A customer walks into your super market, heads straight into the pickle section, looks around, picks up a bottle, looks around again, keeps the bottle back and heads out. It can be implied from the customer's behavior that she wanted pickle, and maybe she could not find the flavor she was looking for, and thus she headed out.
On the other hand, such an analysis of a customer behavior is harder and almost next to impossible to understand in an ecommerce business. When the customers fall out from the ecommerce website, it is not possible to analyze their behavior like we did for a retail store. There is nobody to sit and watch the customers so that they can tell what exactly what they are looking for.
This is why organizations in United States alone spend billions of dollars on market research so that they can have a better understanding on what exactly do the customers want. With a combination of customer analytics and data gathering based on surveys and other research studies, organizations intend to study the behavioral patterns and other metrics for a higher success rate.
The most important of all, as an ecommerce business, you need to identify what customer information you require in order to meet the business objectives. When you start, you might be overwhelmed with the sheer amount of data and how this can affect your business. But you need to make sure that you do not get carried away. As a good practice, start with information which is most important for your business. This will allow you to enhance the customer shopping experience on your ecommerce website, making the customer happy, satisfied and eager to return back.
A data capturing strategy by any business will have its share of benefits and drawbacks. The data collection strategy allows you to give your shoppers or customers a highly personalized shopping experience by having a better understanding on their likes and dislikes. Also, data gathering provides and opportunity to your ecommerce business to learn from the past mistakes and bring out the best efforts for the future customers.
What You Have & What You Missed
Once you know what data you want, it is time to determine whether you already have that data as a part of your ecommerce database. Could be anything from recognizing subscription opportunities to data regarding individual product liking of a customer. The existing customer data plays a major role as it determines where you stand and what you need to improve on.
At this point, when you know your focus is on customer data, it is very important to be clear on what data you are missing on. This information makes a huge difference in your business process as it creates an unavoidable space between your ecommerce business and your customers. Customer touch points usually hold a lot of opportunities to get customer details and perhaps even add a little more depth into it.
The Big Picture
In the past few years, organizations have turned head over heals to get in sync with the term "Big Data" which has become an integral part of ecommerce analytics. A massive chunk of data (presumably in thousands of terabytes) which can help you build a statistically modeled, scientific solution to your problem, this is Big Data in short.
Understanding the behavior of your customers and mapping out a behavioral targeting strategy is still the most important factor which affects the success or failure of an ecommerce business. Starting from times of the day and months of the year an ecommerce website sees the most customers to what products they like and why do they leave everything & just abandon the cart without paying, you get to plan your marketing strategies based on such data.
According to a study, more than 65% of the visitors tend to leave ecommerce websites because they are not happy with the entire experience and the customer service being offered. Using Big Data, you can bring that personalized touch to connect better with your customers. Your data collection can help you identify what your customers tend to buy, how much time do they spend on browsing through products, how often do they abandon the cart, how much do they tend to spend on transactions and a lot of other vital points. Using this info, you can provide your customers with better discounts & recommend products to them so that there is a personal touch included.
It’s All About Responsibility
While analyzing the data involves calculations and algorithms to spot and generate different insights, collecting the data is where businesses do not realize that they need to be sensitive & creative with how they communicate and convince the customers about their actions. As an ecommerce business, you should always make the consumers feel at ease and avoid the privacy concerns to be a hurdle for a smooth experience. Some methods of collecting data which can be used to gather the required information & while comforting the customers in the process are,
Incentives/discounts is a great way to encourage users to share their information. You can create loyalty programs or even a few games so that you can find a way to incorporate all your efforts into a single program & then offer the discounts to your customers who take part.
The first question a customer is going to ask you is "What benefits do I get from it?" or "What is in it for me?" This is the reason why you need to explain all the benefits that the customers are going to receive when they give you more information about themselves.
Give them Control
Give your customers the ability to control the data they provide. By doing so, you will empower them & put them in a comfortable space for doing business with you. Let them know what is being collected and give them an option to opt out of it any time.