To say that the current market reality has pushed us all into uncharted territory would be an understatement. With online retailers being at the forefront of the market shift, it’s no surprise that the entire sector has been forced to adapt to new volumes of purchasing and demand, not to mention new consumer demographics.
Many e-commerce organizations needing to readjust their plans for the near future are finding themselves working alongside market conditions predicted for 10 years from now.
Recent data shows that by the end of 2020, global ecommerce sales will reach $4.2 trillion and make up 16% of total retail sales. And these numbers are only predicted to go up as we continue into the ‘20s.
This new market reality has driven plenty of e-commerce organizations to look for immediate data sources to better anticipate consumers’ growing demands. They must also address them with greater effectiveness as well as improve the overall customer experience.
One particular data source that has been successfully and continuously illustrating a truthful and accurate market reality is online data.
Whether it is by listening to consumer sentiments via social media public channels or following inventory needs, product reviews and surging demand trends across the world, online data has been providing a global snapshot, helping businesses to better anticipate and spot the right kind of opportunities to seize.
Now that literally every dollar counts, defining market opportunities early is the difference between winning or losing consumers and their loyalty.
Online Data Collection – the Next Vital Commodity
While businesses have always sought data, online data collection has increasingly become a main data resource, especially today. As the market is facing unprecedented challenges at unparalleled speed, businesses are turning to data for much-needed certainty to plan ahead. Gaining that on-the-spot market view has translated into the need for almost-live consumption of online data as frequently as possible. This realization has been shifting the perception around data, quickly turning it into a must-have commodity.
Traditionally, if you wanted to build your annual plan, you needed to first collect historical as well as current data and then, over a period of several weeks (sometimes months), build your sales as well as your marketing strategy. Now with the market seemingly moving leaps ahead of what was predicted, businesses have started looking for external data sources that are just as dynamic as the market they operate in. This has become a vital element for businesses to prepare for whatever lies ahead. Using live data from external sources also ensures that you can most effectively address your consumer base with the most attractive and best-priced products, as well as offer an enhanced purchasing experience with rich and versatile catalogues.
In today’s world, retailers are seeking frequent streams of live data to provide a relevant snapshot of their consumers’ changing demands. This enables them to make more timely decisions that translate into better results for the long term.
Kickstarting Your Data Collection Operation – Start Small and Expand as Needed Online data collection is basically the only data source that can be as dynamic as you need it to be. It may seem like a big operation to invest in, but in reality, it does not need to be. One fact is clear – data collection is no longer just a recommendation;it is now a necessity –one that every online business must closely monitor.
But how can you start?
First, remember that it’s never too early to start collecting data. The key is to focus on clearly defining your data requirements. Make sure to define the exact data you need to succeed and follow that data path closely.
Second, start small and manually and then gradually expand. You are basing your most critical consumer decisions on these streams of data, and it’s vital that you get it right.
Look for the data that can help you make the fastest and most impactful decisions first. You want your consumers to feel like you are addressing their every need now, and data is the only way to reach that goal. Starting manually will help you work out any early issues and will make your overall data collection operation that much more precise.
Only once you’ve reached those critical channels, you should expand.
Finally, turn to automated data collection solutions to scale up. Data collection probably isn’t the core function tthat youwant your teams and employees across your business to concentrate on. Data should support your core technology or business across the board. So, turn to cost-effective solutions, like automated data collection services, which are both timely and accurate.
Predicting the future with pinpoint precision is a task that will probably remain a massive challenge to all businesses. It will also require businesses to rely on external data resources. Data can get you the live market view you need even in the most dynamically changing realities. Tapping into the right kind of competitive intelligence for your business can go as deep as following your consumers’ interactions with your brand and your competitors’ brands as well as anticipating their next moves or demands.
In unpredictable times such as the ones we’re living through, you need a go-to advisor or resource that will always provide you with the most business-critical information that no other advisor can access. Look no further than online data, which provides the exact information you can’t afford to miss.