Big Benefits of Big Data in eCommerce

by
Justin Shannon
and

Big data is the new oil, fueling the explosion in eCommerce sales. For years companies have been trying to understand and improve their sales and marketing data. Still, it can be difficult to track customer data in-store without loyalty or proper analytics in place. Ecommerce sales rose between 30-40% in 2020 compared to 2019, making eCommerce the norm coming faster than we thought. With this shift from in-store to online, there is a considerable amount of data to inform these online customer interactions.  

There is a multitude of reasons big data is invaluable to your eCommerce business. You gain an understanding of your customers in ways you never could before. Teams see reduced costs and higher margins. Reports have shown that a 2-7 percent growth in margins and a 200-300 percent average ROI growth over the period of one year can be achieved in the short-term perspective. Business decisions become more strategic when you have the data to back them up. In short, big data makes your company better.

A word of caution, just having data doesn’t equal success. Your company will need to put that data into action and use it to its benefit. According to Iab.net, 39 percent of marketers say they can’t turn their data into actionable insights. To make this information work for you, your company, and your customers, you will need the right tools, analytics, and processes in place.  

A handful of innovative companies lead the way in using data and automation to create a better customer experience.  Here are a few examples that have led to their success:

Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is bringing the eCommerce experience together in an elegant, flawless package. From providing recommendations to customer service chatbots, chances are your customers have interacted with AI on other platforms without even knowing it. For example, Rebag uses AI image recognition to help sellers understand the value of their handbags in seconds. Other retailers use AI to help with online cart conversion by introducing a customer’s long-term activity data into the behind-the-scenes checkout process resulting in faster decision making. No matter how you actualize the data with AI, it’s all about bringing the user experience to the next level.

Personalization

Beyond using AI to understand what your customers want, you want it to drive intelligent and automated experience optimizations for them. EOP (Experience Optimization Performance) vendors are seeing AI embraced to create more connected customer experiences. Companies say they are focused more than ever on using the data to deliver personal humanized experiences. Their efforts are paying off. For Kibo, a leader in unified commerce, a more personalized experience might mean allowing for more fulfillment options, including in-store or curbside pickup. By personalizing the customer experience, their clients saw an 81 percent increase over the holidays. The numbers don’t lie. Statistics show that for Kibo’s clients and others like them, their personalization initiatives result in the delivery of successful, unforgettable digital experiences.  

Machine Learning  

To take data to the next level we don’t necessarily have to get smarter; we can let the computers do it for us.  In the past couple of years, new tools have been introduced like Offerfit to help hone customer offers based on responses. As customers engage with offers (or not), the system learns from their responses, constantly getting better at finding the perfect fit. They recently improved offer engagement by over 200% compared to how the company was serving up offers previously.  This was all done automatically over a month and will continue to improve its accuracy over time.  

There is no doubt about it; big data can make a significant impact on eCommerce. While businesses need to collect the data, it is just as crucial and strategic to take a deep dive into the insights the data provides and use it to create out-of-this-world customer experiences. Today’s data technologies combined with services like those offered by Allata help you break through all the noise and discover critical pieces of information, which in turn will take your business to new heights.  

Justin Shannon

Justin Shannon is a Senior Principal based in Dallas / Ft.Worth with over 13 years of IT and strategy consulting experience. His experience crosses a range of industries including, retail, distribution, cosmetics, and energy. Over the last 6 years he’s had a heavy focus bridging the gap between Digital Marketing and IT organizations to implement enterprise eCommerce solutions for both B2C and B2B consumers. This work allowed his clients to implement enhanced omnichannel customer experiences, increase enterprise operational efficiencies, and improve internal program management needed for a successful IT implementation. During his time away from the office, Justin enjoys any activities that get him outdoors including running, hiking, and biking.

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