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Ecommerce data drives almost every business decision for online merchants. This is in no small part due to the goldmine of valuable insights it provides—a merchants’ own performance, customer behavior, and their relative position among their competitors.
However, ecommerce data itself is just numbers unless you can effectively analyze and leverage it to make data-driven decisions. This is an area where you can really get an edge on your competition and kick-start your growth to the next level.
In this article, we’ll explore insightful sources of ecommerce data and discuss the various types of analytics and reports.
We’ll help you better understand it, and learn how to put it all into practice to create a growth-focused marketing strategy.
But first, let’s look a little deeper into the vast benefits of making data-driven decisions in your business.
The importance of data-based marketing in ecommerce
The ability to understand your performance and the impact that your strategy and decisions are making helps you to put your business into its proper perspective.
KPIs, or key performance indicators, provide goals for your teams to aim for and insights into what’s working well and what still needs a few tweaks.
This knowledge makes for a more efficient strategy overall, allowing you to focus your efforts on the areas that need it most and giving clear direction to your team.
With less guesswork involved with data-driven marketing, you minimize the risks involved in your marketing decisions and can plan ahead with confidence.
Having a good ecommerce analytics game also lets you connect to your audience in a more deliberate and thoughtful way.
Which channels do they prefer to be reached on? At what times? And what kind of content or offers do they respond best to?
This kind of data is now easily accessible, giving you a holistic understanding of what makes your customers tick. After all, it’s much easier to meet people’s needs when you know exactly what they want.
By really getting to know your customers and reaching out to them with personalized and relevant messaging, you’ll be able to build fruitful, long-term relationships for years to come.
What could be more valuable to your business than that?
Finally, with ecommerce data, you will be able to compare yourself with similar companies in your industry.
Understanding how you fare against your competition gives you an idea of where you stand, allowing you to adjust your goals and expectations accordingly.
Where can you improve? What is your industry leader doing that you aren’t? If you can answer questions like these, you’ll be able to make better, more informed decisions based on a realistic perspective of your marketing performance.
What kind of data to look for
Today’s marketing automation software platforms provide powerful options for collecting and analyzing ecommerce data.
It offers a variety of reports, benchmarks, and other analytics tools that can inform your growth hacking strategy with actionable marketing insights.
Use the following tools to get the full picture of your performance:
- Retention reports: A successful customer retention strategy is crucial for sustainable growth and stability. But what makes the difference between a one-off buyer and a loyal repeat customer?
Retention reports help you to identify your returning customers, their exact value, and their impact on your business revenue. This helps to inform your retention strategy and better understand what motivates customers to keep coming back for more.
- Retention benchmarks: Access to industry benchmarks that are tailor-made to your store can put your marketing performance into proper perspective.
Look for built-in retention benchmarks that make it easy to see how you stack up against your direct competition and help to identify where your growth opportunities are.
- Customer lifecycle stages: To reach out with relevant and personalized messaging you need to be able to adapt to customer needs based on where they are in their purchase journey, and what kind of customer they are.
Customer lifecycle stages make this easy by categorizing individual subscribers into orders of priority, such as:
- Loyal champions to cherish and reward
- Recent shoppers to nurture their potential
- High-value former regulars who need a little extra attention
- Cold leads who can be deprioritized
- Product analytics: To understand what your customers want, you need to know their interests and preferences. Product analytics helps you to identify “power products” for each type of customer.
With them, you can create laser-targeted product promotions that you know they’ll love.
- Performance reports: How many conversions are your cart abandonment emails driving? How many visitors clicked on your “Subscribe Now” CTA button and signed up to your list?
These performance and ecommerce metrics can give you a real-time understanding of the impact of your marketing activities, so you can experiment and adjust accordingly.
Using Data to Improve Your Marketing Efforts: Best Practices
Now it’s time to bring it all together and leverage your data in the most effective and productive ways possible.
Let’s look at three easily implementable strategies that you can use to get the most out of your valuable customer data:
Smart segmentation separates your audience into smaller categories and helps you to send the most personalized messaging possible.
Let’s say that you can create a special email campaign. One targeted only to those who are female, aged under 20 years old, and who have browsed a specific product in the last week.
Imagine how relevant and interesting your content and offers will seem to them. They’ve already signaled an interest in the featured product, and you can speak directly to their demographic.
This kind of personalization is quickly becoming a customer expectation, and the days of generic, one-size-fits-all email blasts are long gone.
You can segment your audience by any criteria you choose, whether it be demographics, shopping behavior, location, or campaign and website behavior.
Your email marketing platform should offer advanced segmentation options. It should use your customer data to customize multiple rules, choose from a variety of audience filters, and narrow down your targeting to very specific contacts.
This ensures your messaging will be sent to those who’ll find it the most relevant.
Effective segmentation of your subscribers will result in higher engagement and improved customer retention. This is because you’re approaching people with relevant content only.
When you can give your customers exactly what they are looking for, they’ll reward you with loyalty and sales.
2. Win-Back email campaigns
Rather than letting lapsed customers just disappear, you can use your data to reactivate them with thoughtfully prepared win-back campaigns.
When a customer hasn’t visited your store for a pre-determined period of time (30 days, for example) you can target them with relevant offers to bring them back into the fold.
Use the opportunity to remind customers why they subscribed to your list in the first place, and win them back with personalized messaging backed by the data you’ve gathered about them.
Remind them of their previous purchases and provide recommendations based on these, as well as other personalized based on their browsing habits.
Show your lapsed subscribers that you value them and are aware of their needs, and they are much more likely to stick with you in the long run.
Win-back campaigns are most effective in an omnichannel sequence. These include an SMS to introduce a sense of urgency, an email containing enticing offers and incentives (free shipping, discounts), and perhaps social media retargeting ads to show them what they are missing.
32% of all email orders come from automated messages, despite them making up only 2.4% of total sends. With this in mind, it’s clear that automation is one of the most powerful tools in your marketing arsenal.
You can use automation to do things like:
- Welcome visitors: Send a series of welcome emails to new subscribers to present your bestsellers, tempt them with first-purchase discounts, and share your brand story.
The welcome series consistently ranks as one of the highest-converting automation workflows, making them a crucial aspect of any ecommerce strategy.
- Deliver friendly reminders: Customers can be indecisive at times and require a small nudge to complete their purchases.
Automations like cart, browse, and product abandonment messages can reengage and remind customers of what is still waiting for them. Perhaps with an added incentive included to seal the deal.
- Cross-sell: Take advantage of high open rates in your shipping and confirmation emails to add further personalized recommendations based on individual browsing history and shopping behavior.
- Reach out on their special day: Show your customers that you care by setting up a special birthday email to be sent on their birthdays.
Tempt them with personal and exclusive offers that reward them for their loyalty, and improve your customer retention.
Marketing automation allows you to reach out with relevant, data-driven messaging on autopilot. This helps to drive revenue without lifting a finger.
If you’re not putting your data to work with targeted automation workflows, you’re leaving money on the table.
With data-driven decisions, you won’t be shooting in the dark. The ability to collect, analyze, and leverage your ecommerce data brings light and logic to your marketing strategy.
It’s difficult, if not impossible, to fully understand the impact of your marketing decisions without effective ecommerce analytics. Make sure that you have a powerful marketing platform that delivers insightful and actionable ecommerce reports in real-time.
Are you ready to get growth hack your ecommerce store with data-driven decisions? Get started with Omnisend for free today.