An Analytical Approach to Online Retail
The e-commerce landscape in Australia is changing at a rapid pace, arguably more quickly than any other and its not going to be as straight forward as it has been to date. Large bricks and mortar stores that have shied away from online retailing in recent years are now entering the space better equipped with knowledge and experience learned from global competitors who have tried, tested and finely tuned their online offerings.
With search still dominating the online marketing space, supply and demand dictates that it’s going to become increasingly harder for small players to maintain first page rankings as larger players allocate more of their marketing budget to this channel. As this demand increases, smaller online retailers need to keep abreast of the latest technology, customer acquisition and custom retention strategies.
It is no longer acceptable to assume your online customer base will just keep growing because the industry is growing. Australian online retailers need to adapt an analytical approach to their marketing strategies whilst still focussing on the basics of exceptional customer service.
Adapting such an approach to marketing will open up a wealth of opportunity within a business’ current user base and will help when adding customer acquisition and retention efforts to their marketing mix.
Whilst you may be employing basic analytics systems to measure and compare information about your website it is important to ramp up the depth to which analytics are implemented in order to address customer loyalty, retention and value.
Google’s free e-commerce analytics software is a good starting point for any business (http://www.google.com/analytics/). It provides enterprise-class web analytics that gives you rich insights into your website traffic and marketing effectiveness. Ensuring you have a correct implementation of this software to draw the most data, and knowing how to use this analytics software and even what metrics to look at, are key factors in amount of value provided by such a solution. Speak to your shopping cart or web developer about e-commerce analytics implementation.
In addition to analysing the data provided by your own website or database you will be pleased to know that Forrester Research Inc has recently released the results of its benchmark study “Online Retailing in Australia 2010: Marketing, Merchandising, and Customer Service". This study incorporates data collected in partnership with the Online Retailer Expo & Conference 2010.
So in summary, Australian online retail is growing and with that more competitors are entering the space all looking to steal a slice of the action. In order to gain or maintain a competitive advantage a business must take an analytical approach to the way they acquire, retain and value their customers, no matter their size.