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May 20, 2008

New Chart: Ecommerce Marketers Don't Take Advantage of Online Tools

SUMMARY: Ecommerce marketers don't use the tools that can help them cater to their customers better. When the economy tightens, knowing your customers becomes even more important.

Tools, such as segmentation, preference centers, personas and Web analytics can help you zero in on their wants and needs.
New Chart: Ecommerce Marketers Don’t Use Technology to Know Customers Better

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Click here to see larger, printable version of this chart

This week’s chart focuses on responses from ecommerce marketers, but the lesson is valid for any online marketer: Analytics tools can help you really put your customers first, but most don’t get their full value.

Preference centers allow customers to choose the content -- and sometimes the frequency -- of their emails. In turn, they offer you an easy way to gain knowledge about your customers and get their help in segmenting and personalizing the email you send. Preference centers can help you stay relevant, and they’re a great customer-facing tool that says you respect their time and you have so much great content you can tailor just for them.

Persona-based design and usability testing can help you understand how your customers experience (or want to experience) buying from your website. Personas are customer profiles that you create to represent the major types of buyers as accurately as possible. The best personas are given full biographies so you and your team can really imagine their pain points and needs.

Usability tests also are often shocking eye-openers for organizations confident they’ve streamlined and optimized the buying experience. Organizations that get the most from these tests get all the stakeholders (designers, site engineers, marketers, etc.) in the room to watch as typical consumers are confused and frustrated by many ecommerce websites.

Tying Web analytics to search is the most used among these tactics, but it’s clear that organizations know they can do much more. A key issue in many companies is the turnover of skilled analytics staff. Marketing is an increasingly scientific discipline, but there’s a gap between what the industry demands and what the workforce offers. Online marketing is just one of many industries clamoring for workers with strong math skills.

Segmenting website content can mean different things to different organizations. At the least, it means creating specific pages and buckets of content and using navigational tools to guide customers to them. At its best, it involves using cookie data to seamlessly deliver relevant content that is matched to the user. There are a number of companies offering logic-based site segmentation and targeting capability.

Remember, with Chart of the Week, our weekly goal is to bring you something useful and interesting in 2 minutes by presenting a bite-sized piece of Sherpa research and the lessons we learned from it. Feel free to post the link or grab the image ... Sherpa's Chart of the Week is yours to use in your blog, presentations or simply for reference.

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More Research Data from Sherpa:

MarketingSherpa’s Ecommerce Marketing Benchmark Guide:

See Also:

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