For anyone wondering what exactly Big Data means, here’s the simplest and most practical way to look at it: it’s the productive analysis and/or use of immense data sets so big that they ideally need custom tools. Of course, Big Data mostly gets discussed as a major pursuit of enormous brands and world-spanning conglomerates. What about smaller businesses?
One area that’s absolutely ripe for Big Data is ecommerce, so it makes total sense for online sellers to wonder how they can take advantage of the power of Big Data without having colossal budgets or entire departments to throw at it.
Thankfully, it’s possible to benefit from Big Data without spending a lot of money. Let’s look at 5 low-cost ways for an ecommerce business to do it:
Monitor popular trends
You may not give it much thought, but Big Data is being used throughout everyday online services: Google’s search results, Google’s trends, Twitter’s trends, Facebook’s trends… the inference and listing of trends became vital to gathering up social media users and driving conversation, but it’s also superb for ecommerce sellers.
Think about how much you can learn about a product type’s popularity by running it through Google Trends and seeing how interest in associated phrases has waxed and waned. If you can see that a certain product type is rapidly trending towards mainstream popularity, you can make a solid estimate that you’ll benefit from stocking up on that type of product.
Address cart abandonment
Bringing in relevant leads is hard enough that a seller must do everything possible to turn those leads into conversions. That makes it frustrating when someone abandons their cart without finishing their order. Through understanding the context of an abandoned cart, a Big Data solution can best approach the almost-customer and tempt them into completing their purchase.
Sound interesting? It definitely should — and AI cart abandonment company Metrical is currently running a pilot program for its software solution. There’s no guarantee you’ll be accepted, but you can certainly apply. If you don’t get in, you can still manually review your analytics, and likely find something you can improve (here are some general tips courtesy of Optinmonster).
Add smart recommendations
If you can get someone to buy, then you also want to maximize the value of that purchase. If you can convince them to add another item to their cart, or even swap their chosen item out for something more expensive, then you’ll obviously benefit. This is often done through listing items typically purchased alongside items in the cart — Amazon is renowned for it.
Big Data can do more than that, though, and one option that’s perfect for certain types of ecommerce seller (such as furniture sellers and clothing sellers) is to list visually similar items. As a free app extension to its enterprise-scalable retail CMS, ecomm host Shopify allows easy access to Simile, a tool that does exactly that. Simply set it up, and it will ensure that every one of your product listings will have similar items picked out and listed.
Enhance customer support
Customer support is a core concern in the ecommerce world, because loyalty is immensely valuable, and you’re only going to win it by providing excellent customer experiences. While there will always be a need for manual intervention (humans stepping in to handle complex issues), you can get very far using chatbots.
A well-configured ecommerce chatbot can draw from customer data to handle tasks including updating people on their orders and sourcing alternatives for out-of-stock items. Because it doesn’t need human input, it can function well at all times of the day, and scale with user demand. Handily, you can create one for free using Ochatbot.
Optimize your pricing
Because it’s so easy for online shoppers to review prices elsewhere, you don’t want to be caught out with prices significantly higher than those of your competitors. The margins are often so thin, however, that you can’t keep your prices at a certain point — you need to adjust them.
Services like Amazon Repricing Central are ideal for doing this automatically. They monitor product prices elsewhere and adjust yours as needed to keep your listings competitive: lowering them to keep pace, and raising them when needlessly low to maintain profitability. If you sell on Amazon, you can start using ARC for just $25 per month — not very costly.