In an age of razor thin attention spans and low customer loyalty, data is the new oil. Ecommerce companies are leveraging this valuable, yet largely untapped resource to deliver customized deals that grab users attention and lead to purchases.
Major players like Amazon and Alibaba are recognized for leading the way, using tools like ecommerce analytics to derive valuable customer and web insights.
The numbers show the scale:
- Global ecommerce sales totaled $1.55 trillion in 2015. In just 4 years i.e., 2019,
- Statista predicts more than 2x rise in sales volume, reaching $3.4 trillion.
For starters, in the rare case you might not know what a trillion dollars is, it is staggering– 1000 times a billion dollars.
On the one hand, while the response to ecommerce is overwhelming, tools like ecommerce analytics and CRM have only helped accelerate its growth forward. Technology is ubiquitous and disruptive.
Analytics is a topic being discussed at every tech gathering, and when applied to e-commerce, it propels businesses to become more efficient, targeted and customer-focused. Let’s look at why this buzzword is so important today.
1. Brands Drawing Closer to their Customers
Did you know that the Royal Bank of Scotland story was not all rosy?
In 2008, after its focus on sales and empire building took it into the red, it had to be bailed out by UK taxpayers. The company decided to turn towards its customers, a critical decision back in the day. They did that by hiring 800 people in their analytics department, christening it the ‘Personology’ team.
This team tracks each customer’s journey across channels, customer touch points and more, to the point of sending a text message if they forget to take the cash from the vending machine.
Cases like these prove how brands are mapping a coherent, omnichannel customer journey, helping them predict the next best action or offer that delights their customers.
2. Organizations Get Valuable Data
Customer data is great and is a priority, but analytics goes far beyond. For a business, it is important to put its money where its mouth is. Unlike in the past where you had a ‘spray-and-pray’ campaign and basked in the glory (if it came), marketers now have a vast array of channels to invest its limited budgets.
Ecommerce analytics is comprised of insights from Google Analytics, search & social analytics, paid advertising analytics, and more. Put these into easily accessible ecommerce analytics dashboards and tools, and you begin to discover how the different pieces start to fit the puzzle.
Where there are gaps, the marketing department is equipped with ready data, to plug them. Challenges are opportunities, and opportunities are sales and retention prospects.
3. To Analyze, Act, and Acquire
Since data is primarily portrayed in a regular layout a.k.a an analytics dashboard, marketers can now see large sets of statistics. Information such as purchase funnels, acquisition costs, and lifetime value are now allowing marketers to analyze areas of success and areas of improvement.
Customers might be spending more time on product page A, while closing product page B immediately after opening. Teams can assess reasons for this, through techniques like A/B testing, and resolve issues like over-priced products, slow loading pages and more.
Once they go live with the changes and re-assess customers’ behavior, there are greater chances of securing acquisitions (purchases, campaign page engagement, email clicks).
4. It is a Mega Marketing Tool
As businesses go online, experiment with content, ecommerce and more, their growth will hinge on how efficiently they use tools like analytics for data integration and data modeling.
Case in point:
Look at the recent Amazon acquisition of Whole Foods. Amazon is an ecommerce behemoth, using its large platform and customer journey data to drive repeat purchases across its global user base.
With Whole Foods in its “cart,” they will add learnings from customer behavior in-store, a point of sale data and supermarket logistics, to create a unified, omnichannel sales experience. To reiterate, ecommerce analytics can be applied or coupled with offline analytics as well, bringing out its true marketing benefits.
To reiterate, ecommerce analytics can be applied or coupled with offline analytics as well, bringing out its true marketing benefits.
5. Leveraging New Age Technologies
If companies are not integrating emerging technology trends, they are sitting on a time bomb and can miss riding the wave. Look at what Alibaba, the e-commerce biggie in China, is doing with Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, to keep customers coming back for more.
Companies across the world are already reaping dividends or experimenting and succeeding with new analytics and analytics-related technologies. If you have a business with an online presence and aren’t yet experimenting with ecommerce analytics, it would be an understatement to tell you this will help you evaluate and drive business growth.
The market is replete with providers of solutions that will suit your business needs. And for those who are already using analytics in some form or shape, continually testing emerging technologies like predictive analytics will help you get your customer, product and market strategies right.