What is the main difference between a brick and mortar and e-commerce stores? Physical stores owners can communicate face-to-face with the prospects and try to convince them to purchase and or answer their queries related to products but it’s not possible on e-commerce stores.
Shopify is a platform which gives brick and mortar businesses a pair of wings to fly online with ease. Selling products online makes it really easy for merchants to spread their reach and focus more on their products than taking care of stores. But the question of engaging with a prospective customer is still open.
It’s a very common scenario that a large percentage of prospective customers come to Shopify stores with a clear intention to purchase but they leave the store without purchasing anything. According to a research by Statista, 75.6 percent of online retail orders were abandoned instead of purchasing. This could happen due to any reason ranging from website performance issues, loss of interest and or non-availability of additional information about the product.
By the time the store owner knows about it and perform the root cause analysis and take actions, the customer has already been lost. A brick and mortar store owner can talk to the customer in real-time and answer his queries and convince him to purchase but with e-commerce stores, it takes few seconds for a customer to lose interest and go to a competitor.
To solve this problem a store owner should have the real-time knowledge and should be able to take action in real-time. Shopify store owners need to have a continuous view of their business data in order to avoid a shopping cart abandonment and other such scenarios in which customer leaves the store.
What is the use of real-time data in e-commerce?
Let us understand what real-time e-commerce analytics is. Real-Time analytics allows a store owner to monitor the store and user activity as it happens. All the analytics reports are updated in a continuous manner without any time lag. It gives owners enough time to take actions.
Now the question is how real-time data helps in day to day business actions for Shopify merchants? What exactly store owners should look for? How to act on these data to enhance business?
Generally, e-commerce marketers perform a lot of analysis using historical data and this is excellent data to guide your e-commerce strategy. But using real-time data is a different game altogether. In order to understand when real-time data becomes useful and how exactly you can use it for the benefit of the store, you must think about the actions available to you in the right context.
Real-time data gives you insights about the current performance of the store. After doing the root cause analysis you’ll be able to take actions in real-time. So the stores should focus more on historical data for long-term strategy and planning but should use real-time data to take actions intraday.
Main reasons a Shopify merchant should use real-time data analytics
Here are a few reasons why Shopify store owners should look at real-time data.
- Real-time analytics is able to tell you if the store is down or lagging. It helps in knowing if the website is running properly.
- It helps in knowing the current visitor’s location and traffic source. So you have better data to know how many users are on the website and how they come to the store.
- Real-time data also helps in finding the website’s issues quickly. For example, a high bounce rate may be an indicator of a problem associated with the page loading.
- Real-time data shows if sales are really happening right now. If you are seeing that lots of visitors are visiting your store but still sales are not much then you can assume that there must be some issues with page’s CTA or checkout process.
How Shopify stores can take benefits of real-time e-commerce analytics
Let us take some real-life scenarios where real-time e-commerce analytics data will actually help in enhancing the Shopify stores.
1. Helps in smoothen the process of updating website
Let us talk about a very simple yet important scenario. Suppose a merchant has to update his website and in the process, he feels that the store might not be available for the shopping for some time, in this case, a business owner wants to be sure that it should not affect his business.
If the store is using real-time data analytics tool then it will not be hard for them to know when the website is having low traffic. They can simply choose a time of less user interaction on the store and easily update the website. It will cause minimum disruption and would hardly affect the sales of the store.
2. Pattern recognition for hidden trends
Knowing the trends in traffic and user behavior is one of the most important aspects of e-commerce businesses to be successful. Live real-time data streaming for an e-commerce store is similar to walking down the brick and mortar store floor.
Real-time data analytics gives a pattern of user’s behavior on the store. You can easily analyze if traffic from a specific geography is particularly high on a certain day and time of the week. You can easily use this data to send segmented email campaigns to the relevant user base at the time they are most active on your store.
Real-time analytics can help in recognizing a hidden pattern of user behavior on your website. Businesses can do a root cause analysis on that data and take an action based on the insights. Sometimes it a bit difficult to find a pattern on historic data and sometimes it’s too late to take corrective actions. But real-time analytics helps store owners to see clear patterns in a continuous manner and act on time.
3. Monitoring referral traffic and Social media campaigns
Referral traffic is very important for any e-commerce website. As your brand keeps becoming popular and bigger the referral traffic keeps increasing. The referral traffic can be from different sources and it’s very important to know about those sources.
It can be disappointing for store owners to see store’s historic data and observe that in a particular week it had a large number of visitors from a specific referral source and they couldn’t act on that on a timely manner. In order to take advantage of the high traffic they need to act on time. Real-time analytics can easily give them that advantage to see the pattern of referral data and take actions on time.
They can make relevant offers and or discounts for that specific segment of visitors. When they keep tracking referral sources in real-time then they know a pattern and can make business presence stronger on those sources to take advantage of coming traffic.
Real-time analytics also helps in optimizing social media campaigns. Monitoring social media campaigns in real-time gives businesses an opportunity to act in real-time and engage with prospects.
Real-time analytics helps e-commerce businesses in any scenario where time-sensitive information is involved. Tracking things which are happening in real-time and acting fast on those feedbacks on social media can make a Shopify store stand out.
4. Monitor daily revenue target of Shopify stores
Businesses have weekly, monthly and or quarterly revenue targets. But it’s a good idea to break them down in smaller one like daily revenue target to achieve the success. Shopify stores are not different when it comes to set a daily revenue target.
They can compare their intraday revenue against the daily target or even can compare it against the same day last week and or last month. And it will not be possible without having a good real-time e-commerce analytics tool onboard.
It will help business owners to run a special marketing campaign or blast emails in case they are behind the intraday revenue target on any specific day. Real-time analytics also helps Shopify stores to know the real cause behind not achieving the targets.
5. Selling the right products
E-commerce businesses are all about selling the right products at right time. Store owners might need to sell a specific product on a specific day, time and or occasion. To successfully do this they need to be sure how much traffic they are expecting from targeted prospects? How their prospective customers are behaving on the store? What are the issues visitors are having in purchasing those products?
All these questions can be answered with the help of real-time data. By analyzing real-time data the store owners will know about the visitor’s behavior for particular products and they can easily merchandise those targeted products differently in order to sell more.
6. Checkout and Payment
Checkout is one of the most complex processes in e-commerce business and a large chunk of visitors leave website at this stage. Checkout and payment process should be very simple to have less shopping cart abandonment and to encourage visitors to complete the process.
This process becomes more complex when stores have multiple payment channels like net banking, cards, wallets, and COD. Stores have to deal with a lot of stakeholders in the payment process like a customer, banks, payment gateway, mobile networks etc.
Real-time analytics comes handy in smoothing the checkout and payment process for customers. It helps stores in reducing payment failures. By analyzing real-time payment failures store owners can take corrective actions and save a sell for their store. It also helps in reducing payment frauds.
If you are managing a Shopify store and struggling with analytics then you must choose a real-time e-commerce analytics tool to help your business succeed. If you are not using the power of real-time analytics then you must give it a try.