3 powerful ways to maximize data to grow your e-commerce business

Those on the outside think the e-commerce game is an easy way to make some quick cash.

But, operating an e-commerce company is no effortless endeavor and building a profitable brand is even more challenging. Transforming new visitors into loyal customers can sometimes seem to be a difficult feat, and a costly one at that.

Part of the difficulties in these undertakings is learning which offers, messaging, tactics and techniques yield the most fruitful results across a business’s funnels.

While “blind growth” can certainly occur, it’s a bit of a gamble and can be drastically enhanced through effective learning to leverage and utilize the data available to an eCommerce proprietor. This is critical for establishing business longevity and vitality.

In fact, an IDG study found that 78 percent of companies claim that data collection holds the potential to fundamentally alter how they do business.

Data collection and analysis enable retailers to uncover customer preferences, needs and personalization opportunities that will help to gain and retain an increased number of prospects, augment conversions and grow sales exponentially.

Fortunately for digital merchants, in today’s tech-laden landscape, customer data and collection tools are abounding. Once you learn how to pull out meaningful data points and turn them into actionable solutions, you can considerably scale your business.

Here are three powerful ways to leverage data to effectively increase sales.

Expose customer interests

Prospects have a wide range of needs, desires and interests that they research, analyze and fulfill online.

Google can help you figure out what those interests are so that you can better serve your customer’s needs and desires.

While it’s important to understand demographic information like your audience’s age range, gender split, location and so forth, Google Analytics helps e-commerce merchants drill down into consumer details with its Affinity Categories report.

This report details, “…lifestyles similar to TV audiences, for example, Technophiles, Sports Fans, and Cooking Enthusiasts.” Moreover, the In-Market Segments report discloses product-purchase interests.

These bits of information are invaluable for e-commerce purveyors as it helps to uncover what consumer categories are products your audience is interested in – crucial to increasing sales.

The utilization of this data can help your brand more closely align with the things that are valuable and noteworthy to your users, while also serving to generate superior content marketing efforts that can improve your site’s search rankings, backlink profile and repeat patronage.

Increase Average Order Values

A site’s average order value (AOV) is one of the most important KPIs for e-commerce businesses to measure and maximize. Higher values mean that you are likely providing a fantastic shopping experience via curation and design elements.

Your AOV is simply your shop’s total revenue for a period, divided by the number of orders placed in that same timeframe.

For instance, if your store generated $15,000 last month from 986 orders, the revenue ($15,000) divided by the number of orders (986) would equate to an average order value of $15.21.

While there are several ways to grow your e-commerce business (i.e., acquiring more customers, increasing repeat business, etc.), boosting your AOV is the tactic that costs the least, if anything at all.

There are various strategies for bolstering this number. You can:

  • Cross-sell relevant products.
  • Offer free shipping for orders above $XX.
  • Provide discounts for purchases on multiples of the same item.
  • Supply coupons for the next purchase that reaches a specific dollar amount.

The key to reliably increasing the AOV comes through analyzing the data generated by each of the various strategies.

Try A/B testing every strategy to see how they compare to one another and to establish which technique increases the AOV most, and most reliable.

Reduce shopping cart abandonment

According to the Baymard Institute, the average shopping cart abandonment rate is approximately 70 percent.

There are a variety of reasons the desertion occurs; however, the top three reasons are:

  • Extra costs too high (shipping, tax, fees)
  • The site wanted me to create an account
  • Too long/complicated checkout process

By examining your site’s bounce rate, you can establish exactly where consumers are leaving your site and if your store is harming itself with any of these prevalent sales roadblocks.

To dig down into this data and obtain meaningful insights, segment your bounce rate in a variety of ways–particularly by “New vs. Returning” users and by “Device.”

Depending on where you find that visitors are leaving your site, you can optimize the checkout experience to effectively reduce your cart abandonment rate.

If users are leaving at the beginning of the checkout process, you are likely experiencing issues around account creation and possible lack of guest checkout options. To solve this, implement guest checkout to encourage new customers to purchase as simply as possible.

If prospects bounce in the middle of the process, your site’s checkout is probably too long or complicated. If this is the case, reduce your checkout to as few pages and fields as possible.

If consumers abandon their cart at the very end, it is likely a result of fees. Ensure that users are aware of any potential fees beforehand and consider providing them with shipping information and a tax calculator to establish this information before the final screen.

However, doing this may not prevent them from bouncing. In this case, it can be wise to utilize exit surveys that incentivize consumers to complete their purchase with coupons or other offers. These are particularly effective on shopping cart pages.

Learning to harness the data at your disposal can be a bit intimidating. However, effectively learning to do so provides your business with the necessary information to increase sales and traffic while gaining a leg up on competitors who fail to analyze this digital gold.

Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land. Staff authors are listed here.

About The Author

Ronald Dod is the chief marketing officer and co-founder of Visiture, an end-to-end e-commerce marketing agency focused on helping online merchants acquire more customers through the use of search engines, social media platforms, marketplaces and their online storefronts. His passion is helping leading brands use data to make more effective decisions in order to drive new traffic and conversions.

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