Get to know your customers using data analytics

Written on 24 August, 2015 by Lisa Shannahan
Categories E-commerceTags customer behaviouronline businessonline marketing

To sell to your customers, you need to understand them. Luckily, that’s a lot easier than it sounds thanks to the accessibility of invaluable data analytics.

Getting started

From Google Analytics on your own site to the data on offer from social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, analytical information has never been more accessible. By taking advantage of this treasure trove of information, you'll be able to build a fascinating picture of your customers' personas and different demographics.

Much of this information is left under-utilised as businesses struggle to see how so many numbers can be used in a practical way. However, all you need to focus on is the way this data directly relates to your customers and the emotional journey they take when making a purchase.

Google Analytics is extremely easy to use and offers insights into everything from bounce rates to information on where customers browsed before reaching your website. Using an analytics tool like this allows you to see how visitors behave while on your site – information that can help you tweak and improve your web design.

What’s working and what’s not?

When you notice pages that don’t hold your visitors’ attention for more than a few seconds, it's time to give your content an overhaul. If you notice a high influx of traffic but a low number of conversions, you need to reassess your checkout process and find out exactly when your customers are dropping off the sales ladder.

Utilise your analytics packages to work out which kind of devices your customers are using to shop and tweak your design and processes accordingly. If you find that customers are buying from you when they are on the move, you may want to invest more of your marketing spend in mobile campaigns.

You can also see which customers drop off as soon as they land on your site and where they come from. For instance, have they arrived fresh from an affiliate page and become confused about how to apply a discount or find a particular product? These are problems that can be easily remedied once the analytics point you in the right direction.

Creating campaigns based on analytics

If you see that most customers repeat purchases within a certain time period, create a campaign that will send an automated email around the time they're likely to be thinking of making a purchase again, highlighting your best deals and discounts. A study by Experian found that personalised emails generated transaction rates six times higher than their peers, so it's well worth investing in analytics tools that will allow you to add a personal touch to your communications.

Combine analytics with the information you receive from your own databases when building customer profiles in order to help inform future business decisions.