Analytics Powering E-Commerce for Sustainable Development     

by August 16, 2016 0 comments

E-Commerce is a dynamically evolving industry with Big Data playing a key role in furthering its progress. Here we discuss the various analytics techniques used by etailers in improving customer satisfaction and overall business efficiency

A recent Gartner report estimated that e-commerce in India was expected to grow at the rate of 60 to 70 per cent year-on-year, making it one of fastest growing e-commerce markets across the globe. To truly understand the impact Analytics can have on a business, one must realize that every action of an individual user is converted into quantifiable data by using analytics platforms. This is then used to break the target consumer demographic into smaller segments thereby enhancing customer satisfaction and building customer loyalty. Analytics also helps in supply chain management that helps in accurately predicting the potential demand and target geographies across verticals. This helps businesses in identifying what to stock, where to stock it and be prepared to meet customer demand satisfactorily.

One of the primary jobs of an e-Commerce player is to make user experience on their website delightful. With so much focus on user experience, analytics itself becomes a product instead of just being a business enabler. Probably the biggest task for analytics in e-Commerce industry is user experience analytics, which works on creating the right architecture for a website. An estimated 30-40 per cent of the business on these websites is driven by Big Data and analytics tools that they implement. We are witnessing an era where consumer actions are being integrated with technology to add great value to all the parties involved.

Digitalization is real, and a growing number of Indian companies are already reaping handsome rewards from it. To avoid missing the “digital bus,” numerous e-tailers have rushed to adopt digital technologies such as social media and cloud technologies without appropriately aligning it to their broader business goals. In order to harness the digitization drive, online retailers can employ the best practices to enhance benefits and address challenges.

Interactive shopping and the rise of
customer loyalty

Gartner predicts there will be some 30 billion web-connected devices globally by 2020. To stay one step ahead, consideration is needed into how new technologies will affect specific customer groups, and anticipate their needs. As e-commerce firms look at cutting on discounts and start making money, interactive shopping such as apps, kiosks all of them have become even more important. Snapdeal, believes that delivering exactly at the time promised is more important than delivering before time. The company has now come out with a specialised “online logistics platform” that will offer five time-bands from which a shopper can choose one. The logistics platform will be integrated with all partners to maintain an end-to-end visibility of the order.

Various business intelligence software are being developed to store and process big data around customer transactions, which is helping is enabling e-commerce players to deliver goods soon after getting an order, offer multiple time-band options for delivery, study buying patterns and prompt the buyer even before they decide to click. In terms of a brand’s website, a basic mobile site just doesn’t cut it anymore. The key to providing a successful omnichannel experience is to offer the same service regardless of device – the user experience is improved ten-fold by having a consistently responsive website across phone, tablet or PC. Technology has its glitches and some customers might need a little support, so ensuring that well-trained, knowledgeable staffs are on hand to both minimize confusion and retain trust is a must. It is essential to provide a consistent customer service experience across all platforms. This is what retains engagement and loyalty, and increases the quality of customer data.

Developments in the Light of Existing Industry Context- The Roadmap

Indian IT services firms have begun talking about SMAC-driven growth and according to research firm International Data Corp’s (IDC) estimate, Indian IT vendors will generate at least $225 billion in SMAC-related revenue in 2020. The trend of Predictive Analytics is becoming mainstream and more and more businesses are incorporating it in day-to-day activities to harness its power. The maturity of businesses is also rising, as are the expectations and now the focus is on getting gleaning actionable intelligence for future events. Online shopping cos. like Myntra encourage their customers to transact only from apps because consumer data is most valuable when tied to specific individuals, as it enables a closer tracking of user behaviour. It is also the reason why Google, Facebook, and other tech companies want your mobile number as well.

Retailers, both online and regular, are using data from loyalty programs to analyse past buying behaviour and predict the promotions a customer is most likely to participate in, or make purchases in the future. Marketing functions can explore analytics for retaining or reactivating customers with the right incentives. Manufacturing organizations are also exploiting its power in various ways. Analytics platforms for e-commerce players offer strategic value as well as tactical guidance. These online retailers and other industry players could make good use of structured data and unstructured information using analytics models to enhance their customer service levels and operational performance.



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