We've met a variety of senior figures from a number of the UK's leading e-commerce businesses in the last few weeks. We wanted to talk about "big data" analytics and how we might create richer insight and hence more personalised customer experiences. We expected that most site owners would have the tools to be able to translate this insight into personalised content and that they would be sat on a mountain of "small data", ie data attributable to an individual prospect or customer - either by name or behaviour - piled high into a "big data" stack for us to crunch. What a shock to find this was not the case. Most e-businesses seem stuck with anonymised data that reveals little about their visitors or customers other than at an aggregated level. A bit like a shopping mall operator who sees people come and go, visit shops and buy stuff but without knowing who they are, where they live, why they visit, where else they shop and what they think.
So we were delighted to discover that one of our technology partners has a fantastic "plug and play" tool for discerning the "small data" within the e-commerce eco system. This enables us to identify who visits the site, where they have come from, what they searched for, what they looked at, what they carefully considered or disregarded and what they bought. We can do this for key segments of valuable prospects or customers of a particular type or by individual. We can alter the content of the site (without touching the CMS), ask questions, keep customers engaged and automatically link what we know to a personalised and relevant follow up contact whether that's by email, snail mail or social media.
Some of the e-commerce leaders like Tesco and Shop Direct are able to do this, but we are increasingly surprised by the number who can't.
We predict a switch away from tired, staid, boring and anonymised web analytics to a better world of personalised insight built from the "small data" behaviour of individuals that enables more engaging content, service and sales.
If you'd like to know more, please contact us at www.SG-Retail.co.uk