The Predictive Analytics Boom and Its Impact on E-commerce Marketers Today
Steadily but surely, predictive analytics has been gaining in popularity. It’s expected to explode this year as it becomes more accessible and goes from being a competitive advantage to a necessity. To fully understand how it impacts e-commerce marketers today, first we’ve got to look back to the past.
Traditionally, predictive analytics has been reserved for top brands such as eBay and Netflix. eBay is focused on using predictive analytics to make its shopping experience better for both buyers and sellers. Indeed, eBay considered predictive analytics so important that it acquired SalesPredict to boost its AI, machine learning and data science efforts.
When a company like eBay spends millions on an acquisition for the sake of predictive analytics, e-commerce marketers must take note.
There are a couple of reasons that eBay made this move:
- Better understanding of what their customers wanted.
- Access to advanced insights for improving conversion rates and accelerating sales cycles.
- More targeted offers with relevant information for buyers.
- The ability to build-out predictive models that can define the probability of selling a given product at a given price over time.
In other words, predictive analytics answers some of the biggest challenges facing e-commerce marketers and business owners.
How to Use Predictive Analytics Like eBay Does
To achieve similar benefits to eBay, you only need to take the following four steps:
- Track e-commerce metrics and create a one-day forecast. Then identify any deviation between the forecast and the actual metrics.
- Determine the cause of deviations from your one-day predictions. Assuming the deviation can be minimized, take steps to do so; otherwise, use it to establish a confidence level in your predictions.
- Create progressively longer-term predictions, ranging from one day to 18 months.
- Use predictions to answer “what if” questions such as, “What if we increase advertising spend?” or “what if we decrease stock for this item?” and more.
Obviously, it’s easier said than done, but with the proper tools and strategy, you can be predicting the future in no time.
Overcoming Common Challenges
Predictive analytics isn’t without its challenges. For one, it can be difficult to trust the data, especially when your “gut” and past experiences may indicate otherwise. But even more challenging is doing predictive analytics right.
In a competitive business world of big ideas and small attention spans, it is a challenge in and of itself to compel onlookers to turn into customers. What a lot of industries fail to recognize is that by giving these onlookers subtle, but very real, incentives to buy your product or service, you are substantially increasing your odds of converting sales. Below are 5 ideas as to how you can, and will, do just that:
Limited Time Offers
By pushing a limited time offer onto your potential customers, you apply a sense of pressure (but nothing invasive) to viewers who are on-the-fence about your product or service. Simply put, people feel compelled to meet deadlines, especially when there is the notion of scarcity. In this case, time is of the essence. For example, the world renowned Air Jordan sneakers have seen time and again the lengths people will go to get their hands on a limited product.
Thanks to social media and the growing prevalence of rating sites such as Yelp, TripAdvisor, FourSquare, and the like, consumers are gaining greater access to useful reviews that extend beyond the almighty word-of-mouth recommendation or condemnation.
Here, we’re uncovering 8 myths commonly ascribed to the role of social media in online reviews:
Myth #1: My business needs to be present on every social network
This myth is perhaps the saddest and most misinformed of the bunch—if you’re trying to rake up likes, follows, and comments across every social network and ranking platform possible, you might as well be chasing your tail, as it’ll be a never-ending game of catch-up that won’t be worth the time and effort invested. Instead of spreading yourself thin, focus on the platforms where your greatest audience segments already spend their time and interact with your business. Though your customers may be present on all such platforms, focus your time and attention on those with the greatest engagement with your brand, and respond accordingly.
With each passing year, our science-fiction fantasies of yesterday are becoming fast-moving realities, unfolding right before our very eyes. As the world becomes more technologically advanced, we see a shift from personal assistants who work at home to actual AI virtual personal assistants. This engineered entity residing in software connects with humans in a human way to deliver full-fledged “virtual identities” that converse with users.
From well-known voice-powered AIs such as Apple’s Siri to upstarts like Viv, Clara Labs and x.ai, their goal is to quicken the actions you already take on your personal and business devices, growing ever-more efficient at the job by learning from your behavior.
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Your brand is the way your consumers perceive your business. And spending time and money to create and nurture a strategy, almost certainly guarantees success. A strong brand ensures recognition, informs people of your business’ core values, fosters trust due to familiarity, and most importantly allows you to connect emotionally with your customers.
Here are some household names that got it right:
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How well do you know what your employees are capable of? After the initial hiring interviews, hands-on training, and performance reviews have passed, there may still exist a few hidden mysteries about your employees’ abilities. Aside from exhibiting competency in their normal day-to-day duties, each person in your employ perhaps holds untapped potential simply waiting to manifest itself, given the right opportunity. The question is, how do you find out about those secret talents?
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As your business expands, you probably try to manage its growth with tools that keep you organised and efficient. As they are the ones facing your customers and bringing in the money, managing your sales force is probably at the top of your list.
But, there’s a catch: when growing your business, defining and managing internal processes for your sales team may create a problem. Your employees are not just sorted variables, they are people. And for them to represent you well in front of your customers, you need to empower and motivate them while you introduce new work methods.
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Before the 1990s, the term “user engagement” didn’t exist. At the time, billboards and newspapers were the most novel way to interact with potential clients. The early 2000s set the stage for the current digital landscape with ecommerce platforms and the launch of the global ecommerce service, Paypal.
The completely innovative introduction of ecommerce platforms and websites has allowed brands and business in general to enhance their customer base and, most importantly, user experience.
Today, it takes creative methods for a brand to stay relevant in the ever-changing tide of the online world. Furthermore, to maintain ownership of its user base, it must redefine online engagement. So what are we waiting for, let’s get your engaged users back!
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