Why data management software plays an important role in eCommerce
Big data has taken over most industries, ranging from advertising to retailing. Due to this ubiquity, merchants have made implementing data management software a top priority. With more businesses collecting data and turning it into actionable insight, it has become absolutely paramount that merchants have all the tools they need to process information accurately and use it to accomplish mission-critical tasks.
For retailers specifically, data comes into play in a number of ways. Here are some of the most important uses of data in retail:
1. Better inventory management
Retailers thrive on being able to read supply and demand, and accurately purchase the products customers want. The challenge lies in discovering popular products in advance and being able to capitalize on windows of opportunity.
Data can play a pivotal role in this process. For instance, merchants can look at which products people are buying to identify popular goods. Or they can make informed decisions based on product page views or social media shares. In years past, merchants may have felt the only way to make these decisions was through gut instinct, but thanks to Web-based data, identifying retail trends is becoming more science than art.
Of course, being able to pick out new trends does require aggregating accurate data across multiple channels, which is where data management solutions may come into play. Merchants need information to be comprehensive and accurate, otherwise they may be making shortsighted or otherwise incorrect conclusions.
2. Improved customer satisfaction
The customer is always right, or so the saying goes. A 2013 report from the National Retail Federation suggested customer satisfaction is a top strategic concern for as many as two-thirds of merchants, which illustrates quite clearly how important bringing service to the customer is. Moreover, that figure grew year-over-year, suggesting that customer satisfaction has become even more vital to success.
Data plays an important role in customer satisfaction, Forbes asserted, and it does so in multiple ways. Here are a few examples:
- With accurate data management software, customer service reps may be better able to identify faulty product shipments if they see a certain contingency of products being returned. This allows retailers to pull items quickly and avoid customer service fiascoes.
With accurate data management software, customer service reps may be better able to identify faulty product shipments.
An online seller may notice customers browsing and purchase histories, allowing merchants to offer pertinent product suggestions or relevant discounts to specific shoppers.
- Create more accurate customer profiles, which in turn allow retailers to adjust their product offerings and identify new niches they could enter. Customers often shop with certain retailers because they can level with the brand – data helps keep that relationship fresh.
3. Better eCommerce operations
The management of data can also be critical in improving behind-the-scenes operations, ranging from supply chain logistics to customer service functionality.
For example, information plays a critical role in helping retailers manage product information. The right data management software can help merchants create a single source of data, regardless of how many suppliers and distributors retailers get products from. This makes the listing process much easier and more straight forward, but can only happen with clean and accurate data management.
People create a lot of data. The often-cited figure from Google CEO Eric Schmidt, as noted by TechCrunch, is that people create as much information in two days now as they did through the dawn of man up until 2003. Retailers rely on this information to empower their eCommerce operations, which is why it is so important they leverage the right data management software.