Retailers are not yet taking full advantage of their website data and customer data to increase engagement and drive sales growth, according to a survey by Bronto Software and RSR Research, which found that those integrating their e-commerce and marketing platforms are seeing stronger customer loyalty and a greater share of revenue.
Most consumers begin shopping long before they enter a store or add items to their online shopping cart. There's a wealth of consumer intent data produced during each stage of the buying process that could help retailers drive more sales, yet many fail to capitalise on these opportunities due to poor data collection processes and lack of integration between marketing and e-commerce platforms.
The report, entitled 'Harnessing the Power: How Retailers Collect and Use Purchase-Related Data', examined retailers' data collection and email practices during the pre-purchase, in-purchase and post-purchase stages. During the pre-purchase stage, the study found that most consumers do their homework before buying by first visiting retailer, manufacturer and product review websites to compare products and prices. However, 47% of retailers said they do not collect product-level website browsing data that can be associated with a specific email subscriber.
The survey also found that 22% of retailers are not currently exchanging data between their email service provider and e-commerce platform (i.e. click-throughs from emails are not being tracked or measured in any way) thereby limiting the potential for driving increased sales through in-purchase and post-purchase email campaigns.
The study also examined retailers' email opt-in, abandoned cart and transactional practices during the in-purchase stage, again identifying several missed opportunities for retailers to more effectively grow email subscriber lists and improve their email targeting.
Once the purchase is completed, retailers have the opportunity to entice a customer to make their next purchase, write reviews, and become a loyal customer or even a brand advocate. But the survey found that many retailers are still failing to take advantage of that opportunity, with only 24% saying they customise campaigns aimed at active purchasers beyond standard transactional communications (i.e. order acknowledgements and shipping confirmations).
"Retailers have a lot to gain from consumer purchase data, but many still struggle to make data actionable, so they're missing out on revenue opportunities," concluded Jim Davidson, marketing research manager for Bronto Software. "Those who have closed the data gap by integrating their marketing and e-commerce platforms are already reaping the rewards through greater customer loyalty and share of revenue."
The full survey report has been made available for free from Bronto Software's web site - click here (free registration required).