How Business Intelligence Data Helps eCommerce Marketing
Building the business of the future with intelligent eCommerce.
Big data takes an increasingly central role in marketing, customizing advertising campaigns and automating internal processes like reordering products or authorizing increases or cutbacks in production. Simple tools for batch processing and data integration can no longer keep up with the vast number of data sources that successful B2B businesses routinely use or monitor. These data sets include consumer behavior stats, business intelligence and economic trends in various global markets, new health practices and information generated by the Internet of Things. Administrators face challenges of integrating data from hundreds of disparate sources while ensuring data quality, security and privacy.
Challenges of Integrating Big Data
When integrating data, many questions arise such as how reliable data sets are. Effective business software reviews source documentation, increases pipeline accuracy and creates custom workflows based on how companies use their data. Information that triggers key business decisions needs to be independently verified through multiple sources, and the right eCommerce platform minimizes the due diligence needed from HR resources. Software that can adjust its responses based on finding questionable data could prevent decision-makers from making big miscalculations in their business and marketing strategies.
Another major area of concern is the flood of information that's being generated in social media and website marketing. Social networks and Web server logs are rich sources of actionable data, but they require different gathering methods, sensors and measuring equipment. All these social, BI and analytics applications generate a vast body of information that could prove critical to sales or marketing success. A robust system can integrate everything from uploading a single file to linking to a data source or importing a huge data set.
Managing Data Efficiently
Integrating big data into systems solves only part of the challenge of getting the most from statistics, data sets and business intelligence. The best platforms make data more manageable by using automatic partitioning, compression and compaction to accommodate the largest data sets. Ongoing management of big data includes loading data based on key performance indicator triggers, time-generated data, location-based information or data sets that are based on customer behavior. An effective platform includes tools to filter corrupt, questionable or incomplete data on thresholds that can be reconfigured for each analysis. New applications in 2016 and beyond will expand big data capabilities to include handling a wider range of predictive analytics and more transactional data from social websites and mobile marketing. In fact, big data is becoming so important that CEOs and CFOs can now expect to welcome a third business partner at the top of many corporate chains-of-command: the chief data officer or CDO.
Informative examples of uses for big data include the following cases mentioned in an Internet Retailer article:
- Amazon experienced major increases of about 30 percent in sales volume by integrating internal sales data on its website to inform customers which products other customers who bought a particular product also bought.
- Analyzing trends can help companies decide which raw materials to stock so that they can negotiate more favorable rates or faster completion times with their stakeholders.
- Using cross-device tracking and mapping the behavior of customers can provide valuable insights to reduce shopping cart abandonment, but integrating data in real-time is crucial to the process.
- A Target customer who bought products commonly purchased by other pregnant women revealed that the customer was pregnant even before she could inform the father.
Big Data Provides Signature Marketing Advantages
An article in Forbes magazine highlighted some statistics that every business-to-business sales organization should know. These stats include the astonishing fact that more data was generated in the past two years than in all of human history. More than a billion people visit Facebook each day, and Google processes 40,000 search queries every second. These actions generate increasingly more data to import and analyze. B2B companies can use big data in countless ways including creative new approaches, so choosing the right eCommerce platform becomes critical for the following business practices:
- Analyzing customers based on key performance indicators
- Examining returns, losses and fraud for actionable insights
- Preventing shopping cart abandonment
- Managing vendors and inventory
- Merchandising based on KPI information
- Eliminating overstocking and understocking
- Planning for seasonal adjustments in sales
- Improving customer satisfaction
- Competing by building value instead of cutting prices
- Personalizing experiences for each customer
This list of potential uses for big data is far from exclusive and includes many custom applications. Robust eCommerce platforms provide seamless integrations of big data, global sales and marketing initiatives, more shipping choices, better shipping management based on customer behavior and preferences in specific areas and easier internal searches for customers. No matter how well big data is integrated into internal systems, the data won't do much good if customers can't navigate the websites easily. Within a few years, more than 50 billion global smart devices will be interconnected to collect data, so companies need eCommerce platforms that are extensible and scalable.
How Clarity Can Help When Importing Big Data
Clarity eCommerce tools not only help you import big data but also include the API framework for implementing new integrations. The company's big data tools give your company an edge in finding new uses for data to make smarter business decisions. These resources include business intelligence tools to identify business trends that impact your uses for data. As always, Clarity offers customizable data management tools for integrating with all your existing ERP and CRM software applications and collaborating with branch offices and affiliate resellers. Call Clarity at 800-928-8160 or click here for a consultation or free price quote.
 InformationWeek: IBM's Predictions: 6 Big Data Trends In 2014
 Internet Retailer: 5 ways online retailers can make use of big data
 Forbes.com: Big Data: 20 Mind-Boggling Facts Everyone Must Read