We talked about why analytics are so important in “Step 3 – Uncover product and customer insights with analytics,” but the real value comes when you do something with your data. For many companies, this is easier said than done. Often team members think that the job is over once ecommerce is implemented and analytics are in place, but it’s not. We often refer to the ecommerce implementation as a “crawl, walk, run, win” approach, and this step is where the real winning begins.
You have massive amounts of data at your fingertips, but what do you do with it? A common issue is that there’s no one to evaluate these insights, and the hard work to get to this point isn’t paid off. Organizations that focus on understanding the underlying data and creating actionable plans are the ones who separate themselves from the competition. Driving change should be the name of the game at this point of the ecommerce journey. To be successful you need to make informed decisions that will help take you to the next level. Let’s look at some hypotheticals for an example of what I’m talking about.
What if your analytics told you there was a part searched for 100 times last month, and of those 100 searches there was no available stock and the part only sold 5% of the time? What would you do? Looking at what the analytics is telling us, you could stock more of that part and try to turn more of those searches into conversions. Only when someone is looking into the data are revenue-driving changes like that able to be made.
What if this same part was searched for 100 times and isn’t ordered but is in stock? This lost sale should tell you there may be a pricing issue that needs to be modified. Through email marketing, you can send a promotion reflecting that new price to website users and drive traffic back to that part. Or you could run banner ads showing that the part is now offered at a reduced price.
Another common situation we see is that one part is being returned at a much higher rate than others. Maybe there’s an issue with the product information that is causing a disconnect between the organization and the end-user. Often adding updated images, detailed product descriptions, and specifications will clear up that confusion and give the end-user a clearer picture of where that part fits and what it’s used for.
These examples show the value of applying analytics data to drive traffic and increase conversions. Though it’s a step that’s often skipped, understanding this information and making informed decisions is critical to maximizing an online sales channel fully.
The Next Phase
Taking this step bridges the gap between a company that simply has ecommerce and a company that is winning with ecommerce. Over time, as more and more data is collected, it will become more accurate and allow for even more changes. After a while, you can evolve into improving SEO activities and making sure your products are being put in front of potential customers. It can also help determine if additional ad spend would be beneficial and where to place those ads for maximum value.
Undergoing this step allows you to sell customers what they need instead of just what they ask for. As customers go through the buying journey, they might not be aware of everything they need, but through suggested products or related parts, it is all made available to them—while increasing sales for you. This data-driven approach to customer experience is a win-win because it increases satisfaction while also boosting revenue.
The ecommerce journey is constantly evolving. To keep up with it, you need to understand everything happening with your site. One of the many benefits of an ecommerce platform is that it allows you to adapt to any situation and keep learning. The only possible way is if someone is analyzing the data and making changes. Don’t waste the work put in to get to this point. Instead, make sure to use the full capabilities of your ecommerce platform and start on the path to long-term success.
About the Author
Kristina Harrington is the president and chief operating officer at GenAlpha Technologies, which provides digital commerce technology for manufacturers. Prior to joining GenAlpha, Kris worked for more than 10 years in leadership positions at two large multinational original equipment manufacturers, Bucyrus International and Caterpillar, supporting the mining industry. In her various positions, she worked with internal stakeholders, dealers, and customers to deliver business results both in aftermarket and equipment sales. She can be reached at [email protected].
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