Folks, good data won’t guarantee good decisions as gathering data is half the battle, the other half is incorporating that data into complex marketing and business decision making. This is especially true in the increasingly competitive global e-commerce industry. Some people in charge of making complex marketing and business decisions in the global e-commerce industry tend to think they are living the 90s Hollywood hit “Field of Dreams” when it comes to Data; “If you build it, he will come”, “if you gather it, profitable growth will come” which is not true.

The reality is: they are actually living another 90s Blockbuster “Groundhog Day” where they are supposed to learn from their collection of mistakes called experience (read data), differentiate between what is working for their business growth and what is not, and then act accordingly to call it a ‘perfect day’, just like the movie’s protagonist Phil Connors.

Being a Marketer, you are not Ray Kinsella who built a baseball field, stood the test of time and people started discovering about his offer. In fact, you are Phil Connors of Groundhog Day where a continuous effort is required on your part to optimize your marketing programs through measurement, testing and analysis of data to the point that put you in control and make every day for your marketing ‘A Perfect Day’.

Now the question arises, how can you do both, collect data and use it for better decision making? One word; google analytics.

Google Analytics is a free tool by Google that provides heaps of data and visibility into a website performance. Decision makers in e-commerce industry need to understand that data collection is not enough, they must learn to use the data insights to continually enhance, enrich and optimize the experiences of their customers across every touchpoint on their site throughout their buying journey.

They have to approach the Groundhog Day the way Phil Connors approached towards the end of the movie.

Use Data and Delight Customers ‘the Phil Connors way’

Some smart marketers are already leveraging Google Analytics data in a “Phil Connors way” and delighting their customers with exceptional services through data-driven marketing decision making.

For instance, marketers at a London-based online retailer are intelligently using the insights Google Analytics provide them in following up with existing customers. They suggest customers a video tutorial to help them using a product they have purchased and make the most out of it. They are also using intelligent data insights in their up-selling and cross-selling efforts by suggesting other products to their existing customers.

Using Google Analytics, e-commerce industry throughout the world has been collecting a lot of data about their prospects and customers for a long time, data ranging from their location and demographics to interests and behaviors. Not just that, Google Analytics allows online businesses to measure every event/activity big or small happening on their sites.

Tracking events &user activities add more dimensions and meaning to the data and provide decision makers with more angles to approach to craft better business and marketing strategies.

The amount of data the global e-commerce industry is going to collect over the next 5 years is going to grow exponentially. Especially the customer data that is giving online businesses with a deeper understanding of their consumers and what they are doing, what they are looking and what they are buying on their websites.

And if we map this customer persona and behavioral data onto product data (their interest), there is a multiplication factor which really gives us big data going forward. But it is less around the amount of data we capture and more around how we use that data.

How do we turn data into information, intelligence, strategy, and then provide services back to the consumer based on that understanding? That will be the difference between the winning and losing companies in the future.