Want to know the number one reason Amazon, Target, eBay and other big retailers are at the top? It’s because they have the cash to invest in advanced software that collects and analyzes volumes of shopper data. As shoppers move through their sites, their advanced data tools track every click, customer, and conversion to understand behavior, discover obstacles, optimize marketing campaigns and forecast inventory needs. These sophisticated analytics enable them to take the guesswork out of running their online business so they can increase conversion and drive sales.
These kind of tools don’t come cheap. Because of their high cost, access to this kind of detailed information has historically been limited to top retailers with deep pockets. But we’ve been working hard to level the playing field. In the coming weeks you’ll see exciting new additions to the Bigcommerce platform designed to help stores of all sizes and budgets use the power of data to help them sell more.
While our team works with beta users to put the finishing touches on our robust new analytics suite, we wanted to get you thinking about how you can put data to work for your online business. Here are 3 ways analytics can improve your business strategy (for your online store and beyond):
1. Understand customer behavior
The key to any successful business is understanding your audience. It’s no longer about making decisions off a single data point. Like the big boys, you need to use a collection of data to create a 360-degree view of your buyers that can drive upsell, cross-sell and repeat buying behavior. In fact, one of the reasons Amazon continues to dominate is because they use data-driven information to suggest related items and bundles based on what the customer has previously purchased, what they’ve looked at, and what similar shoppers have also purchased. In a 2012 Fortune magazine article, an Amazon spokesperson explained the strategy, “Our mission is to delight our customers by allowing them to serendipitously discover great products.” And the customer-focused strategy is winning. While Amazon has never publicly released metrics around the effectiveness of recommendations, shortly after rolling out sitewide integrations, the company saw a 29% increase in sales.
With that in mind, we’ve developed tools to help you understand your customers like never before. We can track each transaction and interaction to collect insights about your shoppers so you can determine where they’re coming from, what they’re looking at, what they’re buying, and what’s compelling them to actually put an item in their shopping cart and check out. By better understanding your visitors’ behavior, you can make smarter decisions to grow your business and build deeper relationships with your customers.
2. Optimize your marketing campaigns in real time
Today’s online shoppers move quickly, and the best retailers have access to real-time data so they can see exactly where their shoppers are coming from and immediately decide how to convert them. Getting access to this type of rich data in real time is useful for merchants who need to optimize on the fly, especially during a flash sale or high impact sales spike like Black Friday or Cyber Monday.
Imagine you’ve just launched a new marketing campaign on Pinterest and minutes later you get your first visitor. Is this a customer who has bought from you before? When was their last purchase and how much was it for? Are they viewing your site on a mobile device, and if so, do they respond better to promotions that are sent via text, email or on social media? Should you send them a text message right now with a special promotion tailored to them based on their average order value? Real-time data and insights are key to winning when you’re competing with big retailers.
Previously, merchants not only had to use multiple tools on different platforms to see where their traffic was coming from, they also had to deal with significant data delays. Now, thanks to the power of our SaaS-based platform, we’re removing that friction, making it easier than ever to make strategic decisions in the moment.
3. Make smarter inventory decisions
With the right analytics solution, merchants can automate and sell smarter. Instead of looking at sales history to forecast inventory, robust analytics allow you to see what’s happening immediately so you can make stocking and pricing decisions, and improve your margins on the fly. You don’t overpurchase, and you know exactly when to launch sales and markdowns to get rid of underperformers. In fact, Bigcommerce customers have seen a 10% reduction in abandoned cart rates simply by changing the price of a product. Instead of waiting monthly or weekly to crunch numbers and make business decisions, now all merchants can optimize down to the minute, just like the big boys.
Stores don’t need more one-size-fits-all analytics to grow their business. They need a solution that is so radically customer-centric it helps them sell more products their customers love and improve profits through smarter business decisions.
The right ecommerce intelligence solution for your business is one that you can use easily when you’re first getting started and help you scale as you grow. It shouldn’t take the budget or data science team of a big box retailer to transform your business through data. We’ve used these guiding principles and a deep analysis of our clients’ day-to-day routines to develop a tool to make our data as actionable as it is accessible.
Over the next few weeks, we’ll be working with a sample of clients to beta test our new Bigcommerce Analytics. After the integration is tested and refined, we’ll make a more formal introduction to all Bigcommerce clients. We can’t wait to see how analytics will help you dream big and sell more!
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