Five Ways To Collect Data To Benefit Your Company and Your Customers

Amazon.com is famous for gathering data about consumers and then leveraging that data in a way that is beneficial to everyone: Amazon.com itself, the customer whose data is collected and all customers in general. Taken from speeches given by Andreas Weigend, the former Chief Scientist of Amazon.com, here are 5 ways to collect data and use it in a way that benefits your company and your customers.

Our recommendation would be to follow these pieces of advice and then use Bime to analyze the data you've managed to extract. This way you can be sure to have explored every possible opportunity and make sure that the actions you take are the most effective and the one which are likely to lead to the most conversions.

1. Track Clicks That Lead To Purchases

Amazon is renown for giving customers suggestions based on what other customers have purchased. They get this data from tracking clicks and purchases. The data helps them understand what a customer really wants and it helps other customers make decisions about what to buy. It helps you and your company by telling you what works best and what perhaps does not work so well.

2. Track Clicks That Don’t Lead To Purchases

You can also benefit from tracking where a customer does not make a purchase, or at what stage of the buying process they abandon the purchase. These clicks reveal what your customers are interested in and therefore help you to understand them better. They can also be used to put measures in place which assist customers in their decision about what to buy. On an Amazon.com page, for example, you can see the percentage of people who bought the item you’re looking at, as well as a list of other products people bought instead with the percentage that made an alternate purchase.

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3. Allow Customers To Pass On The Message

Letting customers “Forward” or “Tell A Friend” pretty much enables customers to market your products and services for you. Not only does it do this, but the data also helps you understand more about a customer’s social network and relationships with other customers or prospective customers. The customer is able to create or enhance an image with her friends and demonstrate knowledge in a particular area. The friend benefits with information to help make a purchasing decision. An all round win for everyone!

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4. Provide A Way To Annotate

By this, we essentially mean free knowledge about your products and services that can help your company. Amazon is probably the most famous for its product reviews. Customers voluntarily submit reviews that help other customers decide what to buy. Whether it’s reviews, enhanced documentation, user support or other contributed knowledge, the intellectual capital that customers add can be of enormous value. The data helps you understand what customers are paying the most attention to and any feedback for your product can be used to improve your product or service. Once again, it helps the customer enhance her image and provides a certain level of “fame” for having her contribution displayed on your website. Just as Amazon uses product reviews, we use customer testimonials for Bime users to tell us what's hot and what's not.

5. Mine Search Data

By capturing what your website visitors search for you'll be well underway to understanding customer intentions and interests. At a minimum, analyzing the most common search terms – both found and not found – can help you understand why people come to your website, which products and services are of most interest, terminology you should be using to communicate with customers and other areas are of interest that you don’t support now but should consider supporting in the future. If you take action based on search results, it can benefit your customers by making things easier to find, or even by creating new products and services that they need. A common way to monitor search is by looking at Google organic search data in your analytics account. Use Bime to drill down deeper into this data and reveal trends, patterns and opportunities.

Can you think of any more? We'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

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