Looking to analytics to determine what are the best courses of action is nothing new, and it’s been a part of making business decisions since long before the business world shifted to digital. I takes a trained and educated eye to make good sense of numbers and the like when doing that, but the parameters of everything were different when all of them were tracked manually and often jotted down on paper. As in nearly always the case with interests of any sort, computing technology has been very beneficial in making business analytics better.
It’s not something business managers will be fully intuitive with right off the hop, and given how increasingly competitive the space is becoming for nearly any industry or commercial venture online it is important to at least try to be ahead of curves. Other businesses will be leaning on web analytics too, and so it is important to do as well as possible with turning your data into decision making. This is why some businesses will hire a 3rd-party advisor in this regard, and many times it is a worthwhile investment.
Our business here at 4GoodHosting takes value from web data too of course, and that will be true for any good Canadian web hosting provider. The reason this topic becomes of even greater interest and worthy of an entry here is that many of our customers are also operating a website for commercial purposes, and when anything related to profitability is involved you’re going to want to get it right. So let’s look at how eCommerce is being transformed by web data.
Big for Pricing Strategies
Increasingly relying on insights drawn from web data to guide their pricing strategies is increasingly common for online businesses, plus for finding the best time for product and service launches. Estimates are that upwards of 80% of eCommerce businesses have bumped up their web data collection and management budgets over the past year, and that’s an immediate reflection of how this type of web data is really increasing in value.
What web date provides for eCommerce businesses is enhanced visibility over the competitive online market landscape. It creates an informational set for insight on anything from current sales offers to product pricing to positions to consumer reviews and more. There’s nearly no limit to the applications for this vital resource, and here’s a brief bit about each reason online retailers typically collect public web data:
Web data can let retailers create benchmarks against the competition by taking identical products / services and comparing and monitoring the prices for them directly competing with their own site. This provides good insight into how much competitors are charging, are there any sales or special offers coming up, are shipping costs a factor, and what patterns exist with how prices are raised or lowered.
Positioning and inventory
Web data also provides information on how online retailers may be able to best position their products for public consumption. Information can be utilized by online retailers to identify specific keywords or messaging that could promote their products being higher in SERPS, and of course that is absolutely huge in the greater success and viability of your business online. It can even be taken a step further by tracking competitors’ online stock and using web data to discover new merchandising and product opportunities. This can be very beneficial for multinational businesses looking to launch in a new market.
Search engine strategy
Most eCommerce businesses collect SERP web data on an ongoing basis, with a primary focus on both the paid and organic search results of different keywords and queries that are entered into those search engines. The data is then applied by digital marketers to strategize around brand sentiment, online reputation management as well as better keyword rankings so that visibility in search engines is improved.
SERP web data enables businesses to gain advantages over their competition on the search engine results page, although if there’s one point here you likely already knew this is probably it.
Millions of consumer interactions take place on marketplaces, social media, and different forums each day. eCommerce businesses want to better tap into this information, and collecting public web data from social media is a big part of that. It helps social media marketing experts to spot changes in consumer behavior, as well as staying ahead of the popularity of products and campaigns.
Web Data Collection Strategies
The demands of data collection internally are too much for online retailers sometimes, and many are looking to make acquisitions or find external partners to enhance their web data collection efforts. There are two options here for most of them; they can collect data at scale themselves, or they can utilize web scraping applications or technologies to assist them. Either choice is usually better than relying on a manual approach.
Cleaning, structuring, and analyzing the data is essential in all of this, and it can time-consuming and eat up a lot of resources. But generating these up-to-the-minute insights is crucial in helping eCommerce businesses make the smart decisions they want to be making.
Pre-made data sets can be a good choice here, and these large sets of data focus on a single subject collected from either single or various sources. They are structured into readable tables or formats to provide valuable insights, although they may be more approximated than individually built ones. But it is a more affordable approach for businesses that are working with a budget when it comes to web analytics. The disadvantage is that these are only updated periodically, so they don’t offer the minute-by-minute accuracy of mass-scale web data collection.