Use customer data and analytics to drive more sales online
Intro- customer data, analytics can give you insights into customer behavior and understand what drives a sale.
Ask any brand and they will happily exclaim that maximum sales is their ultimate goal. But you, a brand or an online business, can’t expect to thrive unless you understand whether your website, social media pages, online advertisements are driving sufficient sales or not.
There’s no one-size-fits-all marketing approach to driving more sales. However, as a brand, you should be able to squeeze the most out of your analytics to drive more sales and conversions online.
Change is inevitable and you can’t escape the possibility that yesterday’s strategies may become obsolete today. This is where customer analytics and data enter the picture.
Understanding customer behavior
As a business, you can’t simply start gathering data concerning your prospects or customers mindlessly. It’s important to give the journey a purpose but brands should focus on not letting the primary idea of maximum sales restrict them from employing the customer information broadly throughout the online marketing strategy.
As a business, you need to understand your customers by
- Determining what their needs are
- Identifying if your products and services are meeting these needs
- Innovate to keep meeting the customers’ evolving needs
Understanding and innovating your products/services to suit the evolving needs of your customer won’t only help you retain them but also strengthen your reputation.
Trends change, needs evolve and customers start demanding for more. Capturing sufficient data on your customers and segmenting will help you create customer personas and personalise your marketing approach to distribute your product/services better.
Everything from how much time your customers spend on your website/landing page before making the purchase, how many reminder emails you had to send to your customers before they made the purchase, the bounce and cart abandonment rate, the cost of acquiring the customers, the cost of retaining the customers compared to acquiring new customers, etc can help you understand your customer behavior.
Marketers need to heavily invest into determining diagnostic (the how and why of an action) and predictive (estimating the future) metrics to optimize their promotional and marketing efforts.
Most of all, businesses and marketers need to recognise the worth of a customer while segmenting their target customers on the basis of tangible and intangible attributes like location, age, sex, sales history, etc.
Search marketers can effectively rely on Google analytics to identify how prospects and customers behave on their landing pages to further personalize their experience and strengthen the chances of making a sale.
Getting the right metrics
Unless you have the metrics measured in consumable proportions, you won’t be able to manage the information. So, your need your customer data measured and analysed, read for further application to your marketing strategies. Let’s take a look at the metrics search marketers should focus on to drive more sales:
Customer data: Sales automation tools and CRMs are making it possible for marketers to streamline the customer data and their purchase behavior. Understanding customer spending behavior, volume of spending, time of purchase/ordering, coupon and discount usage, etc can help brands tune their marketing campaigns for maximum conversions.
Total and new sessions: Google analytics give you a clear picture of the total sessions or the total number of visitors to your website and individual pages (inner pages, home page, landing pages, etc) within a specific period of time.
While total sessions tell you about the total number of people who visited your website/page, new sessions indicates the number of new visitors.
Channel specific traffic: Using the Google Analytics section, you can check which source is sending the most traffic to you and maximise spending on it to improve the quality of your traffic and eventually conversions.
You may be getting conversion-friendly referral traffic or social traffic so it’s best to keep checking where your authentic prospects and visitors are coming from so you can maximise the output of these platforms.
Number of total conversions: It’s crucial that you check the number of conversions on your landing page, PPC ads, and Social Media ads to judge how profitable your marketing efforts have been. As a brand, you should focused on maximising your conversions and determining this metric will help you locate the loopholes in your marketing strategies.
Lead to close ratio: It’s integral that you figure out that leads that are going to waste and why. The lead to close ratio will tell you all about the leads you haven’t been able to convert and the inefficient sales follow-up strategies. A lead lost means a lost opportunity so it’s important that you determine why are you losing the leads.
Cost per lead: You may be generating leads through social media advertisement, lead ads, content marketing, PPC ads, etc. Money and efforts invested in these platforms for lead generation will give you a basic idea of how much the leads are costing you. Based on this cost, you can determine cost-effective ways of generating quality leads.
Customer retention rate: By assigning your customers a real value, you’d be better able to polish your marketing efforts and drive more sales. Acquiring a new customer is far more costlier than retaining an existing one. And, if you are losing customers who frequently purchase from you/hire you, you are losing the steady revenue too.
Social and demographic data
Demographic data helps businesses generate actionable customer personas and social media data further helps marketers explore the faceless personalities of these customer personas.
In fact, Facebook lets you pick your own target audience when running advertisements. The ultimate advantage of having this information handy helps marketers reach a relevant audience without wasting ad and campaign spending.
Advertising baby diapers or sending a baby diaper brand newsletter to a 40 year old, Male, Investment Banker won’t get you any return. But carefully targeting an audience of parents to be, new parents or parents planning a family will.
An actionable and data-driven approach
Brands hoping to drive more sales online need to follow a structured and data-centric approach online by integrating the aforementioned metrics into their strategy.
Search marketers need to consistently keep measuring the number of prospects who are leaving their sales page and determine why. By figuring out the factors influencing the sales, search marketers and businesses will be better able to monetize the different online platforms and maximise their output by personalizing the experience.
A contextual and broader understanding of the customer will help you deliver sophisticated, engagement-worthy and personalized experiences for them and cater to their needs better.
It’s worth considering that an ill-tailored experience offered on your website to the prospects may be impeding your sales. Most of all, marketers need to start segmenting their target audience by understanding the targeted market’s price tolerance, demands, etc.
Before you, as a business/marketer, actively start marketing your services/products, it’s best to rely on proactive research and determine a favorable price structure. Based on the visitor and customer behavior on the website and other platforms, marketers should start polishing their content distribution and refine their strategies to drive more sales.
Last but not the least, there’s nothing like old or obsolete data. Customer data, even from five years back but relevant to your domain of services or products will give you sufficient foundational insights into the market and customer evolution. In your effort to drive sales through reliable metrics, make sure that you keep measuring the analytics in real time to improvise and refine your marketing approach regularly.
Nagendra is among the sharpest minds in the Indian Digital Marketing Industry catering to a growing global SEO market. Nagendra Singh is also the co-founder of SEO Corporation, a leading Internet Marketing Company offering innovative SEO, SMM, PPC and content marketing solutions to clients across the world.