E-Commerce Marketing: It’s Time to Start Thinking Like a Data Scientist

Posted on October 30, 2018

Humankind holds an affinity for the newest and shiniest things. Whether it’s our jewelry, cars, or electronics, we get sucked into the flashiest and most modern of these items.

Marketing is no different. It’s Snapchat, it’s chatbots, it’s the newest ad placements for Facebook. Marketing experts, particularly those focusing on e-commerce, are constantly searching for ways to leverage the hottest new technology to benefit their brand. They are obsessed with constantly pushing everything toward the brand.

That’s great and all, but the bulk of e-commerce revenue is still built on the tried and true method of using data to drive decisions. You’ll realize this is especially true if you understand how large and established stores have arrived at that status.

So ultimately, in every business, there needs to be someone who pushes back against brand-thumping marketers by simply asking, “how does this create enough revenue for our store at this moment so we can stay in business for today?” This leads to the conclusion you can’t only be fixated only on using the newest and flashiest tools in modern marketing. You have to also consider the value of being a data scientist.

The science behind gathering and leveraging your data is grossly overlooked in assuring you maintain short-term success while still aiming for long-term viability. There are many questions you must be asking and answering to make sure you’re taking the proper analytical approach.

For instance, you must make sure you’re setting up A/B tests in a way you can gain statistical significance. You also must find a useful way to analyze the metrics you gather that allows you to understand profitability on a user-acquisition channel. And to that point, you additionally need to measure different channels against each other to find out which ones are the most profitable and which ones produce the most valuable customers.

Keep in mind it’s not the collection of the data that is the difficult aspect, it’s the application of that data. Your data itself will give you a very clear picture of consumer trends. You’ll have an understanding of what customers are purchasing, how much they are willing to spend, the time period when they could be most vulnerable to advertising, and more. It’s on you to make sure you’re using the data to build an effective plan.

Ultimately, this is what you must be able to answer: what are you doing with your data to help drive decisions? You must look within at what you’ve done and take time to organize, correlate, and cohort your own data. Your next step is making data-driven decisions. Remember, the data you gather on your customers is the most valuable information you can possibly attain.

If you’re not collecting consumer data and analyzing on a regular basis, you’re not going to be able to make proper predictions. Thus, you have very little chance of being prepared for major events that present a promising opportunity for revenue growth.

So it’s great there are a lot of dreamers in the marketplace right now striving to do a lot of brand-centric activities. But that’s not what is driving revenue in the immediate moment. At some point, your company is going to go out of business if you’re not focusing on the short-term conversion side of things. To find success in that area, it’s time to put the new and shiny aside at times in favor of analyzing your data with a scientific approach.