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Be Profitable: Why You Should Care About How Your Data Fits Together

By Shir Lapidot

Published December 22, 2021.

Why You Should Care About How Your Data Fits Together
  • Your ad analytics and other profit-driving data shouldn’t live alone. Comparing ad spend and software tool performance across platforms is just as critical as watching each one grow separately over time.
  • Instead of thinking of your customers as belonging to one large group, experiment with segmentation: Create a list of cohorts, then track them. Contrast customers based on when they buy, how much they spend, how long they stay on your site, and other behavioral factors to support your next big marketing move.
  • eCommerce is a seasonal industry and your sales may fluctuate predictably. The answers about what to do in your next peak season lie in data from previous years. Don’t shy away from analyzing historical numbers, ideally using a tool with a multi-platform dashboard like BeProfit.

At some point, all business owners have to learn to sift through numbers and find meaning. For an online business owner, data is both more important and easier to ignore than it can be for brick-and-mortar entrepreneurs.

When you’re used to having analytics calculated for you, it’s easy to think nothing much needs to be done beyond logging into an account and taking a glance.

But if you want to stop guessing and start making data-driven decisions, it’s time to have a clear strategy for analyzing your store’s most meaningful numbers.

Kobi Melamed, Product Manager at BeProfit, spoke about the importance of knowing your business’s data inside and out, across all platforms, with Shopify’s Steve Hutt on an episode of the eCommerce Fastlane podcast.

Below are three key takeaways from the conversation. Be sure to listen to the entire episode to dive deeper into the data you should pay attention to and how to use it to increase your profitability.

1. Aggregate and cross-reference your data

As the market for tech tools to serve eCommerce flourishes, you have a smorgasbord of helpful operations, shipping, and marketing tools at your fingertips. Most offer some amount of built-in data.

You might be in the habit of logging into your Facebook or Google Ad Manager and taking a look at each campaign’s performance or glancing at your daily shopping cart analytics.

And that’s where your data discovery ends.

What’s wrong with that?

Each software presents the numbers its creators think you’ll care about, not necessarily the numbers you need to pull to make better decisions.

Even if a number is helpful on its own — e.g., an 81% cart abandonment rate indicating a problem — it won’t necessarily lead you to the source. But if you were to combine this with data showing that a large percentage of those visitors drop out of the checkout process on a particular page, you’d be able to determine that your hidden shipping costs are largely responsible for those abandonments.

The combination of two or more pieces of data will always be more powerful than a singular stat.

Ideally, you’ll be able to see integrated data in one place rather than having to search for it all separately. A centralized dashboard is especially critical when you’re running multiple shops or advertising on multiple ad platforms.

Important! If you want to use it to draw instrumental conclusions, your data needs to be accurate. While we’re big fans of automation, we understand you’ll sometimes need to tweak your numbers for an order that doesn't quite follow the general rule. Or, you may need to convert currencies to accurately track international sales. It’s essential to have a system in place to take care of these contingencies so you don’t make the mistake of relying on inaccurate numbers.

2. Engage in cohort analysis

Sometimes, the value of data lies in who it represents, not what.

From a marketing perspective, you may think of your audience as one big group of shoppers. However, even if you’ve developed a singular buyer persona, consider that your customers can be broken down into smaller groups.

Segmenting your audience into cohorts based on purchasing behavior can help you draw more context from your data.

For example, after the Black Friday (BF) run, you could narrow your analytics down and ask questions like:

  • How did our BF customers compare to the customers who took advantage of a similar one-day sale earlier in the year?
  • How do our repeat customers compare to one-time buyers (i.e., new site visitors who converted on BF)?
  • How much more revenue did we earn from customers who converted from a Facebook ad versus those who came directly to our site?

Piecing together data in new ways can help you steer your business in the direction of higher profits without having to make significant (and expensive) changes. Instead, you can pay attention to what’s already working and do more of that.

3. Compare seasonal data year-over-year

In addition to drilling down on the story your data tells you about your customers’ behavior, it’s important to keep an eye on what it says about your company’s growth over time.

Use your ad and email conversion rates, website analytics, dispatch and delivery times, and other key performance indicators (KPIs) to analyze more than just a linear timeline.

Sure, it’s great to see continuous upward movement in many areas, but you could uncover a more useful picture by looking at specific KPIs year-over-year (YoY).

You might consider comparisons like:

  • Which ad platform performed better for your brand this year: TikTok or Instagram?
  • Was email a higher-converting marketing channel during the holidays last year or this year?
  • How did your peak season store traffic change YoY — by category, by page, and by referral source?

When you complete a direct historical comparison, you can figure out which strategic decisions were responsible for better numbers.

Instead of dedicating resources to all the platforms you’ve always used, you’ll be able to streamline your efforts by focusing on the ones that work.

As Steve says on the podcast, targeted data analysis can help you change your marketing flow cadence and messaging to drive profitable results.Feeling a bit lost about how to compile and analyze your shop’s data? BeProfit is here for you. We’re currently expanding our app to encompass more shipping integrations, advanced cohort analysis, and multiple users with different permissions.

Next step: Get BeProfit and start taking control of your business finances as easily as it gets.