7 Ways Customer Data Can Improve Your Business
Customer data is a serious yet insightful topic for online businesses. On the one hand, it provides huge benefits such as better data analysis and real-time decision making which leads to improved customer retention and experiences. On the other, it may raise questions about privacy, security and new legislation. Here’s our guide to some useful (and acceptable) ways to use customer information.
Sometimes you don’t need to request specific information like email addresses from customers to be able to look at data. Google Analytics provides anonymous information about your customers’ behaviour such as bounce rates, unique traffic to pages and where in the world your traffic is coming from.
With this information, you’ll be able to see which pages engage or help people best and which pages cause people to leave your website. If people are leaving your site on key pages such as product pages or shopping carts, then you’ll likely need to make some amends.
You’ll clearly be able to see how many unique visitors you have, enabling you to measure the size of your current customer base and whether there are customers who make more than one visit.
Within Google Analytics you’ll also be able to see referring traffic and direct traffic. Are people deliberately looking for your business because they know you by name? Or are they finding you through another specific site? It could be that you identify Twitter as a main referral source. In this case, you may want to increase your efforts on that channel to increase traffic.
If you are not collecting this data yourself, Google Analytics can provide a good estimate. Using the data it has on people logged into Google, Chrome, Youtube or a Google device at the time of visiting, it is able to present you with anonymous data on demographics. You’re able to segment data on age, gender, interests and more. Once you gain an understanding of what demographic is engaging with your business the most, you can either tweak your approach to better align with the demographic you want to target or use your current strategy to expand into the realms of paid advertising and social media.
As an e-commerce company, it’s highly likely you are on social media. Channels such as Facebook, Twitter or Instagram can also provide you with consumer data and demographics. It can tell you when your customers are online, what their interests are and even which types of content work best to drive traffic to your site. You can work out what your customers/followers prefer most, work out your strong and weak points and play to your strengths.
And if you’re ever curious about what sort of customers you have, you can always view a sample by looking at some profiles of the people who follow you.
With geographical data, you can determine where most of your business is coming from in the world. For example, if you’re an international e-commerce business and you find that you’re gaining a lot more visits from a particular country, you may want to focus on making their experience more localised or even apply this successful strategy to other markets. If you’re having to deliver to an increasing number of locations that are expensive, consider amending prices, delivery policies or even finding a cheaper courier.
With access to purchase histories, you are able to determine which products are popular, which are not as popular and where the majority of customers are that make high-value purchases. If you’ve recently ran a promotion, you can also use this data to effectively measure its success.
You can also use the purchase history as an opportunity to up-sell with marketing emails. Because you know who bought what product, you can tailor your marketing communications in very specific ways. For example, if a customer buys a top from your online fashion store, you can use this as a chance to provide them with deals on similar items such as jeans or shoes that match the top.
Remarketing and Personalised experiences
Collecting customer data for personalised experiences is a 2019 e-commerce trend that is now in full swing. The data from customers can offer great insight into their interests, past purchases and engagement preferences. Even by agreeing to cookies on your site your customer allows you to track the products they view, giving valuable insight into what they like.
In addition, it allows you to follow your customer throughout the internet with remarketing ads. If a customer visits your site and leaves, you can use remarketing to put your brand or business out there to former visitors.
With all this information in mind, you are able to improve the customer experience down to the individual, by presenting a more customised and personal shopping experience, whether they are on your page or another website.
If you collect customer data and statistics, you could even use this information to assist with content creation for your website, blog or social media. Perhaps you sold 10,000 units of a particular item and you celebrate with a social media post. You could even use data to create an interesting infographic about your business. Purchase patterns could also provide insight into what types of content to focus on in the future to help sales.
GDPR and the collection of customer’s data
When it comes to collecting personal information (i.e. information that allows you to identify a specific customer), people need to agree to give you this data and know how it will be used – this is the basic premise of the GDPR but it’s something that must be read up on in greater detail. It affects anyone who holds data on EU citizens, anywhere in the world.
By being open about the data you collect you’re not only complying with the law, but you’re showing openness and developing trust which makes for a better customer relationship overall.