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The One Metric That Matters in Retail and Ecommerce

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The One Metric That Matters in Retail and Ecommerce

Retailers are often hit over the head with the amount, type, and variety of data potentially available to them. One source will tell us we need to prioritize SEO value across channels (true), while another says our native search is overtaking Google (also true). Some peg click-and-mortar as the best way to track customers, while others will tout the rise of pure ecommerce as the saving grace of retail.

Among all of these competing metrics, retailers need to know what matters most. Of course the answer is deceptively simple, yet oft-missed. Return on investment. The three words that strike fear in the hearts of marketers, and yet, the three words that tie all ecommerce activities to the bottom line.

At Raise, we have worked hard to not only show ROI, but gain recognition for it. In my team alone, we have shown 804% ROI for our analytics programs. 804%. To fully understand the scale of this ROI, attempt to listen to this version of the Harry Potter theme, slowed down 800x. It goes from around five minutes to over 40.

Percent ROI is often a great way to summarize the number of dollars/units/results out per input, but it doesn’t fully capture the impact on the bottom line. That’s why I’m also happy to report that our cost:benefit ratio is 1:3.2, and we’ve saved $363,274 annually on analytics.

Now that I’ve explained the “one metric that matters” to my team, there is the inevitable question: why should other retailers care? Raise has become the marketplace that allows people buy and sell unused gift cards. We’ve made the following three key improvements to our business using data:

1. Fine-Tuning Headcount Without Overworking Analysts

By finding an analytics platform that could manage our data, while being scalable and adaptable in the cloud, we found that we didn’t need to hire two new data scientists. One of my passions is building impactful analytical teams, though, so I was excited when we were able to hire a Jr. Data Analyst, who built our analytics workspace in under two months.

Once I had assembled the team, we needed to maximize our operational efficiency. Because of our analytics best practices, we no longer waste his or my hours on pulling reports. This was important to me from an efficiency perspective, but also because I believe data is central to all business management, execution and strategic evolution and should be usable to decision-makers throughout the org. Now Raise is ready to take on data from a strategic perspective, not a merely reporting-based view.

2. Enabling Sales Without Taxing Managers

Sales performance hit an immediate upswing as reps gained real-time insights into data, allowing them to focus efforts on high-yield opportunities. Now, Sales Managers are able to review pipeline, revenue contribution, team performance and account profitability to make informed decisions. The Executive Team is now armed with the information they need to create projections, and conduct long-term planning exercises. Retention has hit an all-time high, as tickets are better prioritized and common issues identified and addressed.

3. Seeing Our Customers Without Creeping Them Out

It seems almost daily that consumers decry various digital marketing tactics, touting data privacy and trying to define the line between personalization and cyberstalking. At Raise, we have a plethora of usage data available to us through our online platform, and I’m always consciously aware of the “uncanny valley” that exists between personalization done right--and horribly, horribly wrong.

In the future, Raise is considering adding our available marketing data into our existing analytics program, in order to get a full picture of our customers’ needs. We aim to gain insight into the 400 billion dollar return retail market by exploring data from various sources.

Written by GoodData Author  | 

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