Tired of hearing about data? Me too (on a bad day)! But as an ecommerce leader, data is your new oil, as they say.
What most companies fail to recognise is that data is easy. It’s INSIGHTS that are hard.
Data tells stories. But like any story, it only holds value if someone’s listening.
Data is cheap. Especially for ecommerce businesses… Google Analytics, user testing, surveys, video session replays, event analytics, you name it, it’s all available for a pittance. The amount of data produced by companies is growing exponentially.
Case and point… I’ve been speaking with one ecommerce business about analysing their existing data to increase website conversion rates. They’re sitting on a mountain of data, but they’re not looking at it. Tools like VWO Conversion Optimization Platform, Mouseflow and Feedbackify are just sitting there, collecting data 24/7
That’s the way it is with people. We lean into the ‘easy’ (collecting data). And that’s precisely why the hard stuff is so valuable. Your competitive edge lies in leveraging your data. It’s common sense: extract value from the tools that you’re already paying for!
Unfortunately, most organisations are optimised for data puking rather than data storytelling.
What can ecommerce businesses do to address the data collection/analysis gap?
1. Self-awareness. Recognise that many organisations are spinning wheels doing random stuff under the banner of ‘productivity’. If it’s not evidence-backed, then it’s anything but productive. Is this you?
2. Itemise. Create a checklist of all the data you already have. This could be quantitative data (such as Google Analytics, form analytics, event analytics) or qualitative (such as surveys, user testing or session replay videos). It’s essential to understand what data is available, how it can answer pressing questions, and how it can enable action.
3. Analyse. In a nutshell, this involves triangulating quant and qual data to tell a cohesive story about your customers’ needs, wants and desires. In your marketing, what are the persuasive triggers? On your website, what are the conversion blockers? Voice of customer insights help to answer these questions.
4. Action. I don’t like reports. Too many words, too many numbers. The mere sight of a glossy PDF is enough to turn off even the most well-intentioned Exec. A better way: create mockups of the actual solution by leveraging your data insights; then annotate your mockups with the data insights that informed your solution. For example, for my clients I create wireframes of the desired website solution based on the evidence. Bingo. It’s a visual approach that automatically takes you a step closer to the final result.
Data collection gets you to the party but it doesn’t get you in. Collecting massive amounts of data rarely leads to any material increase in insights or smarter decisions.
The game-changer is using that data to drive results that your competitors aren’t seeing.
Use data to tell meaningful stories that explain failure or success or provide insight. This requires analytical people to review, synthesize, coalesce and translate. If that sounds hard, it is! But the results will speak for themselves.
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