Businesses have the opportunity to work more intelligently than ever because of the access they have to data that conveys who their customers are, how they behave, and what they want from a business. By 2020, data production will exceed 44 trillion gigabytes, according to research by the International Data Corporation. More than 75 percent of companies plan on investing in big data to drive better business practices and solutions, but currently only 0.5 percent of data is used.
Research published in the International Small Business Journal found customer data helps businesses optimize the precision of their operations, while helping employees across all areas to become more involved in improving competitive thinking for the business. With so much data to choose from, selecting the right bits of data to work with is crucial.
As a merchant that accepts payments from customers, analytics gleaned from the simple act of payment processing gives your business rich insight into your customers, in addition to tools that show competitor analyses. Here are five ways to use payment analytics to improve sales for your business.
Analyze the Behavior of New Versus Returning Customers
The purchasing behaviors of your new versus returning customers can clue you in to what is attracting people to your business compared to what is increasing business loyalty in current customers for your brand. By comparing the purchasing behavior of new and returning customers, you can:
- Gain a better understanding of what types of marketing promotions draw customers in
- Determine the products and services that dominate each type of customer’s buying journey, and highlight those to the appropriate parties
- Work on improving the products and services that help you maintain steady business
Acquiring a new customer can cost up to 10 times more than keeping a current one. Online, use cross-selling opportunities to present new products or services to customers who match patterns of other buying behaviors. You can mirror these patterns in a physical store by grouping certain items together in displays or aisles.
Pinpoint Top Referrers and Optimize Traffic
If your business has an ecommerce store, your payment analytics tool referrals section can show you where customers were before they came to your site. This allows you to see where top traffic sources are, so you can put in effort to enhance your presence there and improve your standing on sites that aren’t driving as many referrals as you’d like.
Traffic source data can help to spur digital marketing campaigns and pay-per-click advertising. If you’re a brand-new business and don’t have significant rankings on search engines yet, investing in Google AdWords or Bing Ads can help to spur momentum. If you want to grow your presence on social media, Facebook Advertising or Twitter Advertising can help. You can then integrate payment conversion tracking in those campaigns, which can also help grow organic traffic. A payment analytics tool that helps you monitor your reputation on social sites helps boost sentiment for your brand.
Compare Your Business to Competitors
Monitoring the actions of your competitors can help you stay one step ahead. Use a tool that allows you to see when competing businesses make adjustments so you can serve new needs. For example, if you can see that a similar nearby business’s revenue dropped when they started closing at an earlier time, you can adjust your hours and stay open later to attract their old customers.
Tracking the economic health of nearby businesses helps you to see what products or services local customers are interested in, trends your business can take advantage of, and what types of marketing campaigns are resonating with customers. You can then apply these insights to your own business initiatives.
Identify Annual Trends in Your Business
If you’ve been in business for at least a couple years, you can probably start identifying trends related to seasons, holidays, local events, and even weather patterns. Maybe springtime brings in an influx of sports enthusiasts for baseball spring training events. Or, you know that summertime is your slow season because locals tend to head out of town for vacation. You can use patterns like these to pump up your marketing efforts accordingly, or offer seasonal specials your customers will love.
It is also vital to dive deep into revenue spikes and see what caused them. You may notice that a day that doesn’t typically stand out on a calendar brought you significant business. Pay attention to marketing and advertising promotions you were running, anything that was noteworthy in the news, and any changes your competitors may have made that attributed to the boost so you can capitalize on a similar strategy in the future.
Use Demographic Analysis to Shape Your Business
When you start your business, you have a picture of your ideal customer in mind. As you operate, this may shift remarkably. Who is drawn to your product may be surprising, and it’s important to thrill those unexpected customers with more products and services that speak to them. Demographics data can also clue your business in to where the next best possible location to open another branch of your business is.
Learn about where your customers make purchases, what their age and income levels are, and how they spend time online. Create new products or services for those who fit demographics with the biggest revenue opportunities. Your business may evolve and expand in ways you never anticipated.
Create Better Strategies for Data
Effectively using data requires strategy and testing. Customer payment data can help you optimize your inventory, make the customer experience in your brick-and-mortar store more pleasurable, and feature better items on your website homepage based on what day of the year it is. Having an analytics tool in place to capture insights and present them in an easy-to-read manner can help more facets of your business improve their operations.
When you use payment processing from North American Bancard, you gain access to the powerful MyBizPerks Insights powered by Womply tool, which gives you better insights into your own business and into what’s working for competitors. Contact us to learn more about payment analytics for your business.