How an Ecommerce Business Can Effectively
Collect and Use Customer Data
For anyone that’s ever gone on a blind date, you’ve certainly felt the anxiousness and anticipation of what lay ahead. Perhaps a friend or family member set you up or maybe it was through an online website like EHarmony.
Either way, you probably had little knowledge of the other person. You received a basic physical description so you’re not running around the restaurant, asking strangers if they’re the person you’re looking for.
Besides a basic physical description, you probably have just a few ideas of what they’re like and what they like to do. Your friend may have set you up because you’re both big outdoors enthusiasts or you connected online through your love of traveling. Having a set foundation won’t just give you a fair set of talking points, but also maybe something to build a relationship on.
While you don’t have to take your customers out for a fancy steak dinner, it is important to be able to find out why a customer came to your business and learn what you can about them. Collecting that data is a great way to build customer relations while providing the best experience you can.
Right now, we’re going to be focusing on two things: how to effectively collect data and what you should do with that data. Collecting accurate data will allow you to boost customer engagement by targeting post-purchase offers and information to their preferences.
Additionally, methods like surveys will allow you to identify content ideas that can reach customers throughout the pre-purchase phases of the buying cycle.
When this data driven content is paired with effective promotional strategies such as link building, you will see increased customer engagement with pre and post-purchase content.
If you are not familiar with content personalization, hiring an ecommerce marketing expert might be worth considering. If you are using Shopify for your store, they have an expert marketplace to help you locate help.
If you are on another platform, you can look into something like Upwork or MarketerHire to help you find some freelancers that can get you set up properly. A leading eCommerce agency can help you get aware of all the facts and figures related to the same.
But, it all starts with the collection of data, so let’s get to it!
Ways of Collecting Data
While that may sound a bit intimidating in a world where Google and Facebook are stealing our lives, businesses collecting data are all about improving the customer experience. Here are some ways to collect customer data.
The easiest way to collect data is through any transactions between the customer and your ecommerce business. When ordering, they’ll have to put in their name, address, phone number, and potentially birth date.
You can also put in optional areas to improve their experience and additional products down the line.
Your order fulfillment process is responsible for all picking, packing, shipping, storage, and product return operations. A reliable order fulfillment company should be the quiet, yet crucial, catalyst to the success of your business.
Everyone likes winning something, right? Run a promotion or competition in order to collect email addresses and basic data about your customers.
Customers may be inclined to share a bit more personal data if it’s for a winning cause.
Research and Surveys
Although these can be a bit more difficult to pull off, conducting research and surveys is an ideal way to collect customer data. From these, you might be able to learn a little bit more from your customers than just the basic data.
You can find out about hobbies and interests while plotting out demographic reports as well. It will help you get a better idea of your customer base as a whole. You can carry out this research either through email campaigns, end of transaction surveys, or with your customer experience team.
Some companies outsource this work to market research agencies and while effective, can be quite pricey for many businesses.
What to Do With the Data
Print it all off and make a collage! Just kidding, don’t do that.
But now that you’ve gone about collecting data and continue to collect data, what do you do with it?
At the end of the day, all customers want is a positive experience with the place they’re shopping around. A positive experience means higher retention rate.
By collecting this data, you can find out plenty of behavioral trends with your customers. You can find out which time of the year they purchase more products or how often they leave a cart. You may find out your customers are often bouncing from your mobile site quickly.
Once you find out these behavioral trends, you can start personalizing emails, interactions, or promotions. If you find out customers are visiting your store more often in the spring and summer, offer promotions during that time of year. This will help up your conversion and retention rate.
Send out personalized coupons on their birthdays for something you believe they may like.
Adjust Your Prices
Through the collection of data, you’ll be able to find out plenty of information on your customer’s spending habits. From there, you might see that plenty of people click on certain products but few ever make it to the cart.
Without data, it would be impossible to see your customer’s habits.
With this data, however, you can adjust the prices of certain items or offer discounts. You may have found that people that purchase Product X often have Product Y in their cart. What about offering a promotion or deal, combining the two products together?
Add a Personal Touch
With ecommerce, you’re not going to be able to offer your customers the same personal touch you would if they walked into a storefront. Your website is your storefront. While you may not be able to shake their hand, you can still give people a personalized, positive experience.
And that really matters! 70% of Americans will spend more money with a store where they felt they had a positive experience.
More positive experiences lead to more happy customers. Happy customers end up relaying their experience onto others which will drive up your traffic more. Providing a top quality experience is one of the best forms of marketing and it leads to the most powerful form, word of mouth.
Through data collection and proper usage, you can bring individual recommendations and bring any relevant promotions to the forefront. It’s all about making the experience as easy as possible. Customers don’t want to have to jump around, looking for the right deal when it could be brought to them instead.
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