How Big Data Analytics Can Impact Online Shopping in 2018

ecommerce metrics to grow

As the world of Ecommerce grows at a staggering pace, it’s become easier than ever to collect and analyze more data, and make informed decisions. From web analytics to social media to internal databases, we have access to an unprecedented amount of information that enables us to make data-driven decisions about our customers, the products we offer, and how to execute better marketing campaigns. This big data has become a critical component of every e-commerce business that wants to make sound business moves to secure its future.


Here are 5 amazing ways how big data can help improve your e-commerce business


1. Deliver a personalized shopping experience

Pioneered by ecommerce sites like Amazon, data-driven personalization is one of the most effective ways to boost sales. By gathering customer data and analyzing it for user preferences, browsing habits, and buying patterns, online retailers can easily target each individual user with distinct products that are suitable for them, or that they’re actively searching for. This allows you to single out the products that are most likely to be purchased.


For example, you’ll have a much better chance of selling 3D televisions to people who have been searching online for information and reviews of 3D televisions, instead of blindly advertising your product to everyone. By analyzing the big data about the internet searches around this item, you’ll be able to optimize your marketing campaigns to effectively target the right people.


Similarly, you can set up automated email campaigns as well as online ads to showcase products that are actually relevant and useful to individuals, based on their personal preferences. Big Data mining can help you not only understand what individuals like but also what they’re most likely to buy. For example, by analyzing your customers’ purchase history, you can offer them similar products that they may like.


Here’s a great example of how Amazon does it


You can also use big data analytics to refine your advertising to display the right product to the right customer. For example, if you sell kitchen tools, then you can avoid selling a second juicer to the same customer, and instead, recommend a set of kitchen knives that they might actually be looking for.


2. Tailor your deals for every customer

Each person has a different price threshold at which they’ll buy your product. For example, someone might not buy a product if it’s priced above $25, while someone else might happily buy the same product at $35. For some, the simple offer of free shipping is good enough to trigger a purchase. For someone else, it might be the lure of free replacements.


Big Data will allow you to identify the threshold for each customer, based on their past purchases. When you’re able to identify the specific triggers that initiate a purchase, you can optimize your offers around those triggers.


It also means that you don’t have to unnecessarily undercut yourself, if the customers are simply looking to save on shipping costs.


3. Provide intelligence product recommendations

Big data will enable you to identify plenty of new selling opportunities that customers might be looking for, that you might not even be offering. For example, analyzing what people are searching for and talking about will obviously tell you what they want, and are willing to buy.


Such insights will enable you to beat your competitors, reach your customers before they do, and establish yourself as a market leader. Chat forums, social media and other communication platforms can give you plenty of useful Big data that you can sift for valuable insights about customer behavior.


Such avenues provide a great opportunity for people to freely express their opinions in an unfiltered manner, that enables you to get the true picture of what people are looking for, what they like/dislike along with proper reasons, what they think about your service (and your competitors). For example, you can use tools like Social Mention to search and analyze what people are discussing on Social media platforms.


4. Cash in on the latest trends

Google has its own big data platform that collects and analyzes search patterns, which is available to everyone via Google Trends. It’s a great free tool that allows you to quickly find out what people are searching for – over time, by geographies and even by categories (health, politics, movies).


It’s a valuable resource to create SEO-optimized content that people will actually find and read. You can also validate your target keywords on Google trends to see if they’re really popular, and if so, then among what audience (Search, YouTube, Image search). It even shows you tons of related search terms similar to your target keyword, that you can incorporate in your website as well as blog content.


Before you spend any marketing dollars on a new product or service, you can use Google Trends to determine if there are any interested customers. In fact, Google Trends has become a powerful tool in predicting market fluctuations & trends, giving you an idea of whether your business will be successful or not.


For example, if you’re looking to sell a new ‘front load washing machine’, you can check out its search interest on Google Trends, and compare it with those of similar products such as ‘top load washing machines’. This will give you an idea about its popularity. If many people are searching for it, then Google Trends will also give you insights about which geographies drive most searches, what search queries they’re looking for, and the trending keyword terms that you need to target.


5. Improve your business

Big Data can even enable you to improve every aspect of your business operations to make it more efficient, streamline costs and drive profits. Its ability to track everything from HR to expenses has led to two significant benefits.


First of all, all key decisions can be made with a solid base of information. For example, an e-commerce logistics company can not only use big data analytics to optimize their fleet but also provide live updates to their customers about the status of their delivery. They can leverage big data to keep track of their vehicles in real-time, providing an accurate estimate of when to expect their product.


Secondly, they can improve customer experience by building troubleshooting databases, that people can use to automatically find the solution to their problems and resolve issues on their own, in a self-serve manner, without waiting for customer support. This will lead to a faster turnaround time, improving customer satisfaction.


You can also use this database to identify process improvements. For example, if too many people are complaining about the payment gateway, then it means your payment process is broken and needs to be fixed. You can try different things such as changing your payment provider, designing a new checkout flow, or providing video tutorials, and analyze its impact on your complaints. Such insights will help you quickly identify & improve the business processes that need urgent attention.


Wrapping up

Big data can be a boon to your e-commerce business, if used properly. It gives you access to tons of useful information that can enable you to make better decisions and improve your business. It allows you to create more targeted marketing campaigns, save time & money that you would have otherwise wasted on less successful initiatives. Use this incredible asset to identify new ways to grow your business, and provide a memorable user experience to your customers, who will enjoy the personalized attention from a business who clearly gets what they want.

About Sreeram Sreenivasan

Sreeram Sreenivasan has worked with various Fortune 500 Companies in areas of Business Growth, Sales & Marketing Strategy. He’s the Founder of Ubiq BI, a cloud-based BI Platform for SMBs & Enterprises.