Ecommerce can be a difficult entity to manage. There isn’t the personal interaction you get with other businesses where you see customers face to face or speak to them directly. Therefore, it can be hard to see the big picture for your business.
Yet help is at hand for ecommerce businesses.
There are numerous pieces of software that can help you get to grips with many aspects of your business.
With these insights into your business, you can plan changes and make improvements to processes and products, to grow your business in the future.
So what are the seven insights that the right software can give you?
1. Customer Purchasing Patterns
One of the most important aspects of your business is to know when to advertise as this is dependent on when the customer is ready to make a purchase.
When you get this right, then you will be able to adjust your marketing campaigns to be more aggressive during these periods and less so when customers aren’t looking to make a purchase.
Customer data mining can reveal profitable information that will add to your bottom line.
Tools like Catalina can help you know your customer’s buying behavior.
This will help you save costs on advertising and increase turnover, especially when you market the right message at the right time.
2. Where New Customers Come From
Knowing when to market is half the battle, you also need to know where to market.
By using the right software you can determine exactly where your customers found out about your brand and then concentrate advertising spending on those channels.
For instance, if you know that Twitter was a great referrer, then you can increase spending there.
Probably the most popular tracking tool for knowing how your customers found you is Google Analytics, which is free, but there are many other competitors on the market that may be easier to use or have aggregate data so you can figure out cross channel attribution.
3. Knowing Who Your Best Customers Are
It is much easier to sell to existing customers than to sell to new customers.
By determining who your repeat customers are, you can concentrate some of your marketing efforts to attracting them to come back more regularly and spend money on complementary or similar products.
This helps to increase profit margins as well.
Understanding the lifetime value of your customers allows you to get hyper aggressive on your ad spend.
If you aren’t familiar with the concept of customer lifetime value, Jay Abraham in the video below will show how powerful knowing this metric can be to your bottom line.
4. Know What Is Taking You Time
Everything you do in your business costs.
Every time you sit down to do an administrative task there is a cost associated to it. Yet it is hard to see these costs without a way to keep track of your time and the associated costs. There is software, like toggl, that can monitor this.
The information gathered can help you see what you are spending time on and therefore give you the nudge to improve processes and make them more cost effective.
5. What Is Costing You Too Much?
Profits are all about maximising the difference between revenue and costs.
There isn’t always a lot you can do about product costs, however other costs can be changed but only if you know where the cost lies.
By having the right monitoring tools you can determine what is costing your business more than it should and perhaps why.
Then you can create new processes and systems in place that change your or your staff’s behaviours to reduce these costs and increase profit margins.
6. What Your Brand Name Value Is
It’s cliche but true, the internet has changed the way business is conducted a lot.
One of the changes it has made is how the consumer sees your business.
With a good reputation you can aspire to be the premium ecommerce business in your niche.
With a bad reputation you will struggle.
Get the best software, such as Brand Mentions (which is free, I use it), to find out what current customers are saying about you in forums, reviews, social media and other outlets and then deal directly with PR threats and promote good news that is said about you.
7. Product Satisfaction
When you are dealing with hundreds of products it is hard to know which are successful and which are not.
With the right software you can determine which products are the best sellers but you can also tell which products are being returned the most because customers are unhappy (for whatever reason).
This can allow you to make changes to their description, how they are advertised, where they are advertised or to pull the product completely – thus saving you costs and improving your reputation.
Doing a quarterly 80/20 analysis of your best performing products and your worst performing product will provide actionable insights.
For example, revenues are not profits, your best seller may have low margins and high delivery costs while the next best seller has high margins and minimal delivery costs–cutting the low margin item and its related overhead often results in greater profits all around.
Perry Marshall is the evangelist for 80/20 thinking when it comes to your business, he’s worth checking out here.
If you’ve never done a thorough 80/20 analysis, you’re sure to be surprised at what you find.
If you are selling hard goods online and using a platform like Shopify, WooCommerce, or Magento then automating the fulfillment process using your fulfillment houses API, Amazon’s FBA or one of the many plugin offered by your shipper will take a load of hassle off your hands and allow you to focus on the growth of your store.
Most outsourced logistics operation will have smooth interfaces that let you choose how you want your orders fulfilled. Below is an example of one:
Software within your business can be extremely useful. It can help you see patterns and important areas for business change that can improve your profit margins and help you attract more customers to your ecommerce enterprise.
- What software do you use?
- What can it tell you about your ecommerce business?