Technology stacks for growing e-commerce retailers tend to be quite complex. Customer and order data easily gets spread out across your shopping cart, multiple sales channels, inventory managers, marketing platforms, fulfillment providers, and financial reporting tools.
Which of these places serves as your source of truth? If you needed to see all relevant data for a particular customer, where would you go? Do your systems talk to each other, or does customer data live in isolation?
More importantly, if you could have all of the data from your e-commerce business under one roof, what would be the first thing you’d want to learn?
Having a data warehouse for commerce data equips you with answers to all of these questions and gives powerful insights about your customers.
Here are 5 main reasons why having a data warehouse can transform your e-commerce business.
A Connected Ecosystem
Without making a very substantial investment for an ERP system, most companies live with the challenges of having data spread across many tools. Gartner reports that in “2018, more than 50% of commerce sites will integrate technologies from more than 15 vendors.”
Currently, most companies connect their software with point to point integrations, creating a complex web of connections between applications. Maintaining this web of connections is often the full time job of a developer or an outsourced agency. Data is spread out between applications without backups or a centralized place to view it.
By implementing a data warehouse for all of your commerce data, you can import all of your customer, order, and product data under one roof. You can connect to all of your software and analyze data across channels, platforms, and systems.
Another key advantage of having a data warehouse is the capability to implement workflow automation. Since connections have been established to all of the software needed to run your business, it is easy to create automated processes that send data between your connectors when conditions have been met.
Automating your e-commerce business allows you to scale without all of the usual tech growing pains. It helps you do more with less and refocus your team around tasks that are most important for your customers.
Remove the manual, repetitive work associated with keeping sales channels, accounting, inventory, fulfillment, and product information in sync. Set smart alerts to notify you when you need to order more inventory or when a customer needs attention. Build custom rules to handle how orders will be fulfilled, prices will be set, or sales will be handled.
To learn more, download our playbook on How To Automate Your E-Commerce Business.
Analytics Across Your Whole Business
Having all of your data in one place means you can finally see the health of your entire business at a glance. This enables you to compare sales performance across channels, understand the impact of fees from third party vendors, spot bottlenecks in your fulfillment pipeline, uncover top performing demographics, and much more.
Being a data driven retailer will help you better serve your customers by offering the right products, delivering successful promotions, selling on the right channels, and forecasting popular buying seasons. With an e-commerce data warehouse, you can compare current performance to past results and be more equipped to make better strategic decisions going forward.
Deeper Customer Insights
Along with understanding the overall health of your business, an e-commerce data warehouse provides much deeper insight about your individual customers. With one lookup, you can see the complete purchase history of a customer, determine the types of products they are most interested in, evaluate cross channel purchase behavior, and gauge their willingness to buy additional products.
You can spot trends across groups of customers, giving you more insight around how to plan effective promotions, when to engage with marketing messages, and which channels are most appealing. You can even use this information to empower a customer service team who needs to search purchase history across channels. The possibilities are only limited by how you intend to use the data.
Normalized Data Format
The final key advantage of using an e-commerce data warehouse is having all of your data stored in a normalized format. It doesn’t matter which source it came from or the schema of the data source, once it’s imported into the warehouse, information is kept in a universal format.
This enables more powerful workflow automation and makes the pain around data migration a non issue. Once all of your information is in a centralized place in a universal format, pushing that data out to a new sales channel, shopping cart, inventory tool, or marketing platform is a basic task.
Using a data warehouse makes it easier to launch new software by substantially reducing implementation times. This enables companies to scale faster by utilizing new methods and channels to better serve customers and improve their purchase experience.
There are powerful reasons as to why you should use a data warehouse for your e-commerce business. It will improve insights about your customers, the health of your operations, the IT backbone of your tech stack, and your marketing effectiveness.
Still need to be convinced? Give us a call to talk about your specific use case and we’ll help you see how implementing a data warehouse will take your operation to the next level.