The Importance of Collecting Relevant Data in Ecommerce

– The author used to collect emails as a gold standard in ecommerce, but realized that not all signups were of equal quality and didn’t provide enough context.
– The author encourages others to question common practices and not blindly follow advice from others in the industry.
– The author emphasizes the importance of capturing relevant data about the customer journey and using it to improve conversion rates and marketing strategies.Collect relevant data about the customer journey at the point of highest intent in order to better understand and improve conversion rates.Hindsight is 20/20. When I started in e-commerce, I used to collect emails as the gold standard. Subscribers were people who showed intent and wanted to purchase. Then I saw a problem: not all signups were created equal. I had no context as to why people were signing up, so I didn’t know the quality of traffic being driven from different sources. I didn’t know why some subscribers converted and others didn’t. I wasn’t tracking subscription to conversion rates, and I didn’t know if certain elements of their customer journey made them more or less likely to convert. Admittedly, I was blindly guessing.

For the last 2 years, I’ve talked to agencies and marketing directors across lots of brands, and everyone is fine with guessing. They aren’t at the point of questioning things that I was years ago. Having been in a position of seeing what I used to do and how I currently do things, I would never go back. Why make life harder than it needs to be? One day, I hope you’ll look back at your email capture and wonder why you were trading a discount for just an email or a phone number like I did. I hope you’ll come to the conclusion that you missed out on capturing relevant data to the customer journey at the point of highest intent in their journey.

Right now, your email provider will show that 50% of people never open an email, and the money you spent to collect those emails was completely worthless because you got no contextual value at all from them. Those quotes about 80% of people wanting an SMS from brands, yet opt-in rates struggle to crack 50% and unsubscribe rates are high as well, will stop making sense. You’ll look at your numbers and find that collecting an SMS during signup actually doesn’t improve conversion rates; your software was just lying to you.

We’re in an attention economy, and instead of using that limited attention to better understand who your visitor was, you just asked for their phone number and told them you’d text them later. You’ll also read posts about people saying don’t trade a discount for a subscription because it’s eating away at your margins, but then you’ll remember that you do a 40% off sale every holiday period, and every few months you have a big sale that’s responsible for the majority of your revenue, and you’ll realize maybe it’s not your signup discount that’s killing your margin.

Hindsight is 20/20. Hold yourself to a higher standard. Stop blindly listening to what people post about on this platform. Most of it is self serving and deserves to be questioned. I can’t force this shift, I’ve tried for years. What’s common sense to me isn’t connecting for the majority of the industry. So you do you, I’ll support you either way, if you want to work harder than is necessary, be my guest. Looking for new shiny tools to hack growth, I also wish you the best. I’ll be the one quietly building for the customer journey, automating marketing, and building data assets. #ecommerce #data #strategy

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