2020 has been crazy. Stores are closed or at limited capacity. Shoppers are staying home… and it looks very likely that this will continue through 2021. If they weren't already, companies are rushing to make their products available on the web with a direct-to-consumer ecommerce website. According to a respected analyst, Benedict Evans article featured in August 2020, The Ecommerce Surge, the pandemic pulled forward ecommerce adoption by 5-10 years in only 3 months! We saw this continue in Q3. Shopify brand stores alone doubled from the end of Q1 to the end of Q3. It is really quite incredible how quickly companies can adapt when it is urgent. To adapt they, and the partners they choose to work with, need to be agile.
When it comes to ecommerce, how quickly an online store can be launched can be credited, in part, to ecommerce platform partners that can support the speed to launch that companies demand. Shopify is one of the leaders in this for mid-to-large companies. They are a great choice for companies that need to stand up an online store in 90 days or less.
But ecommerce teams can’t pause too long to celebrate a successful launch before the C-suite is breathing down their necks for first day sales numbers... and it doesn't stop there. The pressure is on to report daily numbers and hit targets. Launching your ecommerce site is just the first hurdle, ensuring you are consistently driving and growing online sales is the next, bigger and higher hurdle. So how can you best set yourself up for success?
Have Best Practice Analytics in Place Day 1
Success of your online business sits squarely with the ability to make decisions quickly that you can be confident will drive growth. Optimization cycles need to be short to keep pace with an evolving and competitive landscape. Which means you need data at your fingertips to help answer questions. Real-time dashboards covering your full ecommerce process from digital marketing through sales and fulfillment, in one system is key. And the sooner you have it in place the better.
While ecommerce platforms are excellent at providing a great online shopping experience, their reporting capabilities fall short. Features you should look for:
- All of your ad platform, email, web analytics and ecommerce platform data unified into a single data set to be utilized within dashboards.
- The ability to monitor data quality and identify campaign tracking issues. Your campaign tracking needs to be correct if you want to have accurate campaign dashboards and AI models.
- A 360° view of your ecommerce customer journey from pre- through post-purchase. That means campaign performance dashboards + sales activity dashboards + fulfillment dashboards + inventory dashboards.
- The ability to go broad and deep with analytics. You may need to look at metrics at a granular level to reveal insights and opportunities.
- The return on your digital marketing efforts tied to sales from your ecommerce platform vs web analytics platform. If your source of truth is your ecommerce platform this is what you should be using! Sales numbers in your web analytics solution rarely are identical to those in your ecommerce platform.
- AI-capabilities that can be turned on quickly when you are ready. Including algorithmic attribution, propensity scoring, campaign optimization, sales forecasting and out-of-stock predictions.
Hear why James Kim, VP DTC Ecommerce at MGA Entertainment chose conDati when they launched the L.O.L. Surprise! direct-to-consumer website this summer.
What you should look for in an analytics provider
- Speed to implement. It CAN be done in just a couple of weeks! … well at least conDati can.
- Low total cost of ownership. There are various routes to an analytics solution and depending on which you choose the costs can really add up. Check out the “Making the Build vs. Partner vs. Analytics-as-a-Service Decision for Marketing Analytics” blog to learn more.
- If you don’t have available data engineering or data science resources find a vendor that provides these. If it is included within the platform costs, even better! An analytics-as-a-service such as conDati, where the provider takes care of everything is ideal — data aggregation and unification, best practice dashboards and AI analytics all in one solution with no need for your own data engineers or data scientists.