With consumers shopping wherever, whenever, and however they like, brands are now relying on data for business success.

In fact, according to IBM, 62% of retailers say using information (including big data) and analytics is giving their organizations a competitive advantage.

While data is a valuable asset, many businesses struggle to use it effectively. The McKinsey Global Institute estimates that businesses currently capture only one-third of their data’s potential value.

Let the following four strategies help you tap into the full potential of your business data.

1) Harness the Right Business Data

When it comes to winning in e-commerce, you need the right set of information to uncover hidden insights and make informed decisions for your business.

You can source business data from three departments in your organization. Make sure it flows seamlessly through all departments and everyone has access to it through a single platform. These departments include:

Marketing Department:

This department has access to data you can use to deliver hyper-personalized experiences to customers.

Empower your marketing team with artificial intelligence (AI)-powered analytics to allow them to collect data from all touch points and track customer behavior in real time.

Also, leverage predictive analytics to understand future consumer behavior and make relevant product recommendations.

Customer Service Department:

The information accumulated during support operations can help you improve your customer experience and build brand loyalty.

Microsoft’s State of Customer Service Report states that 95% of consumers are loyal to a brand because of their customer service.

To leverage customer service information, use an analytics tool that offers in-depth insight into what takes place during each customer interaction and tracks metrics like reply time and first contact resolution.

Shipping Department:

Accurate shipping data is key to reducing logistics costs and remaining profitable. Instead of relying on data from carriers that do not show industry benchmarks or competitor pricing differences, invest in AI-driven tools.

For instance, Shipware’s Portal, powered by their Krystal AI tool, gives a complete data breakdown of your company’s shipping and finds areas where you are being overcharged. This unique insight will help you improve operations and optimize your carrier pricing.

2) Track the Right Metrics 

To turn your data into actionable insights that help you make profitable business decisions, it is important for you to track the right digital marketing metrics.

Here are three commercial metrics you should track to increase your revenue:

Revenue by Traffic Source:

This metric shows you which channels drive traffic to your e-commerce site and where to invest your marketing budget.

You can track Revenue by Traffic Source with Google Analytics or a similar tool. But remember that a channel generating traffic today might not do so forever. So it is best to acquire traffic from various sources.

Average Order Value:

Average order value (AOV) tracks the average amount of money a customer spends per transaction on your website or mobile app.

To calculate your company’s average order value, divide your total revenue by the number of orders. And if you have a low AOV, you can increase it by upselling to customers and offering free shipping.

Customer Lifetime Value (CLV):

With this metric, you can monitor how much revenue a customer will bring your company throughout their lifetime.

Use predictive analytics to forecast your customers’ lifetime value and send relevant offers to retain them.

Besides the metrics mentioned above, track your social media return on investment and cart abandonment rate.

Before selecting metrics, define your goals and measure results for the user cases most important to you.

3) Enrich Your Data

To get more value from your data, consider data enrichment. This strategy can help you unlock new business opportunities and increase your revenue.

Research from Experian’s Global Data Management Benchmark report states that over the next 12 months from 2018, 35% of organizations are planning to undergo a data enrichment project.

Below are two ways you can enrich your data:

Clean It Up:

Having poor quality information can cost you time and money. Companies lose about 5.6% of their annual revenue to poor quality data according to a report from Royal Mail Data Services.

So use enrichment tools to verify and correct customer information. This cleansing process will improve your data’s quality and marketing effectiveness.

Additionally, clean your data continuously and choose an enrichment solution that can rapidly analyze information.

Leverage Third-Party Data:

To identify niche segments within your customer base and reach a new audience, combine first and third party data.

Before purchasing third-party data, ask providers where they get it from. Furthermore, ensure what you are buying is undertaken in accordance with data protection principles and regulatory guidance.

And for best results, pre-clean your data before sending it out for enrichment by correcting obvious mistakes like email syntax errors.

Also, reconcile new customer information immediately for data accuracy.

4) Develop a Data Strategy

You need a data strategy to create new growth, cut waste, and improve company performance.

A 2017 research paper from Econsultancy found that business leaders who exceeded their goals in 2016 had a clear data strategy.

Creating a data strategy is not for the faint-hearted, this is why few organizations create one according to a 2011 report from BeyeNetwork.  Despite this, here are some components to include in your strategy:

Align Data With Your Business Objectives:

Identify your business objectives and articulate how you can use data to attain them.

Select three to five objectives for your business data to ensure your strategy is focused and achievable. In addition, define what success looks like early and make sure it is related to your company’s key performance indicators (KPIs).

Hire the Right Talent:

Getting the most from your business data relies on having data analysts who can translate it into useful knowledge.

Before recruiting analysts, identify your business objectives and outline the skills you require to meet these goals. Look out for analytics experts with functional skill sets and subject matter expertise. You also need a clear plan for developing internal capabilities.

Create a Roadmap: 

Develop a road map to determine the steps you need to take to move forward with your strategy.

When creating a roadmap, start with your endpoint in mind, and identify a pipeline of activities that will take you towards your goal while prioritizing areas that need immediate attention.

Additionally, ensure your strategy is flexible enough to accommodate future changes like new technologies. You can also hire a Chief Data Officer to help you develop your strategy and improve business operations.

You Are Sitting on a Goldmine: Use It

Apart from the strategies explained above, to fully take advantage of your data, you need to have a clear understanding of the goals you want to achieve. Equally, have a data governance framework to address privacy, security, and transparency issues.

You are most likely sitting on a wellspring of information that is silently waiting for you to leverage its value.  Experiment with a few of these strategies to find out what works best in your situation and go from there.