Big data and e-commerce in 2018

How important is Big Data for small business?

big data marketing technology and businessThere are many strategies to attract new customers effectively, and managing data is one of them. Everyone is talking about “big data” these days, and big data can be important to e-commerce. Important as it may be, it’s certainly no substitute for an efficient and organized site that brings in its own traffic, analyzes its own “small data” points, and funnels business to well written and optimized sale pages. “Big Data” is an incredible tool and it has rapidly changed the e-commerce world in the past few years. Alternatively, there is such a thing as too much and/or inadequate data as this Kissmetrics article details.

Big data, not bad big data

In addition to big data, you also have to worry about bad data. These days e-commerce businesses need to worry about inaccurate data input by a bot or spam algorithm, which can throw off your analytics by showing extra traffic that doesn’t convert. This inflates your idea of how many people are coming to your web-store, and it deflates the percentage of visitors that convert to customers. Bad data can hurt your efforts to refine your marketing causing you to put effort into areas that might not need it. This article from ClickZ provides more detail. One kind of bad data is from your or another “human’s error”. The rest of the ClickZ article details ways to keep your website more organized so you’re keeping your metadata and product information consistent so as to not only help you but also any search engines cataloging your site. The reason for this is simple: if you have data being misread by a search bot, you won’t rank as highly when a potential customer is searching for a product you sell. Having accurate data is crucial to maximizing sales.

The other type of bad data referred to earlier comes from “bad web bots” which accounts for over 15% of web traffic according to this RetailDive article. Fifteen percent is a lot. There are also “good bots” like Google and Yahoo search bots, as the ClickZ article mentions. You can exclude as much bot traffic as possible from your site with certain tricks, but these bots are improving as A.I. develops and as such you should keep up to date on tactics.

How to plug the holes in your money-leaking website

So with the knowledge of how crucial data is, how can you get your site to its peak performance? Fortunately, it’s not too hard, but it takes a bit of effort. Here is a great article from ConversionXL which details 10 important steps to getting your website in prime e-commerce condition. Some of which are solutions to issues mentioned above, some others you may not even have considered. One not so obvious step is to check how your visitors are navigating your site. Does it seem like they are having a smooth sail, or do they keep jumping back to the home page and into your directory possibly while searching for a product? By doing some a/b testing and a little research you might be able to vastly improve your website’s layout and its ease of use, opening the floodgates for more sales and repeat customers.

Discretion is everything

What do you do if you’ve acquired so much data that you can’t determine what is relevant or how to properly use it? You could buy bigger storage plans but what will that get you? – Higher costs and an overwhelmed IT team.  This question has prompted many e-commerce marketers to begin enforcing higher standards on what data they keep. A structured data analysis plan combined with an orderly e-commerce store should give your customers a sense of satisfaction and security.

Do you need to store and manage every contact that you have ever pitched? Even those who are not now, and never will be interested? Do you need to store the IP address of all past clients? Probably not.

How will data big data affect your website in 2018?

With so much going on in the e-commerce industry it’s good to look ahead, like this piece we found from Econsultancy. Now that you have a good idea of what has been working it is time to take a peek at where the industry is heading and maybe even be prepared for some of it!

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