, reports, retention, segmentation, flows and geo analyses.
Every marketing program you implement must be viewed as a funnel. Funnels are the pillar of eCommerce. From all the traffic that lands on your page, only a tiny percentage actually buy your product. What happens with the rest? That is a key question you must find the answer to.
Understanding how your customers behave on each particular level of the funnel is key to increasing your conversion rate.
Let’s say you sell sport shoes. You set paid Facebook campaigns and within 1 day 100,000 people saw the ad, 1,000 clicked to the website, 10 added a product to the cart, 6 hit the “Buy” button and only 1 finished the purchase.
You know the approximate stages the customers go through. Now, take your time and go backwards, asking questions:
- 5 in 6 people didn’t complete the payment procedure. Was it because of some technical issues? Was it due to a long and complicated form?
- 4 in 10 people abandoned the cart. What distracted them?
- 990 people left your website without adding products to the cart. Did they find the right product? Did they find it easy to navigate your web?
- 99,000 people didn’t respond to the ad. Did you do your targeting right? Did you know what those people wanted? Did they find your post/title/image attractive?
Naturally, the number of questions is unlimited, and there is no universal way to increase conversions in whatever industry. So, you need to test.
Once you have gone through the funnel and identified problems and possible solutions, you need to act.
Your customer behavior data allows you to discover the patterns, or scenarios, according to which your customers act. And with the right tools, you can make these insights work in your favour.
Here’s an example:
- You know that a certain model sells the best. Think of adding a bar with the most popular products to your home page or on any visible place.
- Some of your existing customers are subscribed to your newsletters. Based on their previous behaviour, you can send them personalized emails, featuring products that might be truly relevant to them.
- A visitor is about to leave your website. Show her a pop-up banner with the information she might find interesting when she is about to close the tab.
Your imagination is the only limit to the amount of solutions possible.
Since there is no guarantee that these changes will result in more sales, try what is known as split (A/B) testing. A/B testing delivers fast and accurate results regarding the effectiveness of changes. You can split test any functions/operations of your e-shop: visuals, fill-in forms, additional features (e.g., live chat), email marketing, social media marketing, and more.
The above steps should be regularly repeated as your business grows dynamically. Unfortunately, as anyone who has attempted systematic measurement and analysis will attest, it can be a very tiring and time consuming exercise, especially if you have to retrieve all data from different sources and set next steps manually.
Enter the direct execution ecosystem. The ecosystem combines analytics and engagement automation and does most follow-up steps without your constant involvement.
It helps to set the best working scenarios based on particular triggers (e.g., a product added to the cart).
The market in marketing automation tools is a diverse one, and it is easy to get lost in all the options. Here’s a cheat sheet with three questions that will help you choose a decent tool:
- Does it centralize all analytics in one place, so you don’t have to harvest data from multiple sources?
- Does it provide you with in-depth insights about your customers, to support your decision-making?
- Does it have a simple, comprehensive and user-friendly interface, so you don’t get lost in all incoming data?
That’s all, folks!
Proper data analysis gives you control over revenues and expenses. We tried to synthesize in a neat form all necessary advice to make your online store prosper.
Naturally, each of the topics discussed here warrants a more in-depth discussion. But why deprive you of the fun of discovering stuff yourself?
As you get your hands dirty with data analysis and marketing automation, you will see that there are no limits to finding new ways to use data in eCommerce.
You don’t have to keep the stuff you’ll discover to yourself. If you decide to share your experience with the rest of us, you’ll make our day!