By Devin Partida, ReHack.com
In today’s crowded, hyper-competitive market, it can be challenging for retailers to attract and retain customers. Consumers have near-infinite options, trends develop and dissipate quickly, and e-commerce adds a new and often challenging dimension to retail. These obstacles are intimidating, but you can navigate them by capitalizing on today’s most valuable resource: data.
You likely already have a strategy in place to funnel consumers through a conversion pipeline. Many businesses do, but few reach the levels of success they expected through these pipelines. Even after gathering consumer data, if you don’t use that information effectively, it’s of little use.
A survey from Alteryx and RetailWire found that 81% of retailers today gather shopper insights, yet just 16% say they’re experts in harnessing it. With that in mind, here are six ways you can harness the power of data to improve your conversion pipeline.
1. Personalize Your Marketing. Perhaps the most popular application of data in retail conversion pipelines is personalized marketing. You likely target different consumer segments with various ad campaigns already. But with data, you can go further. Combining data from sales and other areas like social media can reveal more granular buyer profiles, letting you target more specific groups.
Instead of targeting groups by location, interest, or other vague categories, combine them. You could market to a specific age range in a given location with specific interests. The more granular these details, the more appealing your marketing can be.
2. Identify Key Revenue Drivers. Customer information isn’t the only data you can use to optimize your conversion pipeline. Data from your point-of-sale system and online sales can reveal key revenue drivers. When you know what sells quicker, in higher volumes, and with higher profit margins, you can market those items more aggressively.
What these items are will likely change over time. As such, you should continually refer to recent data to identify what they are in your current season.
3. Track In-Store Behavior. Conversations about data tend to focus on online channels. Despite first thoughts, e-commerce and social media aren’t the only data sources available to you, nor are they the only ones you should consider. You should also gather data in physical stores, especially concerning shopper behavior.
Feeding in-store behavior into analytics engines can reveal which promotions resonate with customers or what parts of the store see the most foot traffic. You can then tailor your in-store experience accordingly to maximize sales.
4. Analyze Failures As Well As Successes. As you refine your conversion pipeline, you should look for which changes lead to the most conversions. Similarly, look for leads who didn’t become customers and analyze why. Since 24% of forecasted deals don’t go through in the end, these can present valuable lessons on what not to do.
Look for commonalities between both successful and unsuccessful pipelines. Comparing the two will help you refine your marketing strategy to become as effective as possible.
5. Predict Shifting Trends. It’s important to remember that many optimizations won’t produce the same results forever. Customer preferences change, even within the same year, so your conversion pipeline should always adapt to these changes. To help with this, you can feed data into predictive analytics engines to predict oncoming trends.
How your consumers have acted in the past can reveal how they’ll change in the future. You also can study what customers buy from competitors, providing a more comprehensive picture of developing trends.
6. Continually Reevaluate Your Pipeline. Finally, you can use data to measure the efficacy of your pipeline itself. Gather and analyze data about conversion rates and sales before and after making any changes. This will reveal how you can continue to improve.
As consumers shift, some strategies may become more or less effective. If you continually collect and evaluate related data, you can become aware of these shifts earlier and modify your actions accordingly.
Data Is A Crucial Part Of Any Conversion Pipeline
In today’s highly competitive market, retailers must capitalize on data to stay relevant. As you gather data from various sources, use these strategies to make the most of it. Data is only as helpful as your capacity to employ it, and these steps can help you use it to your utmost advantage.
About The Author
Devin Partida is a writer and blogger interested in retail technologies and business solutions. To read more from Devin, visit ReHack.com, where she is the Editor-in-Chief.