We hear a lot nowadays about business growth and improved decision-making through leveraging data and analytics. You may think integrating new technology and taking advantage of data-driven business strategies is only possible for large corporations. Companies with entire departments dedicated to writing algorithms and crunching the numbers to maximize sales and forecast future market conditions.
But that’s no longer the case. Every business, no matter its size, can get in on the data revolution in some way. You just need to know how to track the relevant data and where to put it to use.
Business data comes in many different forms. Examples include:
- Market research: Gathering information to understand your target audience in order to improve product design, marketing strategies, and the overall customer experience.
- Customer analytics: personal, demographic, and behavioral data related to a business’s existing customer base.
- Website traffic statistics: The number of people that visit your website and how they interact once there, for example, the pages they view, time spent on various pages, etc.
- Product data: How people interact with or consume your product.
- Supply chain management information: Data related to procuring everything your company needs to operate. For example, in a globalized world, businesses can easily pay international bills online and expand their search to work with overseas vendors.
You don’t need to employ top software developers and data scientists to design a bespoke system. Much of this data can be obtained using standard business tools such as Google Analytics or CRM software.
So how can you put data to work to better your business?
While data is valuable internally to improve operations and streamline workflows, we’re going to focus on customer analytics and sales data. Research shows companies using in-depth customer analytics are 23 times more likely to outperform the competition in acquiring new customers and 9 times more likely to outshine them when it comes to customer loyalty.
Below are 4 ways to leverage data to expand and sustain your customer base.
1. Location data
Perhaps the simplest way to segment consumers is by location. The internet shrunk the world, helping E-commerce sites market their products to anyone, anywhere.
When selling online, it’s critical to understand where people are purchasing from. Perhaps you have an unexpected demographic to explore further, or your product is becoming popular in a different country.
If this is the case, you can start pivoting existing marketing to fit the new data, investing in sales collateral in new languages, and ensuring you offer different payment methods that are more popular around the world.
2. What devices do your customers use
The type of device someone is using to access your site says a lot about how they are browsing. While you may need to refocus your site design to optimize for mobile or consider developing a dedicated app, there are other critical factors related to a customer’s device use.
How people browse changes depending on the device. For example, someone on mobile or tablet is much more likely to be out of the house compared to a desktop user.
Plus, mobiles and tablets lend themselves to second screening. People might be sitting in front of the big screen while scrolling around on the little screen after a long day of working on the medium screen. However, if someone is on desktop, they’re likely performing just a single task. They are a much more focused visitor rather than a casual browser.
3. Recovering cart abandonment
While our first two ideas help understand your customer profile, our third method of leveraging data is a more active process. A simple and high-impact use of data is to target people that abandoned their carts before completing the purchase.
There are many possible reasons why these “almost” customers didn’t quite take the final step, including high shipping costs, limited payment options, lengthy checkout processes, etc. Using Google Analytics, you can determine pages where shoppers are commonly exiting your site to identify causes of cart abandonment and help improve checkout conversion.
Whatever the exact reason, you can also try to reengage with these customers to recapture potentially lost sales. With relatively simple site tracking tools, it is possible to identify when someone adds items to their cart before changing their mind.
Common follow-up tactics include setting up notifications or emails that offer incentives to reel them back in. This could be a small discount, free shipping, or another way of motivating them to return to the site. Making it seem like an exclusive offer just for them or a time-sensitive deal that won’t last long is an additional way of boosting purchase intent.
Leveraging data to build a unified customer profile
Data is only as powerful as you let it be. While we only gave you a taste of customer analytics, using three ways to categorize potential customers, the list can go on and on.
However you choose to segment your audience, the most important step is ensuring all your customer data sources feed into a single unified profile. The outcomes from leveraging data compound the more data you have. Keeping it all separate and siloed away limits its value.
A unified customer profile is greater than the sum of its parts. By combining multiple factors, you can determine the strongest signals correlating to purchase intent and develop new strategies to cater to them.