How Data Shapes the E-Commerce Industry
By Raphaël Menesclou, Head of Marketing & Growth, DataHawk
It’s no secret that data, when leveraged correctly, shapes the e-commerce industry and helps businesses gain brand control on large platforms such as Amazon.
In the United States, e-commerce sales are expected to surpass an astonishing $740 billion by 2023, according to Statista. Without data, e-commerce businesses are walking blindly into a billion-dollar industry lacking performance visibility, in addition to the ability to benchmark against competitors. Due to an increasingly saturated market and rapid technological advancement, it’s imperative that a company has foresight into data to measure success.
Understanding E-Commerce History
In the last 20 years, the landscape of data has immensely expanded. The first of many e-commerce businesses were able to launch a product and expect customers to gravitate toward a purchase without data to support its success. In the early 2010, we saw an increasingly saturated market and a money-making industry take off into what is now a data-driven global marketplace. To run an ecommerce business now, there’s no power without data and algorithmically driven success.
Amazon’s continuous growth can be measured down to the minute, according to CNBC in a report that found the company pulled in more than $830,000 in revenue per minute in the first quarter of 2021. Additionally, 79% of consumers go to Amazon to begin their product search regardless of where they intend to ultimately make their purchase.
As the world sees technology make strides through machine learning and artificial intelligence, the future of e-commerce shopping will work hand-in-hand to achieve fast processing and real-time reporting of data that will help businesses make faster and more efficient decisions.
One Size Fits All Doesn’t Fit Anymore
Gaining brand control on Amazon is not a one-size-fits all strategic approach for e-commerce businesses anymore. In 2021, Amazon FBA aggregators raised over $12 billion by analyzing data on existing Amazon brands and products, using software available in the market. Reviewing and shifting strategic approaches through patterns found in Share of Voice reports or Category Best Seller, can help e-commerce businesses maximize value.
More so, the data reveals potential for growth where businesses can implement changes in geography or platform, disengage the least valuable products or expand where necessary. Understanding data as a resource for your e-commerce business will help bridge any gaps or downfalls, which in turn, benefits the customer and gives them exactly what they are looking to purchase. Gone are the days of walking into an e-commerce market blindly. Understanding data enough to navigate the black box is essential for marketplace success.
Data Shaped Industry that Caters to Customers
Above all else, data is telling of the customer experience, along with wants and needs. Eerily accurate targeted social media ads are an example of how data caters to digital consumers. In relation to e-commerce, it’s more than that. Because of the advancements in augmented and virtual realities, consumers can try on products and showcase them inside their homes without stepping into a store.
Research has found that 48%, nearly half, of customers prefer connecting with companies through a live chat that delivers instant responses and eliminates an hour-long wait to speak with customer service over the phone. As we see more chatbox implemented across the board, we know that companies are catering to customers to give them a streamlined experience and options that give them the best deals.
In the United States, two in five customers (41%) receive up to two packages from Amazon per week, of which 50% are for consumers aged 18-25 and 57% are for consumers aged 26-35, according to Walker Sands. By its revelation of cost and time cutting efficiency, e-commerce businesses have the growth capability to reach customers whether they are in their homes, waiting for the bus or subway, or at school in between classes, at all hours of the day. Due to the easy accessibility, KPMG reported the top reason consumers shop online is due to the fact that they have the liberty to shop at all hours of the day.
Data for the Win
The eCommerce sector is among the many industries reaping the benefits of tremendous amounts of consumer data. However, it fails to recognize the value of such data to cultivate meaningful insights that boost conversion rates and personalize customer experiences. Businesses have lost $756 billion in the last year alone due to poor e-commerce personalization.
Alongside competitors, it’s easy for products to be overlooked, especially in markets that are saturated. The beauty of data is that it can help e-commerce businesses make better informed decisions, identify trends, exceed customer expectations, reduce costs and optimize operations so that your products appear in front of consumers.