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What Customer Data Should Your Business be Collecting?

Customer data has proven to be the backbone of growth for businesses especially in the world of e-commerce. Data plays a very important role in marketing, sales, business development, customer services and nearly every other aspect of an online business.

In this article we will discuss the importance of customer data and the types of customer data that you should collect. We would also highlight a strategy to help you decide the data that your business should be collecting and how our AI powered customer data management platform Engage can do it all for you.

However before we go into all that detail it is important to understand what consumer data is and the main types in which consumer data is divided.

What is Customer Data?

Customer data is a broad term that encompasses all the information about your customers as well as the information regarding their interaction with your business. Customer data includes the most basic information such as customer's name, date of birth, email address etc. to things such as their favourite products, all the touch points that they have come in contact with, and data collected through other venues such as social media platforms, websites, mobile phone application etc.

Consumer data is of a lot of value to the businesses that have a data driven strategy in place for growth and optimization of their business. From customised product recommendations to enhancing customer satisfaction and optimising business practises, data analytics plays a very important role in all aspects of the business.

At Engage, we not only collect customer data for our clients from various online sources associated with their business but we also store, analyse and produce highly informative reports that can help them make informed business decisions. Our customer data platform allows you to get the maximum value out of your data.

Types of Customer Data:

As mentioned earlier, customer data includes various distinct pieces of information such as names, emails, IP addresses, touch points, transactions, reviews, social interactions and so much more. With so much data available from different sources it often becomes difficult for businesses to make sense of the data and decide which is most important for their business needs.

To solve this problem consumer data is usually divided into four main categories. These categories help companies in deciding which data is important in which aspect of their business and ensures an easy understanding of the data. The four categories are defined as;

1. Personal Data

Personal data which is also called basic data includes things such as names, phone numbers, emails, physical addresses, social security numbers etc. Personal data is further divided into two main categories: personally identifiable information and non-personally identifiable information. Let's take a brief look at what these types are and what kind of data is included in them.

Personally Identifiable Information:

This data type includes things that can be directly or indirectly (after combining with any other piece of information) used to identify a person. Some examples of identity data that can directly identify an individual include things such as full names, phone numbers, physical address, passport number etc. Similarly identity data that can identify a person once combined with another piece of information includes data such as first name, last name, race, gender, job title etc.

Personally Non-Identifiable Information:

This type of data is anonymous in nature and cannot be used to identify any individual. Some examples of non-identifiable information include things such as language, browser, screen size, device IDs and cookies collected from your website.

2. Interactional Data

Interactional or engagement data allows you to have a deeper look into the interactions between customers and your business. Interactional data is a gold mine for marketing teams as it allows them to have a detailed insight into how customers are interacting with various marketing channels in which they are investing. This data can be used to figure out the effectiveness of marketing strategies and how it can be improved.

Interactional data includes website visits, email engagement, click through rate, open rate, app stickiness, social media sites performance, cost per click etc.

3. Behavioural Data

Behavioural data, as the name suggests, gives you an insight to customer behaviour by analysing their customer journey. It allows you to have a deeper understanding as to what kind of products are being liked by a certain group of customers. Equipped with this data you can provide personalised product recommendations to your customers according to their taste and preferences.

This data type includes transactional data such as current purchase details, previous purchase history, cart abandonment details, average customer lifetime value etc. This data also includes qualitative data such as heatmaps including scroll, click and mouse movement data to give you an insight into the areas of the website that receive most attention from your users.

4. Attitudinal Data

Attitudinal data gives you an insight as to how customers feel about your company or the products or services that you are offering. It is mostly qualitative data and is subjective in nature as it is driven by customer's emotions towards your organisation or service.

Attitudinal data is collected directly from customers in the form of surveys, online reviews, complaints, customer feedback surveys etc.

Essential Customer Data According to Your Business Needs:

Now that you know different types of data that can be collected using our data collection and analysis platform Engage, the question arises as to what kind of consumer data should your business be collecting?

What often happens with businesses that are new to data collection and analysis is that they fail to identify the data that they actually need. Since there is so much data available and from so many different sources that this confusion is only natural.

A better approach in this regard is that instead of looking at the data available businesses should identify the way in which they want to use the data. When it comes to business everything is investment and before investing in data collection and analysis businesses need to identify what kind of return they are expecting.

