The eCommerce industry is growing at a phenomenal rate with many commentators predicting that by 2040, online purchases will account for 95% of all purchases. When you consider that close to 2 billion people now shop online (¼ of the world’s population), it is difficult to disagree with that prediction.
The question is, just how many of those sales could be attributed to big data? Big data is the harnessing and analysing of huge data sets to understand customers, customise the shopping experience, and optimise areas such as pricing and customer service. Additionally, as data sets expand, businesses can use them to predict upcoming market trends and the success of a new product.
So how can big data help your eCommerce store? Well, this article will take you through several benefits big data will provide for your eCommerce business.
- Businesses Can Track Shopper’s Buying History
For any eCommerce website, the ability to understand customers is a huge advantage. Before online shopping was a ‘thing’, people had to travel to brick and mortar stores. These stores could never track their customers, see what products they were browsing, what they had previously bought, or what they put in their baskets only to remove later.
Using big data analytics tools, eCommerce websites can do all the above. They can track the whole buying process of a customer from start to finish, see the products a customer viewed, those they clicked, and those they previously purchased. This data when analysed, allows companies to fully understand their customers as a whole. From big data, they can learn things such as what shoppers like or dislike or what time of the year certain products garner interest.
- eCommerce Stores Can Create a Personalised Shopping Experience
Big data also allows eCommerce stores to generate a personalised shopping experience for their customers. Using the data, companies can create customised emails that are personalised depending on the shopping behaviour of all shoppers. Other options include creating targeted ads for specific groups of people and developing cross-selling strategies based on what previous shoppers bought alongside products.
A good example of a personalised shopping experience is at Amazon. The company uses big data to bring up alternative suggestions when a shopper is viewing a product. Under categories such as ‘Customers who viewed this also viewed’ or ‘Based on your browsing history we thought you would like’, major eCommerce stores provide suggestions/recommendations based on the shopping behaviour of all shoppers at their sites.
- Businesses Can Optimise Their Customer Service
Most of you will know that providing a high standard of customer service keeps your customers satisfied and above all else, loyal to your brand. In fact, studies show that customers happy with the support they received at eCommerce websites will outspend new customers by over 60%. Furthermore, those happy with the support they received will tell half a dozen people of their positive experience. Obviously, this generates possible new leads and conversions.
Using big data, an eCommerce site can optimise the support it provides to customers. Companies can use big data to determine customer service flaws and put in plans to improve them. For example, an eCommerce store could use big data to analyse response speeds, resolution speed and percentages, gauge the most common complaints, and the success of different remunerations.
- Can Use Big Data to Optimise Pricing
The price of products is another area companies are using big data to help optimise. Using big data, companies can establish specific pricing for certain groups of people. For example, customers known to have clicked through a variety of related products could receive a special discount if they purchase all of them together.
Plus, companies could give early access to sales to any loyal customers known for having an extensive purchasing history. The list is endless for any store which knows how to break down big data and use it to their advantage.
Many major eCommerce platforms also use big data to establish the current pricing of all products offered at other platforms. This gives them the ability to gauge the perfect price point for their own customer base.
Big data already affects many industries including banking and finance, real estate, healthcare, and agriculture, and now it is increasingly used by many leading eCommerce stores. While smaller eCommerce enterprises cannot take advantage of the same scale of data sets, there has never been a better time to start collecting and using data. Numerous analytics tools, apps, and data analytics companies already exist, many of which you can use to your advantage.
Aside from the benefits mentioned above, eCommerce stores can use big data to forecast the demand for new products, predict future sales, and even discover what aspects of each product shoppers like and dislike.