• If You Think Data Is Important For Ecommerce, You’re Only Half Right


    Data is the foundation of sound ecommerce business decision making. But data alone is relatively useless.
    “You can have data without information, but you cannot have information without data.” ~ Daniel Keys Moran
    For data to be an effective tool for your business – driving investment, ROI and profitability – it needs be analyzed in reference to your objectives. Consequently, it’s data-driven insights, not data alone, that allows for strategic business planning and revenue growth.
    If you torture the data long enough, it will confess to anything.” Ronald Coase
    Gaining Data-Driven Insights
    It’s imperative to have best-in-class industry analytic tools to gather robust yet detailed data. But it’s also critical that you have business and data analysts, or implement qualitative interpretive software (I’m still a fan of the former) to gain actionable data-driven insights for your marketing channels and your business as a whole. For example, do you know:
    • Which webpages are converting the most visitors and why?
    • Which products offer the greatest cross-sell opportunities and where?
    • Which tactics (e.g. print ads, SEO, PPC, email) are driving the most qualified traffic to your website and what does the consumer decision making journey touchpoint funnel look like?
    • Which email subject lines are resulting in the highest open rates and why?
    • How can you optimize your visitors’ journeys to give them exactly what they want as efficiently and digestibly as possible?
    • Which value propositions and copy do users find most engaging and compelling and why?
    • How much indirect traffic and revenue can be attributed to your mass display brand awareness campaigns?
    • Where should you start investing, where should you stop spending and what should you be testing to optimize your marketing mix?
    Making use of data-driven insights, not opinions or theories, to make better decisions is by no means a new concept:
    It is a capital mistake to theorize before you have all the data. It biases the judgment.” ~ Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
    Room to Grow
    That being said, challenges and concerns about a lack of effective data-driven insights are common and marketers are feeling the pressure. According to CMO.com only 40% of marketers think their company’s marketing is effective and while more than 75% of marketers believe measurement is important, just 29% believe they’re doing it well. Furthermore, only 44% of marketers say their marketing departments have a great deal of influence over their organizations overall business strategy.
    Successful ecommerce companies provide an exceptional, frictionless and positive end-to-end customer experience. To do this, marketing needs the data to interpret to make effective data-driven decisions at every touchpoint of consumers’ decision making journey. Ultimately…
    “If you do build a great experience, customers tell each other about that. Word of
    mouth is very powerful.” ~ Jeff Bezos, Amazon CEO
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