At Engage we always encourage and assist our clients in coming up with questions that are most crucial for their business growth. These question can include things such as;

  • Which marketing channels are responsible for most conversions?
  • What are the most liked products in their store?
  • How many customers are returning and how many are new?
  • What are the places in a customer's journey where most of your customers are lost?
  • What is the most common reason for cart abandonment for their business?

Once a set of questions is formed it becomes easier to figure out the most important data points for your business and to cut through the noise more effectively. It is questions like these that enable Engage to collect customer data from your online store and analyse it to help you come up with an effective data based business strategy.

Customer Data According to Your Departmental Needs:

For any data driven organisation, it is important to understand that different types of data are required by different departments of the company. In this section of the article we will discuss data required by different departments to enhance their workflow and get better results.

When data is divided according to its uses it often becomes more clear for our clients to not only realise the importance of consumer data but also helps them in understanding what are the types of customer data that they should collect.

1. Customer Data for Marketing

Marketing departments are one of the main benefactors of a data driven strategy. With competition in online businesses increasing the work for people in digital marketing is becoming more complex by the day. Customers now have multiple avenues of discovering and getting in touch with your business.

Marketing isn't very cheap either and it is the responsibility of the marketing team to ensure that they are getting the maximum out of every buck that is being spent. Let's take a look at the type of data that can help marketing teams in setting up effective marketing strategies and give them a competitive advantage.

Name, contact details (emails and phone numbers), business name etc. are some of the main data points required by marketing teams to gear up and get started with their email marketing or any other marketing campaigns. Along with this subscription preferences also play a major role in ensuring that relevant content is being sent to your prospects.

Marketing department is also heavily dependent on the data that allows them to segment customers in different groups. Customer segmentation is the backbone of customizable marketing strategy and allows you to pick your target audience effectively. Data required for customer segmentation can include things such as physical address, favourite products, age and engagement details as to where a certain lead generated from etc.

Engage by Zubi allows you to not only collect customer data but also gives you highly personalised reports after analysing this data by using our Machine Learning based models. These highly informative reports can ensure a data driven marketing strategy for your organisation and streamline your marketing efforts.

2. Customer Data for Sales

An effective sales department ensures that an interested lead ends up converting into a successful sale. It is one of the most important departments in any organisation and equipping it with the power of data analytics can do wonders for your business.

It is important to collect and understand all the data relevant to a successful as well as unsuccessful deal. This can help you in understanding which strategies and working and what it is that your team needs improvement in. Cart abandonment data for example can help you in understanding why customers are leaving their carts without checking out. Our AI based on analysis of this data can help you tackle cart abandonment issues.

Similarly collecting data and then analysing it can help you understand important aspects regarding your customers such as customer lifetime value. This matrix allows you to understand the long term value that a potential customer brings to your business. At Engage we collect data and provide you with valuable insights that can not only help you bring in new customers but also ensure that you have all the right information regarding your existing customers such as purchase history, amount spent, touch points in their journey and more.

3. Customer Data for Customer Services

Collecting customer data has proven to be of great help for the customer services department in many ways. You can enhance and improve the way your organisation remains in touch with the customers to extend the customer lifecycle and generate more revenue. Improved customer service is one of many benefits of analysing data and using it for your benefit.

A primary goal of any customer services department is to reduce churn and enhance customer experience. In order to do so matrices such as Customer Satisfaction Score and Net Promoter Score are great indicators of customer experience. Good customer service ensures not only long term clients but also results in new customers through word of mouth marketing.

It is also important to know the reason behind customer churn. Data collection and analysis through data platforms like Engage allows you to pinpoint the reasons behind customer churn and the ways in which you can avoid that from happening in the future.

Conclusion

The importance of collecting and analysing data cannot be denied. This is especially true for e-commerce businesses because they have a very data driven competition in the market. Equipped with a powerful data platform like Engage, collecting, analysing and getting the best out of your data has never been easier. We not only collect data but also provide you with actionable insights to help you get the most out of your consumer data.

If you are still confused about any aspect of collecting data , its analysis or how our tool can help you implement a data driven approach in different aspects of your business, please feel free to contact us! Our experts will be more than happy to guide and assist you in your journey to getting the best out of your data.