Actionable Data Insights for eCommerce Business Decisions

Actionable data insights are the apex of your data collection and analysis. They are essential to understand and implement and can significantly impact your eCommerce business decisions. By using customer analytics and applying retrievable actionable insights, you can increase your brand awareness, web traffic, and sales.

What Are Actionable Data Insights?

First, insights are a step beyond data and information. Data are the raw numbers and facts that flow into your business. Data is the number of visitors and the number of sales on your eCommerce website. Information is the processed data that is readily understood, like turning the data into a table or graph comparing the percentages of site visitors to sales in any given day or week. Insights are the analysis and conclusions of the information, like how many more sales conversions you need to make to meet last week’s numbers. Actionable data insights go a step further. They are the insights you can analyze and utilize to further your business goals. Actionable data insights create action instead of merely answering a question.

Elements of Actionable Data Insights

Insights are exponentially valuable to any company, but you first need to understand what insights are actionable and which are distracting. There are a few main features of an actionable data insight: 

  • Alignment. If an insight isn’t aligned with your business goals and the direction you’re taking the brand, it’s less likely to be an actionable data insight. While it can still be valuable to understand, ideas that don’t mesh into your strategic initiatives are less critical in the long run.
  • Background. You need adequate context information before you can determine how the insight fits in with your goals and whether there’s an action tied to it. If your conversion in a given month is 24%, you’re more likely to find value in the information if you also know that during the same month the year before your conversion rate was 28%.
  • Relevancy. Some insights are crucial for one person to know and understand while another person will have little use for it. Assign actionable data insights to the correct team members for the most return on information.
  • Specificity and Clarity. Specific actionable data insights will inform you of why something happened, not just that it did. And if the idea is misinterpreted or its importance is overlooked, the potentially critical insight is lost or ignored.
  • Uniqueness. In a sea of data, information, and insights, the more unique an item is, the higher the chance it is acted on and utilized. The first time a new insight hits your company, it’s exciting; the eighth time, less so.

Customer Analytics in your eCommerce Business Decisions

The buyer journey is continually changing and has moved on from a linear format. Buyers no longer move from step one to step two, to step three and on down your perfect linear map or sales funnel. Online customers are researching on multiple websites, exploring your company, and comparing every product in more than one location all before returning to your site to make their purchase. This, unfortunately, makes it much harder to track effectively.

Knowing how your customers are shopping is valuable information. By using tools on your site to track the movements of prospective buyers, you can pull in the raw data, convert it into insights and then further into actionable data insights. You can build out the information and data into user personas which incorporate more than demographics. With a process like this in place, you will better understand your customers and the interactions they have with your brand before making a purchase. eCommerce businesses can see products viewed, clicks, and past purchases to develop customized product recommendations and content drips which in turn produces more web traffic and sales.

For SEM optimization, Metricstory’s Search Query Audit analyzes every conversion path and attribution model to identify search queries with low return on ad spend (ROAS).

Actionable Data Insights for Product Research

HubSpot reports that 66% of new products fail in their first two years. Many eCommerce retailers try to capitalize on fads and hot product trends, which fade over time instead of planning for a sustainable future. Before you decide on carrying or producing a new product, you need to analyze the data and information surrounding the product and implement actionable data insights.

Research the data and information on a product's success and convert it into insights on whether you can succeed in the long-term by carrying the product in your online store. Is it worth spending the money on inventory? Will the bubble burst shortly after you invest in the item, leaving you with unmovable inventory? Every product decision needs to be backed by reliable data.

Consumers are increasingly more vocal online on what they expect from a product or brand, so capturing this information and acting on the insights they bring is critical for any eCommerce business decision.

Implementing Actionable Data Insights

Beginning to seek actionable data insights and incorporate them into your business is a giant leap in the right direction as technology and data continue to become more abundant. However, it’s important to note that insights alone (even if they are actionable) are only valuable if you’re choosing to use them. The closer the insight aligns to the six characteristics above, typically the more actionable it will be.

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