Data Management Enables eCommerce Success

With the continuous evolution of technology and daily shifts in shopping trends, eCommerce is constantly adapting. Using reliable insights to keep up with rapid market changes, businesses are also deploying data mining and predictive analytics across massive amounts of clickstream and transactional data. 

However, today’s buying journey is no longer linear. Customers switch between websites and applications and devices, search for promo codes, and skim through reviews before returning to make a purchase. Capturing and analyzing all those interactions is challenging for eCommerce players, especially with multiple communication channels like live chat, internal messenger apps, emails, social media, etc.

As a result, businesses are in dire need of being lifted from traditional siloed systems and applications, as well as manual spreadsheets to intelligently automate data management processes like standardization, segmentation, flow governance, and unified storage.

With high-end data management technology solutions that make the best use of data, eCommerce can truly unlock the potential of the information they have and derive smart, actionable insights in real-time. Therefore, efficient data management helps you:

  • Builds your reputation (slowly but surely). Data adds luster to your brand image by predicting changes in the market or customer preferences, so you can take preventative measures. Creating a data-driven brand enables you to seek new opportunities for higher sales and overall eCommerce growth. By leveraging convenient dashboards, data models, and advanced analytics, you can achieve 360º visibility of internal and external communications, create intuitive catalogs, fasten the time-to-market of new launches, profile customers granularly, boost interoperability and collaboration, and also enable real-time personalization and contextualization of customer-facing interactions. Data collection, data warehousing, transformations, and associated business intelligence systems help build a brand reputation over time. It happens by reaching consumers across devices, remembering searches, and recognizing patterns to provide advertisements and suggestions relevant to each customer. Brands can capture micro-moments in customer journeys, including what content they’re interested in, what ads they respond to, peak hours of browsing, and what part of your website is least attractive. This encompasses a plethora of customer thought patterns and attitudes since data from videos, websites, scanned images, the voice of customer (VOC) online surveys, live chats, and social media trackers reveal a wealth of information. With specific data collection and interpretation you can edge ahead of the competition and become a customer favorite.
  • Helps you get personal with the customer. Shoppers are 4.5 times more likely to add items to the shopping cart and make a purchase after clicking on a relevant product recommendation. But to make that happen, the recommendation needs to be smart, intuitive, and – above all – personalized to individual tastes. Personalized offerings can help your eCommerce by boosting conversion rates and product discoverability: 59% of customers find it easier to find products via personalized offerings. Data can make all the difference here. By gauging and churning online behaviors and creating data-rich profiles based on previous product views, past purchases, demographics, and content interactions, you can create user personas that dive deeper than general demographics data. It can also help you in customizing. For example, you can identify the likes and preferences of your long-time customers and prioritize the display of offerings accordingly, while you focus on discounts for new customers. A classic example is ‘Echo Look’ from Amazon which captures and stores a picture or video to offer recommendations based on trends and user preferences and create a more personalized shopping experience. With the right data at hand at the right time, you can easily create individualized recommendations for customers to improve customer experience and boost sales.
  • Subtly builds your loyal base. Efficient data management ensures that your engagement is equally enriching for new and existing customers. It helps in augmenting customer loyalty, repeat business, and overall customer satisfaction. Everything from data cleansing to deduplication, verification, segmentation, validation, hygiene, and maintenance, and data appending is involved in crafting the best-suited strategy. KPIs like overall lifetime value, returning visitors, click tracking, purchasing behavior, social shares, order confirmations, cart abandonments, and website returns can identify areas for cultivating long-term customer relations. You can identify both loyal and new customers based on browsing habits and spending patterns. The goal is to view the complete picture of your customers before analyzing anything. Combining multiple sources of data, including third-party sources, gives an organization advantage of filtering and optimizing eCommerce strategies for added benefits, loyalty programs, and other offers. By going beyond the value of transactions and focusing on capturing and rewarding data exchanges and interactions, you can differentiate your brand and create a meaningful experience for the customer and retain customer attention and trust. Data-driven audience segmentation on the basis of attributes like purchase amount, recent purchases, and frequency of purchasing can also help target loyalty programs at different stages of the customer relationships.
  • Fixes the expectation from you. Data can arm you with insights into how shoppers interact with your eCommerce site highlighting both the good and the bad elements. This way, there is little guesswork or subjectivity left in your strategy optimization, allowing you to quantitatively uncover opportunities for improvement in pricing, product deliveries, discounts, etc. You can accurately determine the amount a customer is willing to spend on a product or service based on shopping cart events (abandonments, deletions, amount changes, etc.) and identify their location. With such real-time data at their fingertips, eCommerce has the added advantage of flexibility across operations, workflows, channels, etc. Optimization through data affects every aspect of eCommerce, so everything about your eCommerce should be as dynamic as possible for an experience tailored to their individual needs. Only with right data management can your eCommerce business become truly dynamic. This also enables you to make every interaction with your customer as intuitive and pain-free as possible. How? Here’s an industry example: Orbitz, a travel fare aggregator and travel metasearch engine, strategically advertised expensive listings to Mac users upon learning that they spent 30% more on a hotel than Windows users!
  • Underpins perpetual business growth. Data alone in its raw form is not enough for eCommerce success. It needs to be enriched and visualized to make sense from the business vantage point. When armored with relevant tools of in-depth analytics, it can give you better customer insights, better opportunities, and better control over the brand’s relationship with the end customers. For instance, leveraging data to understand what content exactly resonates with the masses, Netflix created the show House of Cards, which was a huge success. This means that you can visualize and pinpoint customer’s preferences, adjust your approach, get more engagement, and keep repeating the success. eCommerce businesses coupled with good data management enables manageable audience growth and quality lead generation. Furthermore, you can identify the type of messages and information your customers react to – an area of untapped potential. You can present your products in a way that generates a maximum impact on consumers with relevant social media advertising and a personalized shopping experience. Data can also help you manage eCommerce inventory, supply chain, forecasts, pricing policies, and sales strategies. It can enable upselling, cross-selling, personalized ads and expose gaps in the marketplace to uncover new growth opportunities.
  • Add the data quotient to your eCommerce strategies. Data is the cornerstone for efficient eCommerce that results in better revenue generation, operational efficiency, time-to-market, and cost optimizations. With eCommerce numbers breaking well into the trillions, there is a staggering rise in both opportunities and competition. It is high-time for companies with large data pools and significant analytics needs to invest in long-lasting, scalable resources and join the race of data-driven, analytical, online commerce.

Are you ready for the long run?

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Rakesh Kumar

Rakesh Kumar

Rakesh Kumar is Chief Technical Officer at Pimcore Global Services (A Happiest Minds Company). He is responsible for designing high-performing and scalable cloud applications and managing engineering and pre-sale functions across geographies. Pimcore is an open-source platform for product information management (PIM/MDM), digital asset management (DAM), content management system (CMS), and eCommerce.

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