Data love – A guest article by Oliver Lucas
Germany is famous for its engineering. Products “made in Germany” are in demand all over the world. In the age of digitization, however, reliable and attractive products are no longer a unique selling point for sustainable success. Because customers are increasingly looking not just for products, but for solutions. The new business winners are companies that have built their business around data – and therefore understand what their customers want earlier and better than others. Anyone who wants to survive on the market in the long term must therefore develop a passion for data – and love, collect, maintain and use it. This creates a wide range of new opportunities, whether to improve existing relationships, products or services, or to identify new opportunities.
Oliver Lucas, founder and managing partner of ecom consulting GmbH
The following 10 commandments of data love guarantee a happy relationship:
1. love needs openness
Digital data analytics is a new discipline for many companies. And like any new love, this requires openness and willingness to change. New technologies must be introduced, new employees (e.g., data scientists) hired, and new processes defined. Companies must also open up to customers and data. After all, it is no longer the company’s own communications department that decides which channel to use to inform its target groups, but the customer. Nowhere can your own customers or prospects be addressed so well and specifically as on social media channels. The best thing about it: customer data and endearing characteristics are supplied by the platforms right away
2. love requires communication
Becoming a data-driven company means breaking many old paradigms. Whereas in the past it was necessary to rely on product management or marketing to understand what the customer wants, today you can listen directly to your target group. The good old gut feeling is replaced by sober key figure analyses. This, however, is changing the way companies operate and evolve. This change must be managed with a lot of internal communication – otherwise it will be sabotaged by employees. Because everyone knows: jealousy, ignorance or frustration are poison for love.
3. love recognizes the special qualities
In the stationary world, every new product that sees the light of day is polished to a high gloss and perfectly staged. If questions remain about specific characteristics, these will be clarified in a personal interview. In a digitized world, that’s no longer enough. Manufacturers have to look through the eyes of their customers and enrich their product data in such a way that no question remains unanswered for the end customer. This can be additional VR data that visualizes the product better, data sheets or simply a hint that a sneaker is smaller than usual. It may be tedious, but it’s worth it. After all, the customer should not cheat with the competition, which understands and picks him up better because it shows the more appealing product images in Google search.
4. love has many facets
Data is generated in many different places: Customer data, for example, on the website, during the purchase process, in customer service, during registration, on rating portals, etc. All this data must be collected in as structured a way as possible to provide a 360-degree view of the customer. Love shows itself in everyday life in many small situations and incidents and does not always look the same – love is never one-dimensional.
5. love means renunciation
The temptation is great to measure everything possible in the transformation to a Data Driven Company. After all, beautiful and interesting data lurks around every corner. But as in love, you can’t have them all. The approach is only sustainable if companies make it clear at which points of the customer journey which data can be meaningfully measured. They need to focus on the metrics that are relevant to their business and ignore the other desirables. Otherwise, there is a risk of emotional chaos. And that’s not helpful in your personal life or your job.
6. love requires free space
Trapped in a golden cage – that would be the ideal idea of love for some partners, but in most cases it is unrealistic. The same applies to data love: bringing all data together in a central system is the fine art. In practice, however, such an approach is often doomed to failure because the classic data warehouse cannot map traffic figures, click rates of an advertising campaign, or return rates of a customer. Allow for alternative data sources, but do not look at data in isolation, as this may lead to incorrect conclusions.
7. love is a give and take
In order to get to know customers and to be able to care for them individually, it is important to collect customer data. But those who take must also be prepared to give. Customers need to see value in sharing their personal data. This could be individualized newsletters that match their interests, a small gift for their birthday, or an exclusive invitation to a special launch event.
8. love grows with time
The first kiss is rarely perfect. But practice makes perfect. Data love also needs experience. Companies need to try channels, test marketing campaigns, run A/B tests – and then learn from each experience. In this way, the ideal goal of a perfect and trusting customer relationship is approached step by step. They rely on your recommendations, trust your offers and forgive even small weaknesses. Because it is love.
9. (True) love is not for sale
It is the small gestures and things that enrich a love. For the new love of data to develop, it is not necessary to invest millions in a Big Data solution right at the start. Data and data tables can also be collected, linked and analyzed well with less expensive tools such as Power BI, Tableau and the like. Google Analytics is even available completely free of charge. What must never be skimped on, however, is a sincere interest and commitment to actually maintaining and using data. Because true love can’t be bought, but it does take work.
10. love makes happy
If you understand your partner’s characteristics, you can adjust to them in the best possible way and thus make them happy. This also applies to business: those who collect data properly and use it correctly encourage and reward loyalty – and can thus increase repurchase rates and their profits. After all, it’s 20 times cheaper to get an existing customer to buy again than it is to acquire a new customer. Those who listen to customers through data and optimize their own business accordingly, personalizing the approach and additional services, also increase customer satisfaction. And that is essential in times of increasing comparability on the Internet. So if you love your data, you make not only your partners happy, but also yourself.
Now the whole publication online on ecom-consulting.com/read.
About ecom consulting
ecom consulting is an independent management consultancy that helps manufacturers and retailers in B2B and B2C to find pragmatic strategies and functioning business models for their online activities and to implement them properly. The team led by the two founders Oliver Lucas and Martin Himmel uses best-practice approaches to support both companies entering the online retail market and digital professionals who want to leverage optimization potential in individual areas such as Amazon, logistics, eCommerce IT systems, the ERP setup or business processes.
The team is made up of experts who have themselves worked for years on the corporate side in digital commerce and therefore know the “gains and losses” on the customer side. The goal of ecom consulting is to perfectly coordinate all the cogs of online operations and to advise and support customers in an efficient and yield-oriented manner.
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