Wal-Mart has become the world’s largest retailer in part because they know more about their customers than anyone else. Their just-in-time inventory system – which allows the mega-retailer to stock only what they need on site – is entirely dependent on understanding who their customers are, what they are likely to buy, and when they’re going to buy it. Customer behavior and sentiment are closely tracked, and the insights gathered are used to make both short and long term operational decisions.
Other leading brands, including Amazon.com, do the same thing. This can feel like a manifestly unfair situation to the smaller business owner – and let’s face it, just about every business on the planet is smaller than Wal-Mart or Amazon!
However, technology can help level the playing field. Not completely, of course, but to the point where smaller businesses can make use of the same tools and tactics that larger organizations leverage.
In fact, you may already have access to some pretty powerful data collection tools. Google Analytics, for example, provides a ton of information about who’s visiting your website, where they’ve come from, and what content they spend the most time with. Facebook Insights provides similar information, to a lesser degree, regarding your followers. Your POS system captures a tremendous amount of data – none of which is helping you if you’re not using it.
As we’re coming to the end of the first quarter, it’s a great time to stop and take a look at your business’ data. This is a critical first step in determining how you can make your company more competitive. Every insight you can gather about your customers can help you serve them better. These insights will also help you create more effective marketing messages.
Additionally, you’ll be able to identify any problem areas in your digital marketing – if visitors are leaving your site very rapidly after arriving on a certain page, you’ll want to know why! – and take action to fix it. Regularly reviewing your data reveals what your online customer experience is like. The better the experience, the more sales you’ll make, so identifying areas for improvement is key. This is the same technique Amazon in particular uses: the data they’ve collected about their customer’s shopping habits, preferences and dislikes lead to the creation of their wildly successful Prime program.
Need help with the data you’ve collected?
We’ll help you turn data into insights, and insights into action steps you can realistically implement to make your business better. The more you know about your customers, the more you’re going to be able to sell to them. It’s as simple – and as extraordinarily powerful – as that. Schedule your consultation to find out more today.