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The importance of analysing data to increase your ROI

In the business world, data is imperative. Whether its data from unique visitors, social media followers or those who have clicked in a link, data is a powerful tool that can help to make or break a business. And although businesses have plenty of data, many struggle with knowing exactly what to do with it in order to make it work for them. In fact, according to a report, 95% of data within organisations is not utilised. So what steps can you take to ensure that you are analysing data to increase your ROI ?  

Know your audience

Thanks to their often diverse offering, e-commerce businesses will usually have a wide ranging customer base. In order to get the most out of your data, you must take advantage of available tools in order to segment the data and target past customers, current customers and potential customers in the right way. Running reports based on sales history, click-throughs, location, age, gender etc. can help you create truly spectacular email or direct mail campaigns that really work.

Know what data matters

Data is often misunderstood. It’s all too easy to look at the most impressive data and ignore what really makes a difference to sales and revenue. Social media ‘Likes’ and ‘fans’ can look exciting, however they don’t generally have an impact on sales. Focus your attention on engagement metrics, such as shares, comments and enquiries to get a better idea of where potential sales opportunities lie.

Utilise big data

The digital age has given birth to a new kind of consumer – what is known as an informed buyer. Consumers now make purchases based on reviews, social networks and blogs – but to name a few. The good news for businesses is that it’s incredibly easy to access this information and use it to their advantage. Use these key business insights to find out when is best to introduce new products, call a consumer or put on a flash sale. One of the most advantageous ways to leverage big data is via automated email marketing. Read more about that in our guides here

Regular reporting through internal communications

Collating data is just one half of the puzzle. Whether you’re a small business with a handful of employees, or a large organisation dealing with tens of thousands of customers every day, reporting results to your employees is a must. Allowing your team to focus on making informed decisions, reporting on what worked, what didn’t and highlighting any changes in buying habits will make sure that everyone within your organisation is on the same page and bringing ideas to the table that will really work.

Don’t be afraid to experiment

Experimenting with your business and trying new techniques and processes is the only way to figure out what works and what doesn’t – and as a consequence, inform your decisions moving forward based on tried and tested methods. Offering up opportunities for accelerated growth, trying out different methods and comparing the results will help to improve your ROI. After all, you’ll then be giving consumers exactly what they want – when they want it. And don’t forget to do this more than once; as trends change and your audience changes, so should your sales techniques.

Some inspirational examples

Warby Parker

This designer eyewear  focuses on using data to provide amazing shopping experiences that make their customers feel spoiled. They portray themselves as a technology-based lifestyle brand and are working on creating the perfect mix of physical and digital shopping experiences. Their  have a data scientist team collaborating with the  "Consumer Insights" and "Customer Experience" teams. These teams mine data and use algorithms to continually innovate, personalize offers and messaging to improve customer experiences. For example, the company has an algorithm to predict demand from the "Home Try-On" program. This program was created so five chosen frames are shipped to a customer’s home for free and the customer can return the ones he or she doesn’t like. They are constantly working on new disruptive ideas based on their data analysis.

Warby Parker use of data
Warby Parker use of data

Kate Spade

The American fashion apparel and accessories brand has invested time and resources into building a large and loyal following on Facebook (2,745,620 million likes), Twitter (903,000 followers), Pinterest, Instagram, Tumblr and YouTube by giving customers fresh, fun and inspirational content and imagery. The company has spent years researching what kind of emails, subject lines, images, videos and ads their customers truly love. This helped them creating unique shopping experiences like the "Saturday" concept:  four walk up shoppable interactive windows in formerly vacant retail stores. Customers shop  through a large touch screen display. They can browse the entire collection and get specific product information. Shape and fit of the apparel items can also be previewed on model photos. The checkout process simply requires entering a mobile phone number. A confirmation text is sent and following approval, orders will be delivered free by courier service within one hour in Manhattan and parts of Brooklyn. Couriers will even wait while customers try on the clothes they've ordered, and only take payment for the items they decide to keep.

Kate Spade use of data
Kate Spade use of data

Stitch Fix

Stitch Fix has worked hard to create unique shopping experience. They use the information you provide about your size, shape, and personal style, compare it against others in the system, and then a stylist selects an outfits that you receive in the mail. One of the most data-based personalized approach to apparel shopping.

Stich Fix unique shopping experience
Stich Fix unique shopping experience