Michael Ross: chief scientist at eCommera
Michael Ross: chief scientist at eCommera
A view from Michael Ross

Brands are being damaged by online data disconnection

While the majority of brands and retailers have taken steps to optimise the cross-channel consumer experience, the same cannot be said for operational silos that...

In the eCommera survey of more than 100 online retailers, most admitted to being overwhelmed rather than enabled by the data their customer journeys generate, with 61 per cent claiming functional silos impact their ability to rapidly respond to performance dips and spikes.

In the online world, the level of co-ordination required is extraordinary, and without an integrated data overview, it’s impossible for ecommerce brands to accurately measure success and make improvements.

Looking at each silo in isolation opens the door for inaccurate conclusions and wrong decisions.

By moving away from silos and connecting each department’s data, online brands can gain a 360-degree view of their activities.

This will allow them to make accurate cost-and-profit readings, and identify areas for improvement using metrics that are relevant to omni-channel ecommerce.

Big data is not a new theme – most brands are well aware of the power of integrated information and analysis – but the reality is that many online businesses are not using data effectively to get an accurate overview of their operations, in order to make profit-driving decisions.

Thirty-seven per cent of retailers we surveyed confessed their marketing, merchandising and operations teams work independently when assessing business performance, and the same proportion remarked that gaining an integrated view across their business was a significant challenge.

One of the core problems for online brands is a data disconnection between their objectives and their actions.

Fifty-nine per cent of those we surveyed claimed profit potential was their primary motivator, but at present they are making decisions using KPIs created from disconnected, incomplete and potentially incorrect data.

Around 44 per cent of brands are using up to five spreadsheets, reports and analytics applications to track performance, making integrated analysis very difficult. A single solution is needed to gain an accurate data view.

Data may be a buzz word in every industry that is being touched by ecommerce, but the truth is we’re seeing brands that make sense of this data making spectacularly better decisions than those that don’t harness it.

By taking a connected overview, the leading brands are redefining their KPIs relevant to their current online activity and making changes that drive visible profit gain as a result.

Michael Ross is chief scientist at eCommera