5 Reasons why you must put Data First to increase online sales
With eCommerce sales jumping high, online sellers are earning profits like never before. The success of digital stores can be attributed to the fact that they are making good profits even in the present testing times when offline businesses are struggling to thrive.
While online market has opened unbiased doors of sales for big and small businesses alike, there are still a number of factors that modulate online success. One of the major influencers of online sales is data that is conveniently ignored.
Online success doesn’t come easy but if you put efforts in the right direction, you can hope join the big-league brands. Here are top 5 reasons why placing data first can help you achieve unprecedented online sales
Data helps in Customer Acquisition
Every online merchant has a decent website hosting their product information and their brand ideology. While customers browse through the website pages, you are getting data about the users’ choices, traffic speed, customer demographic and more. It can be easily tracked through free tools like Google Analytics. This acquired data is of so much importance that 64% of companies consider data-driven marketing as a crucial tool for success.
Long gone are the days when the data collected by brands included just the phone number or email of the buyer. With little pixels and codes you can get more specific information like interests, purchase behaviour, age group of buyers etc. to get a better customer understanding. You can even re-target the customer on social media networks, long after he has left your website. Remember, only when the customer is re-targeted 7-8 times, does he actually buy a product.
How else can data help in customer acquisition? Brands selling online can employ better SEO strategy and do well with keyword related searches to get more traffic to the website. If the customer is leaving your website too early, then you can use data to improve user engagement and enhance the overall user experience of your website. This customer centric approach can get your website in the top search pages, which in turn increases your leads pipeline
Data measures your Performance
If data wasn’t important then why would a whopping 92.3% of brands maintain a database of information on prospects and buyers? When we talk of selling digitally, you need to track data on your site, on social sites, on eCommerce marketplaces and on search engines. It may seem tedious to keep track of data from every purchase, every order placed, every customer feedback or complaints. However, the entire process can be automated and seen visually with tools like Google Charts, Tableau etc. without much hassle.
Make it a habit to check conversion ratios – visitors to add to carts or views to add to carts, add to carts to sales, bounce ratios etc. Even your customers reaction to your website content is a crucial data that helps you measure the success of the content that you are creating. Customer engagement can be tracked by views, downloads, shares, reading time and can help brands understand which content works best for the sales conversion.
Such insights render a performance metric to brands, turning their heads into the right direction. With a data-driven mindset, companies can continuously stay updated and create content that is always fresh, consistent and integrated.
Data helps brands become Customer Centric
Presently, customers are surely indulging more with brands and like to get pampered. We all love those personalised e-mails that give buying recommendations based on our choices. Well, they did not do this unknowingly; we actually provided them valuable data showing our likes and wants with clicks and searches.
In order to build a customer-centric brand, sellers need to place customers at the top and understand their buying behaviour. 52% of consumers assert that they are likely to switch to another brand if they don’t get personalised communications from a company. Put in some efforts to actually listen to the consumers. This can be done by something as simple as surveys and forms or targeted review sharing and feedbacks. The data that customers share can be utilised to better the overall engagement and provide a quality service. Questions like “how did you find our brand?” to “Which other brand that you would choose for this particular product?” can provide valuable information on the market trends, customer’s habits and competitive brands.
Data gained from social media is one of the prime factors in knowing customers on a more personal level. It is not just limited to shares, retweets or likes. Mentions, hashtags, comments are not just for fun; they speak volumes of your customer’s inclination towards your brand.
Data paves way for better Decision Making
Nowadays, even machines and robotic systems are leveraging raw data to provide marketing insights. This shows that nothing beats the accuracy of data-driven strategies. When brands are well aware of the customer’s buying patterns, goals, online activity and social media activity among others, they can make timely and accurate decision that have more probability of returns.
When should you launch your product?
What time is best for email targeting?
What new products can be introduced?
Presence of quality data in your hand can help you provide right answers to such sales-affecting questions and gradually help your marketing team to pin point the focus areas of marketing campaigns.
Knowing what your customers are buying and what products are dominating the buyer’s carts during various seasons can help you make informed changes in the inventory. This data-dependent tactic is cleverly employed by leading sellers like Amazon to recommend you just what you need at right times.
Innovate without fear – that’s another big advantage. Online sellers, especially the small businesses, are always looking to expand their market and inventory but are hesitant to introduce new products. Wouldn’t you be assured if you knew beforehand that the new product is going to break sales? For companies, the best way to innovate products is by looking into the previous data of customers who have visited their profile or shared their needs on social media. Such careful calculations will ensure that your product is a hit with your target audience.
Decision making process should certainly involve metrics and data for a guaranteed positive outcome.
Data helps you find Loopholes
“Why doesn’t this strategy work for our brand?” is a common question that remains unanswered for most of the brands. We often see brands pondering why their marketing strategy fails to yield as much revenue as their competitors. Instead of finding a solution to the problem, the biggest mistake that online sellers can make is changing the strategy altogether. Instead, leverage the customer’s data and find reasons why a particular plan didn’t work for your brand. This will not only help brands finding loopholes but also safeguard them of repeating mistakes in the future.
Customer’s are leaving cues at every platform and in every process, only if you have the will to see and rectify them. For example, when customers are returning your products, they always have solid reasons to do. Apart from simple defects or change of mind, the reasons may be more profound like product not matching your image color or finding a better deal on another website or arriving too late. Such feedback will help you target the problematic stuff and you can then invest in creating high-quality images or editing them to match the description or revamping your inventory with better prices.
Similarly, customer reviews have a firm hand in building or ruining a brand’s reputation as 94% customers decide to skip a purchase based on negative reviews. The facility to leave a review of your product allows customers to be more vocal about it and also gives them a medium to channelize their emotions. Careful study of reviews enables companies to better understand the expectations of buyers and cater to their individual needs.
Retailer brand Zappos has a killer social media strategy. Their Facebook page has a separate comments widget enabling fans to post their product reviews and express why they love the brand. This lets them work towards improving connections with their loyal fan base.
The bottom line
On the internet, data is everywhere but to extract data from the right sources and use it to craft better strategies is still a rare art. Big brands have come to realise the importance of data in their marketing plans yet only 20% of marketing revenue goes to data-driven efforts. It is high time that small businesses, too join the league of data-driven companies to excel in the art of online selling.