Small business owners: take the online-data advantage offline
The moment a shopper lands on a website, digital commerce giants such as Amazon or Nike watch every move, every click, and every page that shopper. Within in the first few minutes of visiting a digital commerce website, they have all sorts of insights and information about you. They know if you’ve been on their site before, if so what pages, and can automate a customer experience based on that data. And for the first time, small and local business owners can access those insights and analytics.
They know what their customers want, help them get it, and expedite the process. Data creates a win for both the customer and the business owner. They’re able to keep a finger on the pulse of their followers, customers, and know what their customers think and say about the business.
Online businesses use this insight to scale their business, identify trends in their customer base, identify their best and most loyal customers, they even use this data to manage inventory, staffing, and marketing efforts. The data that a website can gather based on a shopper’s behavior helps them curate a shopping experience for that customer and guide them to the appropriate section to buy what it is they came to buy.
So where is this advantage and insight for small and local businesses?
Glad you asked. 🙂
It’s right there in your credit card transactions and sales.
Every time a customer swipes their card, you gather insights. When you step back and look at your customer base as a whole, you’ll see trends, strengths, and weaknesses of your business. For the first time, local and small business owners have an advantage to regain and even grow their competitive advantage.
For the past decade, as e-commerce and online businesses have grown their market share, they’ve identified fascinating and compelling insights into consumer behavior. Small and local businesses have been able to read about these trends for a while now, but mostly in an anecdotal manner. Best practices are great for getting your business momentum going in the right direction. But basing every decision on the data and insights of other business’s customer trends and behaviors doesn’t give the local business owner the clear advantage of owning their own data and using it to grow their customer base and sales.
All this talk of data–what is it really?
The word “data” is thrown around so much these days that it’s causing some confusion. Your cell phone stores data as well as use data to stream the Yass Cat video. These days, data makes the whole world go ’round.
To be clear, in the context of this conversation, we’re talking about the information and trends we identify through customer transactions in physical stores. We’re talking about trends, buying behaviors, reputation insight, seasonality of sales, historical transactions, and future predictions. We are talking about the information we get from shoppers in your store and stores around the nation. It’s more than just birthdates or the last time a customer was in your store. It’s the information every business needs to thrive in a world awash in technology.
Are sales down because of seasonal trends? Or is there an unmanaged negative review out there that is repelling your shoppers? With your own data, you don’t have to guess. You can know. In fact, like online giants, you can automate notification and give yourself warnings based on trends you want to track.
Take the online advantage offline
Data is a resource as valuable to a business as revenue. Would you rather own your store or rent it? Sure, there are some advantages come with renting. However, when you have the means and opportunity, it’s better to own something than it is to have it on lease.
Leveraging your business insights and customer data is money in the bank. You get to use it where you want, not where others are telling you to use it. Relying on the data of other businesses is like taking out a loan on your data.
When you know what percentage of your customer base is loyal, or what percentage of your overall revenue comes from new customers, you have information that you can put into action. Relying on borrowed data only gives you industry averages and estimates to questions that beg for specificity. Your business isn’t average. Your analytics shouldn’t be, either.
This is not to say you should ignore the insights and analytics of other businesses. That data will help business owners and managers benchmark their growth, sales, and reputation with precision, not estimation. When you have access to your data you will know which days of the week you do the most in sales. You can know the timeline from your customers first purchase to their next purchase in your store. You deserve to know this insight so you can control the direction of your business and how to get ahead.
Data you gather from your store allows you to invest in areas of your business that yield the best returns. Take the online advantage offline. It’s no fun to feel stuck or like your business is struggling. It stinks even more not knowing why or what you can do about it.
Womply gives small, local business owners the tools they need to thrive. Our comprehensive platform supplies business owners and managers with a one-stop location. You can track trends, identify the cause of lack-luster performance, and bring intelligent business decisions to the front of their day-to-day activities. Request your own platform overview. See how you can own your data in a way small business owners haven’t been able to do before.
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