18Nov 2020

An E-Commerce Game-Changer? Introducing Data-Driven Customer Profiles

Cary Murphy

An E-Commerce Game-Changer? Introducing Data-Driven Customer Profiles

Every marketer wants consumer data. But if you’re a nationwide retail chain with over a thousand locations and tens of thousands of daily transactions, the amount of data flowing in can be overwhelming. How can you process all this data and turn it into actionable insights?

That’s where Lift361 comes in. For decades, the Atlanta-based analytics consulting firm has specialized in helping big companies (like Kohl’s, Stein Mart and Hertz) sort through their huge amounts of consumer data, organize it, enhance it and ultimately use it to make better business decisions.

Data continues to be big business, but this year’s global pandemic has presented some exceptional challenges for large retailers and has accelerated the trend toward online sales. As some businesses are retracting, others are thriving. For the folks at Lift361, the climate revealed an opportunity to pursue a new market.

Data-Driven Results for Smaller Companies

In 2020, Lift361 launched ShopFluency, an analytics company specifically designed to help DTC companies using platforms such as Shopify and WooCommerce get the most out of their data.

“We saw the need for smaller companies to get the same kinds of insights that larger companies had been getting,” says Seth Hirsch, co-founder of ShopFluency. “Being in a position to make the most of consumer data can help smaller companies skip a lot of steps and dramatically accelerate their results.”

Here’s a quick rundown of how ShopFluency works.

First, the company painlessly extracts the data from your e-commerce platform (e.g. Shopify) using an API connection that takes just minutes to set up. ShopFluency then marries your store-level customer information with other sources of household demographic data (Experian, census data, etc.), which allows it to build clear, data-derived customer profiles.

“Being able to clearly articulate who your best customers are is a gray area for a lot of businesses. Some may have the tools to do this broadly, but they can’t drill down to specifics,” says Hirsch. “These very specific profiles can help to enhance your tactics, like better targeting with social ads and email, but also bridges the gap to merchandising and customer services, so everyone can be using the same language.”

Is that important? Well, 63% of consumers think that companies should make “getting to know them better” a top priority, and only 23% of CMOs believe they are consistently delivering the right message to the right audiences (per Pega research).

Using Custom Audiences to Improve KPIs

At The Brandon Agency, we’ve just started to use these ShopFluency customer profiles for several of our e-commerce clients, and the segmentation of these audiences has so far proven incredibly useful. First, it gives us the ability to understand (with no guesswork) which customer segments will provide the strongest return on ad spend (ROAS) or have the highest growth potential. It then allows us to immediately put this information to work by building customer look-alike audiences to feed directly into ad platforms like Facebook.

“We recently did a test with a client using these look-alike audiences based on their customer profiles, and they were able to see a 20% increase in advertising effectiveness month over month,” says Hirsch.

ShopFluency has the ability to maintain these customer databases in a real-time dashboard, so the custom audiences and segments are continually being updated with new customer information. The company has also developed API integrations with Klaviyo and MailChimp, so you can easily maintain a segmented mail list and customize your messaging based on each profile. (In case you’re wondering, segmented email campaigns have a 14% higher open rate and a 100% higher click rate, according to MailChimp statistics.)

Building Unique Audiences & Profiles

There are a lot of analytics and SaaS companies out there making promises about improving your data and analytics, but it seems that most mainly focus on providing better-looking dashboards or easier to access information and reporting. These may be helpful, but the real power of ShopFluency comes from its ability to capture and merge your data with other, third-party sources to build an enhanced profile.

As Hirsch explains: “There are a lot of companies focused on data visualization, but we haven’t seen anyone else that is using customer demographic data to augment and build profiles. We’re also able to leverage our experience working with giant companies to bridge the gap between consulting and product. We want to make sure our customers understand the data, and we want to help them make the most of it.”

Hirsch and his team are currently working on refining these next steps. Ultimately, along with the profiles, insights and recommendations, ShopFluency expects to provide a bulletproof 30-day plan that will clearly outline the best way to use the information in a step-by-step fashion.

If you’re interested in putting these data-driven profiles to work for your business, contact us here at the Brandon Agency and we can implement them, turbocharging your full-funnel marketing efforts.

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