Irina Linnik
Irina Linnik 5 June 2019

The Data-Driven Ecommerce Strategy: A Step-by-Step Guide

Data powers the majority of business operations and serves as a source of valuable insights on your shoppers' behavior. If you wish to raise your conversions and boost customers' engagement, think about implementing a data-driven marketing strategy for your ecommerce store.

A few years ago businesses were doing a lot of guesswork, trying to figure out the most efficient strategy for their development.

But today, data is everywhere. The rise of social media and all-around use of mobile-equipped marketers with an overwhelming amount of data, waiting to be processed and analyzed.

This led to the appearance and development of data-driven business and marketing strategies. The difference between the two is that a data-driven business strategy is based on both internal and external data while data-driven marketing strategy mainly uses customer data.

For ecommerce, a data-driven marketing strategy is especially important because the ecommerce industry revolves around customers. Even though such a strategy has its own unique features and needs to be adapted to your business, there are some common steps to follow.

Centralize your data

Companies obtain customer data from multiple sources. While such a variety is good as it provides you with detailed information, it’s not the best idea to keep the data fragmented. In this way, you will be losing the comprehensive view of your customer and may miss some important points.

To avoid this issue, keep your data centralized in your CRM. This will help you track down the customer’s behavior from beginning to the end and get a clear picture of their behavior, preferences, and journey.

Create a buyer persona

About 70% of marketers claim they don’t fully know and understand their customers. This is a really big problem because all these marketers simply waste their time and effort, aiming completely off the mark.

The most important part about providing a product or a service to a customer is to provide the right product to the right person at the right time. That’s what buying personas are for.

A buyer persona is a comprehensive profile of your perfect customer. It includes the average age, gender, shopping behavior, demographics, etc. The aim of creating a buyer persona is to get a clear direction for all your marketing efforts and to understand what every segment of your target audience wants and what is the best way to communicate with them.

To create a buyer persona, you need to collect and analyze the data from various sources, compile it together and divide by different segments, if needed. You may have one or multiple buyer profiles and it’s important to identify them all.

To convince you even more, here are some numbers: 71% of the companies that created and used buying personas, saw exceeded revenue and leads and 90% of the companies who created personas claimed to have a clear and better understanding of their customers.

Power your marketing decisions with the help of personas

Now that you have created your buyer personas and have a complete understanding of your perfect target audience, time to put this knowledge into practice.

Here are the areas where buyer personas will help your marketing.

Selection of distribution channels

Different users prefer different platforms so it’s essential to choose the right place to promote your store and thus reach the right users. I.e. while some buyers prefer emails, others are heavy social media users.

Buyer personas will help you break down your distribution channels in the most efficient manner and leverage customers’ engagement and response. This, in turn, will significantly save your time and money and will let you spend the marketing budget in a wiser manner.

Right timing

It’s not enough to know where your buyers are – it’s also important to know at what time they visit the platforms.

When creating a buyer persona, you will have access to the data about the preferable time of browsing or shopping. Use it to optimize your marketing campaigns and make sure the message finds its recipient instead of getting ignored. And since more than 80% of the customers want brands to approach them in proper time, it makes sense to use these insights right.

Email segmentation

Email marketing is one of the most powerful tools for any ecommerce store. Emails can bring back the customers, retain the existing shoppers, boost revenue, and decrease the abandoned cart rate. But all that will happen on the condition that you send the right email to the right person.

You can efficiently segment your emails depending on the buyer persona and make them more personalized, thus, causing better response from the users. And because personalization plays an immensely big role in today’s user experience, you can be sure to get a higher ROI.

Choice of influencers

Another big trend of modern marketing is the use of influencer marketing for better audience reach and engagement.

Influencer marketing is all about collaboration with influencers – people who have a decent amount of followers and share the same interests and views. Unlike big celebrities, influencers tend to have a much more loyal audience and a better response rate.

Collaboration with influencers is a great step towards better sales and traffic growth. But again, you have to choose the right influencers to represent your product and for that, you need to know who may appeal to your target audience.

By having different personas, you can successfully choose influencers for each and ensure your campaign will get noticed.

Analysis of the customer’s journey

To ensure completion of the conversion, you have to create a frictionless customer journey and make sure the customer is engaged with every interaction point.

By better knowing your shoppers and their behavior, you will be able to identify which areas of the customer journey call for optimization and what your customers mostly pay attention to. For example, one of the most troublesome areas for any ecommerce marketer is the checkout. Its optimization usually results in an immediate boost of conversions and the creation of buyer persona can help you improve the situation.

Do not forget to analyze the results

It’s not enough to create a buyer persona and plan suitable marketing campaigns. Another essential part of your data-driven strategy is analyzing the aftermath and drawing corresponding conclusions.

You need to evaluate how well your campaigns performed, what can be improved and what went especially well. You will then use this data for further campaign planning but consider the fact that you cannot use the same campaign twice. Shoppers’ behavior and business environment change at a light-speed and you need to be really flexible to timely adapt to the changes.

Final word

The data-driven marketing strategy brings numerous benefits to your company:

  • Increased personalization

  • Increased customer engagement and response

  • Better reach and higher conversions

To plan a successful marketing campaign, remember that you need to have a massive data set ready to be analyzed and processed. Once you start making full use of the available data, you’ll be amazed by the results your efforts will bring.

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