The Why and How of Analytics in B2B eCommerce
As B2B customers expect the same sophistication and convenience from eCommerce as they enjoy in the B2C world, companies are under immense pressure to deliver eCommerce experiences that not only meet customer expectations but also drive revenue growth, accelerated conversions, and higher average order values. Analytics provides a promising way of achieving these goals; through real-time analysis of data across different avenues of business, B2B organizations can transform business operations and customer experiences – simultaneously.
Most B2B organizations today have woken up to the significance data holds in making accurate, timely, and informed business decisions. The ongoing pandemic has made it all the more critical for them to unearth insights from data, so they can take steps in the right direction in these uncertain times while optimizing resources and addressing emerging changes. This is also true for organizations embarking on major initiatives to transform customer experiences; in addition to needing the necessary functional and technical skills to execute their B2B eCommerce strategies, they will also need to turn data into information and information into insights to drive results.
Analytics allows B2B eCommerce organizations to unearth key trends and patterns across:
- Customer service: Using analytics, teams can discover ways and means to integrate customer feedback into customer service experiences while spending less time searching and more time engaging with customers. They can better understand customer needs, leverage knowledge base articles that are customized for the current context, and solve customer issues more quickly – improving both resolution rates as well as customer loyalty and retention.
- Market: As market trends constantly evolve, analytics can allow B2B organizations to act on actionable and previously unrealized insights across their target markets. Companies can use these insights to identify and capitalize on new revenue opportunities, maintain brand awareness, monitor customer sentiment, and accordingly develop marketing campaigns and pricing strategies.
- Supply chain: Most B2B organizations find themselves struggling to overcome challenges across their complex and constantly evolving supply chains. For such organizations, analytics can provide visibility via a single source of truth across the length and breadth of their organization. They can more easily identify disruptions and risks and proactively solve problems for maximum business value.
- Operations: Analytics delivers several benefits for B2B companies looking to keep operations running smoothly. Using analytics, they can achieve end-to-end monitoring of their operations while getting intelligent recommendations to improve business SLAs and reduce costs. Organizations can also use analytics to better understand resource utilization, analyze workflows, manage capacity, and troubleshoot issues in real-time.
- Sales: Analytics also allows B2B eCommerce companies to analyze the vast collection of sales to better understand customer relationships, evaluate sales activities in the context of previous successes, and drive better sales. They can act on critical sales data to take actions based on insights, build strong relationships with customers, and close opportunities faster.
Curating, implementing, and governing a fully functional analytics program is not just about implementing a handful of analytics tools; it requires you to follow a clearly defined process to make the most of the data you have and leverage it in the best way possible to deliver amazing customer experiences.
- Define your goals: The first step towards successful analytics implementation is defining the goals you want to achieve using analytics. It is these goals that let you direct efforts in the right direction – with minimum effort and cost. Are you looking to streamline your supply chain? Increase sales conversions? Strengthen relationships with customers? Improve click-through rates?
- Evaluate your processes: Once you have clarity on your analytics goals, the next step involves a careful and detailed evaluation of your current B2B eCommerce organization. Instead of opting for enterprise-wide implementation, such assessment will highlight avenues of your business that will really benefit from an analytics implementation.
- Engage with the right vendor: If you are collecting humongous amounts of data about your business, customers, and markets, you need to engage with a vendor who covers the entire lifecycle of analytics: from strategy to implementation. Having experience of working with a wide array of platforms and tools, a partner can help in assimilating data from different sources, cleansing, storing, and maintaining it, and unearthing actionable insights – and create measurable value for your B2B eCommerce organization.
- Opt for the right tools: Given how popular analytics has become, the market is buzzing with analytics tools. But just like there is no one-size-fits-all analytics strategy, there is also no single tool that can meet the specific analytics needs of different organizations. Therefore, instead of choosing a tool that is popular or trending, make sure to study available tools in detail, evaluate the various features, and then choose one that fits your needs the best.
- Track and measure: If you want to translate your analytics objectives into quantifiable results, you need to constantly track and measure your KPIs. Such tracking can not only provide details on how your analytics project is functioning; it will also allow you to work on roadblocks and bottlenecks, so you can derive maximum benefits from your analytics efforts.
For B2B organizations looking to make the most of their eCommerce website, embracing analytics is a great way to drive the required results. However, for long-term results, do not look at analytics as a one-time technology implementation; make it a constantly evolving process that gets updated with every new goal, insight, feature, and trend. This way you can always be sure that your analytics program acts only on the latest, most updated, and accurate data that is relevant to your current business objectives.