Data Management Strategies To Help Scale Your eCommerce Shop
Big data in eCommerce is necessary if businesses want to scale. It helps identify trends, customers’ interests, and streamlines automation. Data needs analytics to achieve this.
But costs can quickly pile up as data pools grow larger. The solution?—Proper data management.
Applying data management best practices can keep costs low and data organized. But to fully grasp these strategies, we need to learn the main types of data we need to manage.
Data Management Types in eCommerce
eCommerce data management primarily comes in two forms. Product data management and customer data management. Both are required for the holistic growth of online stores.
Product Data Management
PDM or Product Data Management allows eCommerce stores to manage all data related to their products. This data can then be used as valuable information that can improve:
- Customer experience
- Product data management
- Productivity of workers
- Team collaboration
- Product innovation
There are several types of product data for eCommerce stores. Here are some popular examples:
- Product Characteristics
- Product Descriptions and Specifications
- Ads Data
- Vendor/Supplier Data
- Sales/Commercial Data
- Product Origin Data
Customer Data Management
Gathering customer data helps eCommerce stores gain valuable insight that can help them improve conversions, sales, traffic, and more. Every action a customer does can be tracked.
Customer data management helps organize data from each trackable action and runs it through analytics. The analyzed result allows organizations to build strategies to improve key metrics.
Under GDPR laws, sites are required to ask for consent to collect data through cookies. When a customer allows cookies to be collected, your site is given consent to track their actions.
Data Management Best Practices for eCommerce
Well-managed data helps eCommerce identify trends in customer demand based on their activities. To help optimize the process, apply the following best practices for data management:
Determine Business Goals
The amount of data gathered from your customers can be overwhelming. Your team needs to identify what key metrics to focus on and create a strategy around them.
For example, your goal for the first quarter of 2023 is to increase site traffic by 30%-40%. If this is your objective, you need to look at data from traffic sources coming to your site.
Is traffic coming mostly from organic sources like Google search? Are they coming from social media? Which avenues should your organization focus on to improve traffic?
A clear and actionable goal can serve as the foundation of your strategy. From here, you can then determine the key metrics needed and the tools required to achieve your goal.
Start Processing Data
Once you’ve determined your goals, it’s time to process the data. As a rule of thumb, the process of data analytics includes collecting data, storing data, and analyzing data.
Determine how you’d like to collect data. Will it be solely through site activity? Are you going to use CTA forms to collect personal information?
As for data storage, eCommerce sites have several options including cloud data warehouses or physical data warehouse servers. Don’t forget to consider security protocols.
Finally, analyzing data depends on the type of data required to achieve your business goals. If the goal is simply increasing site traffic, you can do with tools such as Google Analytics.
But if it’s a more complex goal, then using powerful omnichannel analytics tools might be for you. Also, consider the team responsible for translating the data into useful information.
Build a Great Data Management Team
Establishing a great data management team is critical to the growth of any eCommerce store. Your team needs to be knowledgeable, dedicated, and flexible.
For starters, they need to be experts in the eCommerce platform you’re using whether it’s Shopify, Magento, or Square space. They should also be knowledgeable about automation.
Whether you use an in-house or remote team is up to you. The important thing is you equip your team with the right tools to help them access, monitor, and analyze data.
Use the Right Technology
As your eCommerce business scales, manual data gathering and processing become a nightmare. You’ll quickly see Excel sheets freezing while trying to load all the data.
There are several options to choose from when it comes to data management tools. But as a rool of thumb, you want software that can:
- Easy to deploy
- Can be integrated with existing tools
- Supports the data you need to store
Cost is another important consideration. Does the cost of the data management tool justify business needs? Are there flexible pricing options? Is the cost within budget?
Establish Governance Standards, Security, and Data Compliance
Governance standards are your business’s standard operating procedure when it comes to data management. This standardizes when to take action and who’s responsible.
Data management can cover different departments. It’s important to ensure that the entire company is on the same page.
Establishing governance standards helps create a foundation for sustainable data management strategies. It also encourages responsibility and accountability.
These standards should also apply to the quality of data. Creating a standardized process ensures data is clean from extraction, transformation, and loading (ETL).
The next thing that needs consideration is security and privacy. GDPR and similar laws are becoming more strict. More customers are also being mindful of their personal data online.
According to Shopify, 40% of customers refused to buy products from brands due to concerns about personal data use.
Data management is key to any eCommerce shop’s success. Proper organization and use of data help businesses identify what needs to be done to grow holistically.
If you want to improve your eCommerce data management, consider the following:
- There are two primary data types you need to manage—customer and product data.
- Business goals help identify the type of data that needs to be focused on.
- Data analysis starts with gathering data, storing data, and ends with processing data.
- To help your business scale, you need a great data management team.
- Your team should be equipped with the right tools to streamline and optimize their work.