Over the last few years, we’ve seen data-driven tests being used more and more around the world and in every type of industry to help people solve problems, be more creative, cut costs, and even disrupt entire industries. While having access to consumer data used to be the domain of the biggest government departments and Fortune 500 firms, now even solopreneurs and other small businesses can (and should) be using data to grow sales and find new clientele.
There are many different ways you can utilize large amounts of information to build your business, not to mention numerous affordable customer analytics tools you can use to learn more about your shoppers. To ensure your venture really takes off in 2018, read on for three important ways you should be using analytics.
1. Learn About Your Customers
For starters, one reason to utilize data is that doing so can help you discover helpful information about both your current customers, and potential ones. Go through your analytics to note patterns in consumer behavior (e.g., when people shop, what products they look at most, what search terms they enter, how they arrive on your site, etc.) and to segment your customers.
Once you have this information, you will be better able to service clients. You’ll have a better idea of what kinds of products and services to offer them, and you’ll be able to design your various business strategies and processes around your knowledge of their desires. For instance, you’ll know which marketing avenues are the best ones to spend your time and money on; you’ll understand how to better entice customers to complete transactions or refer you to their contacts; and you will be able to better tailor your website content and functionality to suit your prime buyers.
By using analytics to give you both a big-picture and detailed view of customers, you will also learn where and how clients are acquired, and the cost of each conversion. This is vital information to know for your sales and marketing campaigns, and can help you not only land more customers, but also decrease costs.
2. Make Better Inventory Selections and Management Decisions
Next, you should also be using analytics to help you make better inventory selections. To build a business, you must have the types of products people actually want to buy, and have them in stock when customers are ready to part with their cash. Furthermore, to have enough cash flow to buy all the inventory you require, you don’t want to have a lot of money tied up in products which aren’t popular, and are simply sitting in your warehouse becoming outdated.
To combat this common issue, take advantage of data-analyzing programs which can produce reports on things such as the stock-on-hand of each item, in each relevant combination (e.g., color and size), how many products you have in each category, when you last sold an item, how much of a product you have sold since introducing it, when you have the most demand for each good, and so on.
Getting quick and easy access to this kind of information, on a regular basis, is important for retail stores, of course, but also for other organizations that stock parts, produce, and other supplies. For instance, mechanics, hairdressers, beauty salons, restaurants, manufacturers, and builders.
3. Provide More Effective Client Support
Lastly, most entrepreneurs find one of the key areas they must work on to grow their business is customer service. As such, you can use the information you glean from analytics to improve the support you provide and the experience people have with your organization at every touchpoint, from when they first go to your website or make a phone call, through to when they place an order and then, later, during follow-ups.
For example, take the data you compiled about who your customers are and how and when they shop to ensure you have enough support staff on hand to assist them during peak times. You might notice most of your clients like to contact you on social media, or via your website, on the phone, or via email. Cater to this demand by focusing on staying active and having enough staff to cover these avenues.
If you see many of the same questions coming in about your products, services, or other business matters, this indicates that you need to provide more information on your website, social media sites, or other places to boost the service you provide. By doing this, you’ll save customers having to contact you, and again, improve their outlook on your firm. You can also use analytics to discover which perks and customer loyalty rewards people like best.