How to Analyze Your Purchasing Data
As a retailer, you likely have thousands of records from your POS system and online retailing software. Within this is purchasing data that can be valuable to your business for a variety of reasons, from marketing optimization to purchasing demand. However, whether you’re looking to gain a competitive edge or be more prepared for customer demands, you have to know what to look for and how to analyze the data in order to make it effective.
Your data sets will likely show your customer’s purchasing processes. Especially online, this is valuable information to have. When you know where your customers are starting, browsing and ending up, you can optimize the customer experience to lead them toward more conversions; there are two important aspects to seek out.
- Searching process: Look through your products and map out the route your customers took to find them. If they used particular search terms, be sure to optimize for those to get your customers where they want to be right away.
- Purchasing process: According to Invesp, the average shopping cart abandonment rate for e-retailers is 65.3%. Use data to see where your customers drop off, and use it to improve your process.
Forecasting Product Demand
Another smart way to analyze your data is to look for purchasing patterns; both in store and online. This is a great way to manage your inventory and be sure you have everything your customers will need. According to Information-Management.com, “Predictive analytics … allows the retail organization to enhance its decision-making powers by looking at the future with analytical rigor.” In the end, this can lead to customer loyalty and overall satisfaction. So, what should you look for?
- When purchases are made: Look to see what day, month or year your customers are making purchases for particular items. If you provide a service, what time of year does it seem you are most needed? Be sure you are fully staffed or stocked to ensure quality customer service.
- How much: Determining how much of each product is bought will allow you to determine whether your customers want more or less of something.
As a business, you’re always looking to sell more – and marketing campaigns are an important part of that. However, if your efforts aren’t reaching your customers, then they are rendered useless. Instead of producing coupons and offering discounts blindly, consider whether your campaign needs to be better optimized, shared, or modified all together.
- Coupon codes: How many of your discount codes were used at checkout? Quantify the coupons blasted out via email, or linked to on social networks, and compare that to the number you see in analytics.
- Before and after: Compare the sales that were made before your campaign and afterward. Is there a large difference? If not, you may need to consider modifying your efforts.
Collected data is a valuable asset to your retail business. With it, you can optimize marketing efforts, product management or customer needs. So, instead of letting it sit untouched, try to analyze it for the aspects of your business you’d like to improve.