Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

Ecommerce analytics: how to elevate your data to the next level

By Marcos Monteiro, CEO, Veezoo

For online retailers, the pandemic has been a double-edged sword. On one hand, the prevention of shopping in physical stores has meant a huge increase in demand and sales, but also it has meant that many brick and mortar companies have had to pivot to survive, creating greater competition. 

Many ecommerce companies have found themselves in the frustrating position of seeing web visits and app usage steadily increase — but without a commensurate increase in sales. We used to think the battle was getting people to look at the site – now it’s getting them to convert from browsing to buying. Luckily analytics holds the power to transform this. 

Ecommerce analytics aren’t limited to providing intel on where your customers are coming from or their browsing habits. It goes beyond that. You can now track which customers are returning to your store and why, their geographical location, what device they are using, how far they scroll down and what products they linger on the most. Leveraging this information is how you build a better picture of your customer, website and offerings, and in turn, create the best ways to convert those browsers to buyers. 

Offer better customer recommendations

The ‘recommendations’ tactic is a proven way to spike consumer interest in products with minimum effort from them. In order to be a successful e-commerce enterprise this is one key tactic that should be utilised by all businesses. Personalising product suggestions will give a greater chance of the shopper firstly looking and secondly buying. 

Scrutinise your ecommerce analytics regularly and segment these as much as possible to ensure targeted recommendations.  

Real-time data influences real-time decisions 

Many organisations are good at utilising data, but what can keep them from being great is using real-time data. Getting analytics even 24 hours later might be too slow. Today things move at such a brisk pace that real-time data is essential in order to capture consumers at the sweet spot. 

Take ASOS’ ‘selling fast’ tactic as an example. ‘Selling fast’ pops up in the right hand bottom corner of popular products to alert the consumer that this is an in demand item and if they want it they better be quick. You also see it being used with ‘hurry only 3 left’ type tactics. The fear of missing out on an item, especially at a time when stock shortages are well publicised, is a great tool to get that basket converted to a sale.

Predict popular products 

Data has been heralded as the new gold, but the last year really put into practice just how valuable it is for businesses. It’s helped aid confidence and certainty for business survival during this unpredictable period of time. 

We’ve seen large numbers of companies pivot to stay afloat during 2020. For example clothing retailers saw demand move from formal and going out styles to leisure wear. This insight allowed them to respond accordingly and stock more of the casual wear items in demand. 

Spot the demand  

Shopify used its data during the pandemic to see how it affected its customers. They saw an increase in the number of small businesses, who were forced to shut up shop and reinvent themselves online but with little to no experience. Shopify noticed this increase through its analytics and in turn created and launched a number of tools to aid small businesses such as gift cards. Identifying your customers’ needs and responding quickly is always going to help you foster long term relationships. 

Make the most of ad spend 

With people going out less digital advertising saw an uptick as we migrated many services online. But with this popularity comes greater expense. One of the most effective ways to keep the cost down is to use the analytics to evaluate what tactics worked best. This will then help formulate future campaigns and help reduce wasted costs on ineffective platforms. 

Make data for everyone  

Despite recognising its value most companies still don’t harness an environment where data is for all. It tends to sit with data managers which can prohibit its full potential as often it’s those closest to the customers who need it the most. 

On paper it sounds great to open up data access to all but we all know that databases are complex, clunky and require experience and skill which isn’t practical for the whole team. 

However today software solutions make it possible for anyone to gain insights quickly and easily. Veezoo for example uses a simple concept, users just ask a question in the same way they would their data manager. So for example “What was our biggest selling product for Londoners June 10th?”. Data is returned within seconds so that the team can respond quickly to the insights. 

The result is that the whole team quickly sees the value in this approach and in turn data becomes a part of the day today for more than just the data team. It encourages a fun approach with data and helps create a culture of curiosity. All of this is crucial if ecommerce organisations are to capitalise on one of their greatest assets.