- eCommerce

How Can Data Improve Your eCommerce Store’s Bottom Line?

How can I change my eCommerce store to attract more customers, sell more products, and generate more revenue? This is a question every retailer asks and there are many answers.

Without data, the only honest answer is: “it depends.” What works for one store may not work for another. Common sense optimizations may prove counterproductive. Hidden factors impact performance in ways that are hard to predict. eCommerce is complex.

How Can Data Improve Your eCommerce Store's Bottom Line?

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Data analysis can tame eCommerce complexity and give us a point of reference for optimization, distilling tens of thousands of pieces of information into metrics that can be reasoned about and used to shape optimization strategy. Which data should an eCommerce merchant focus on? Which metrics are likely to prove most effective? Again, it depends, but in this article, I am going to suggest some areas that are worth examining.

Highest Converting Traffic Sources

Every eCommerce retailer, including Amazon, has a limited marketing budget. It’s important to spend those marketing dollars where they are most effective. eCommerce merchants focus on Pinterest because it is well suited to product marketing, but that doesn’t mean every retailer should allocate budget to building a Pinterest presence — the question should be this: at what rate to shoppers coming from Pinterest make purchases?

If the conversion rate is good, then it makes sense to focus on Pinterest. But if visitors from Facebook convert three times more often, that’s where marketing dollars should go.

You can find out who are your best referrers in Google Analytics.

Cart Abandonment Rate

The industry average cart abandonment rate is around 70%. Knowing your store’s cart abandonment rate is vital because many optimizations affect it. If you want to know whether a related product promotion is successful, you need to compare the pre-promotion CAR and that of shoppers exposed to the promotion.

Exit Pages

Where do shoppers end their journey on your store? Ideally, it’s just after they have made a purchase, but shoppers can jump off at any point in their journey. The question you should be asking is why? Do lots of shoppers arrive and then leave immediately? That signals a mismatch between expectations and reality. Do shoppers fill their carts and then leave on the order summary page? Perhaps you should consider reducing shipping costs.

I once worked on a store that received a lot of traffic to its blog, but the majority of that traffic visited one blog article and exited. We implemented a two-pronged strategy: more linking between blog articles and product pages, and clear calls-to-action on blog article pages. The result was a substantial reduction in exit rates for blog articles and increased conversions for shoppers arriving on the blog via search and social media.

Customer Support Data

Customer support data is a rich resource. It is how customers tell you what they want and how you are failing to meet their needs. Smart retailers look at customer support data when they are designing landing and product pages, writing copy, and making changes to the site’s architecture.

If your store gets lots of similar questions about products, you should include the answer to those questions in the copy. Use customer service data to anticipate customer needs and design experiences to meet them.

eCommerce provides a rich source of data with many opportunities for insight and optimization. I have looked at four simple applications of data to eCommerce optimization, but the principle should be clear: use data to understand your store and its customers, apply evidence-based optimizations, and verify that they have the desired outcome.


About Graeme Caldwell – Graeme works as an inbound marketer for Nexcess, a leading provider of Magento and WordPress hosting. Follow Nexcess on Twitter at @nexcess, Like them on Facebook and check out their tech/hosting blog, https://blog.nexcess.net/.

How Can Data Improve Your eCommerce Store’s Bottom Line?

 

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