Ecommerce Customer Data Collection – Getting it Right

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In order to be successful as an Ecommerce business owner, you will at some point have to collect a decent amount of data from your shoppers for analytical purposes. Your web analytics are good for simple stats and figures, but for the really meaty stuff you need to reach out to your shoppers for more personal data…as in the data most aren’t too keen on the idea of handing over.

These days, the last thing anyone wants to think about is having their name and email address blasted out to another thousand mailing lists, or having their home addresses placed on all manner of servers that might be open to attack. Many genuine concerns are shared by a great many shoppers from all walks of life, which is why when it comes to collecting data for your own Ecommerce business, you need to be wary of your approach.   Information concept: Data Collection on smartphone

Minimise Jargon

For example, you need to make your requests as easy and reassuring as possible in terms of both communication and fulfillment. You need to let those you’re contacting know what it is you need from them and why you need it, while at the same time getting across the way in which you hold their safety in high regard and so on and so forth. However, at all times you must be extremely careful not to introduce any technical or legal jargon that could be considered either intimidating or incomprehensible – use plain and simple English instead to create and maintain a friendly tone.

Incentivise Information Exchange

Another great way of greasing the wheels when collecting data is to offer some kind of incentive for those kind enough to take part. If you already have a loyalty program, then this couldn’t be easier, but in any and all cases a simple discount or freebie could be all it takes. In fact, to offer a discount coupon to be used off their next purchase can often be the best approach of all as this also benefits the store itself with additional sales and revenue.

Explain Motivation and Outcome

Instead of using the staple “In order to continually improve our services to customers” put in your own words not only why you need the information, but how it will in the long-run benefit the customer. Remember, it’s all about making them feel they’re doing themselves a favour, rather than the online business they might not care a great deal about.

Ask for Personal Feedback

Instead of going the usual way which involves a load of boxes to tick and generic yes/no questions, consider going a few steps further by using open-ended questions and asking for personal opinions. It’s often true to say that if you provide the soapbox upon which a shopper may stand and voice their opinions, you’ll have no trouble getting them to talk!

Make Promises and Keep Them

And finally, make sure you let those taking part know that if they do not wish to be contacted for promotional purposes, you will never, ever use their personal details for anything other than this research project alone. And if you do make these kinds of promises, it’s of the utmost importance that you keep them!


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