Digital MarketingFive data driven hacks to develop an effective ecommerce strategy

Five data driven hacks to develop an effective ecommerce strategy

From setting the right goals to building a profitable affiliate program, RedTrack's Irina Bystrova details five data-driven hacks to develop an effective ecommerce strategy.

30-second summary:

  • Current external effects with the greatest impact on ecommerce business;
  • Losers’ mistakes and winners’ secrets in today’s ecommerce;
  • The crucial role of ad data in the ecommerce strategy;
  • Five data driven hacks to develop an effective ecommerce strategy.

According to RedTrack internal research, ecommerce businesses have to deal with two major issues today: COVID-19 consequences and the upcoming death of third-party cookies.

On the one hand, we witness how brick-and-mortar retail moves to an ecommerce model. Amazon stock is high as never before, Wayfair revenue grew 20% and Alibaba had 22% sales YoY growth during the three month lockdown in China.

At the same time we see how many of them are closed due to supply chain disruptions, inability to withstand the increased competition, and accept the new rules of the game. 

Why ecommerce business fail when demand rises?

Let’s start from the opposite. In RedTrack we analyzed around 50 ecommerce businesses to find success ingredients.

Among them are:

  1. Resource capacity. Big companies with large market share, partnership agreements and market influence typically have more chances to survive in crisis times.
  2. An accurate understanding of what they are doing thanks to advanced tracking and analytical capabilities.
  3. Good market knowledge.
  4. The higher quality of marketing campaigns.

As for the first factor, it’s pretty difficult to change something here in a short period of time. As for the rest, it’s not a big deal if you know the right instruments to handle it.

One of the biggest challenges ecommerce businesses face today lie in data analysis area. Small, medium and large teams experience problems with data accuracy and insights generation.

In general, companies have fewer problems with the collection of product statistics rather than tracking their media-buying channels performance.

Third party cookie-based tracking methods that a lot of companies still use today are far from being called reliable.

Even though third party cookies don’t have long to live, statistics show that many ecommerce businesses still don’t know what trusted alternatives exist on the market today and which one to choose.

Another thing which stands in the company’s way of getting the desired results is the misunderstanding of their funnel efficiency. It applies to both: events happening on each customer journey’s stage and customers’ post-conversion actions.

The crucial role of ad data in the ecommerce strategy

Media-buying is one of the most popular and effective ways of ecommerce marketing strategies. It’s relatively cheap and effective for this vertical. But how to produce ideas that can bring you money?

Basically, there’s only one trusted way to do it – gather reliable ad data and analyze it. Personalization, audience segmentation, ads optimization and management is only possible if you have enough credible ad data.

The high degree of market uncertainty caused by COVID-19 along with the fast-changing landscape of digital ads market sparked an increase in demand for professional ad tracking software.

Let’s see how can ecommerce business benefit from it. Basically there are five main problems ecommerce businesses ask ad trackers to solve:

1) Set the right goals

Qualitative customers feedback undoubtedly brings great benefits. But can it be the main source of information for setting strategic and tactical business goals? Probably not.

People can dissemble it, but numbers don’t. Looking at the dynamics of key product metrics you can easily find the bottlenecks of your marketing campaigns and formulate effective goals to improve them in the future. 

2) Find the most profitable marketing channels

If you use different workarounds to measure the effectiveness of your media-buying channels, chances are high you have big problems with data comparison.

Different tracking and analytics platforms have different attribution models. That’s why you typically need to spend a lot of time to bring everything to a single standard.

Even if you work with a great analytics team, there is always a room for human error. Any reliable ad tracking software accumulates the data from all organic and paid traffic and provide you with valuable insights.

3) Create an effective customers’ journey map

One of the most common ecommerce businesses mistakes is a constant desire to increase the flow of incoming traffic. In fact, it only brings a positive effect when working in cases related to strong brands, which know their audience needs and behavior pretty well.

In other cases, it is much more important to focus on sales funnel stages analysis and  track their performance. Tracking different types of events can give you the whole picture of where your hypothesis were wrong: pre-landing, landing, thank you page and others.

4) Develop actionable buyers’ persona

Professional ad tracking software not only collects data about your traffic performance, but provides you with detailed users characteristics. It can be anything from country, city, language, to OS, connection type and others.

As a result, you can see the detailed information about users, their preferences and choices: which banner he or she likes the most, what products categories prefer to buy, how do they know about your product and others.

5) Build a profitable affiliate program

Affiliate Program is one of the most popular promo instruments for any ecommerce business. At the same time, it’s one of the hardest one, if we are talking about implementation.

You need to find a platform that will allow you to manage affiliates and communicate with them, store your offers, track affiliates activity and organize the payouts process. Curiously enough, today’s ad tracking software can help its users to cope with this problem too. 

Closing thoughts

As you see, today’s’ ecommerce businesses expect from ad trackers much more than just ad tracking. Their requirements include ad consolidation, optimization, management, and others.

But it doesn’t seem surprising at all. In the current situation, the price of an error for business increases by times. As you see, the data-driven approach can save ecommerce businesses from big losses and help them to create an effective long- and short-term strategy. 

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