6 ways to leverage data in the online retailer world

13 Mar 2017

  • Innovation
  • Technology
  • Data
  • Marketing Technology

By: Alicia Tan, Managing Editor, ADMA

Unless one has been living under a rock, most of us would have purchased something online at some point in the last few years.

Technology advances and the evolution of data have opened up a world of possibilities for consumers to purchase just about anything from the Internet and have it delivered to their doors in a matter of days. It’s therefore no wonder that online giants such as Amazon in the US and China’s Alibaba are investing more resources on developing new technology to improve customer experience, paving the road for online retailers to benefit from this e-commerce boom.

While some might argue that shopping online is not as personal as being in a brick-and-mortar store, the adoption of a data-first strategy is allowing for e-tailers to deliver innovative online customer experiences like no other.

“The days of knowing the shopkeeper personally are largely past us, yet we all still want that experience. Data is, in most cases, the only way to deliver that,” said Mark Baartse, Chief Marketing Pony of Showpo.

“As we start to connect more and more data points, we will have a fuller and richer understanding of the market allowing us to build truly personalized brand experiences no matter if you are an existing customer or a prospective one,” added Sven Lindall, Chief Marketing Officer of Temple & Webster. “I see data as helping us recognise behavioural patterns faster and the technology as helping us tailor the customer experience based on simple patterns and behavioural traits.”

As new technology such as Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality continue to be built into the marketing strategy of online retailers, the industry like any other that uses data-driven marketing is not without its own challenges.

According to Baartse, one of the biggest challenge would be the gathering of data and figuring out how to feed it back. “We’ve started by gathering a lot more data about our own products. This has a wide range of uses, one of which is to understand what customers want and to understand their preferences. It’s a journey.”

Lindall, on the other hand, sees the budgeting process to be a roadblock. “Rather than strict monthly, quarterly or yearly budgets, marketers need to have the agility to react to real-time insights and alter their spending patterns accordingly.”

Baartse’s 3 tips on how to leverage data to its full potential:
1. Don't make assumptions about your customers. Query your database to find the true story without pre-conceptions.
2. Be careful of averages. Sometimes an average might be hiding two distinct segments.
3. Validate your data. Verify it with real people. Do those data driven segments actually exist or are they just some market data analyst's fantasy? Find the story of the people behind the data.

Lindall’s 3 tips on how to leverage data to its full potential:
1. “Build vs Buy”? Build around your own capabilities. The rest is a waste of money.
2. It’s not just marketing that’s responsible for customer experience. All levels of management need to get their hands dirty.
3. Constantly use data to jump to conclusions and challenge home truths.

Both Mark Baartse and Sven Lindall will be speaking at ADMA Data Day 2017, set to take place in Sydney on 3 April and Melbourne on 5 April. For full program details and to register your place, visit Data Day 2017

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