How to Use Data to Drive Your E-Commerce Business

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

In a world that’s on the cusp of an AI explosion, data analytics almost seems like old news. But when it comes to your bottom line, cold hard data will do more for your e-commerce business than any of the weird and wonderful AI innovations. 

If you run an e-commerce business then it’s simple – you need to get on top of your data. But with so much e-commerce data out there, the challenge is turning those gigabytes into meaningful data-driven marketing campaigns. 

So, where do you start? We’re here to help you collect, use and interpret your e-commerce data in a meaningful and profitable way. 

Why is e-commerce data so important? 

Big data is the term we use to describe large, hard-to-manage data sets that bombard your e-commerce business every day. Digital shoppers create data at every stage of their buying journey. As an online retailer, collecting and analysing this data can provide you with a deeper understanding of the needs and habits of shoppers. 

Once you understand the data, the next step is to act on it. You can promote your products online to specific users in a way that’s more likely to lead to an order or purchase – and give your profits a nice little boost along the way.  

How to turn your data into dollars

Forgive us the Americanism, we just like an alliteration. But that’s not important. What’s important is following the next few steps, which will help you produce highly effective data-driven marketing campaigns. So, where do you start?

1. Identify your data goals

The last thing you want is to close your eyes and dive headfirst into all that data. Instead, you need to take a strategic approach by formulating a long-term plan and goal. You can think about what you want to achieve by asking yourself:

  • What data sources do you already have and how are you using that data?
  • What data would you love to have access to?
  • How could you get your hands on that data?
  • How could your data help you achieve your business objectives?

Once you have a purpose in mind for the data, you can then formulate your roadmap to help you get there.

2. Collect the data

It’s estimated that 99.5% of the data that’s collected has never been used or analysed, so there’s a good chance that the data you need is already out there, you just need to know where to look. 

There are all sorts of different data collection channels that you can tap into, including:

  • Search engine data such as Google Analytics
  • Social media data from Facebook and Twitter
  • Customer journey data
  • Online or website tracking
  • Transaction tracking
  • Lead generation forms
  • Sign-ups and free trials
  • Reviews
  • Surveys

And that’s just the start of it. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by all the different data sources out there, we can produce a targeted Amazon insights audit for your e-commerce store. It provides you with targeted data, such as shopper behaviour and product development ideas that can empower your decision-making and give your e-commerce business the edge.  

3. Make your data meaningful

Once you’ve collected your data, you need to work out whether it’s any good. “Garbage In Garbage Out” was a favourite saying of IT teachers back in the day, and things haven’t changed. 

An endless list of meaningless numbers is not going to help you make key decisions. What you need are a few key e-commerce metrics to help you make sense of it all. That includes things like:

  • E-commerce conversion rate
  • Average order value
  • Customer retention rate
  • Customer acquisition cost
  • Shopping cart abandonment rate
  • Return on ad spend

These figures will not always be served to you on a silver platter, unless you choose our Amazon insights audit, of course. This guide will help you do a few simple sums to turn your data into meaningful metrics.  

4. Present your data in an impactful way

A 30-foot-long spreadsheet printout complete with row after row of numbers might be a dream come true for your average data analyst, but it’s not going to be much use to your average e-commerce business owner. 

What you need to do is spend some time carving out the key insights from the data you have and presenting them in a way that everyone in the room will be able to understand and appreciate. Displaying the information visually is the best way to do that. The good news is that there are lots of free data visualization tools you can use. But don’t get too bogged down in how the data looks. As long as you can interpret the data and generate meaningful insights, that’s the most important thing. 

5. Turn your data insights into actions

Now this is the real money maker. The time you’ve taken to harvest that data will all be for nothing if you don’t harness it in the right way. Turning your data into successful actions is all about understanding how to get from where you are to where you want to be. 

That could be by changing your pricing strategy, tweaking your customer acquisition model, developing more personalised marketing techniques or more effectively cross-selling your products. Alternatively, a successful action could be something as simple as improving your product imagery or writing better product descriptions. It all depends on what that all-important data is telling you.

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