Data management is an essential part of running a business. And with eCommerce, it’s even more essential. Data is a currency in the digital realm, and your online business is only as effective as your data management.
Hence, you need to be precise with how you handle the information being given to your company. Read on as this article would discuss how eCommerce data management can help grow your business.
Understanding data management
Data management is defined as the practice of collecting, storing, and using data efficiently, securely, and cost-effectively. It requires core technologies such as database driver, data integration tool, data quality, data governance solutions, and data analytics software to effectively process and manage data as volumes of information collected by businesses increase.
Benefits of eCommerce data management for your business growth
This well-structured and highly collaborative solution should help your eCommerce business access and control crucial data, which adds significant value to your business. But how exactly can it help your business’s daily processes and push it to grow?
Here are the benefits of eCommerce data management that can make your business grow:
Increase productivity and cost-efficiency
Effective eCommerce data management can make your business more productive. It makes it easier for your staff and employees to find and understand the information needed to do their job. Data management provides a reliable structure for information to be easily shared with others. It also helps key employees to easily validate conclusions, theories, or results they may have.
Another benefit of data management is it helps your organisation reduce costs by minimising duplication. Storing and making all company data easily accessible ensures that your employees won’t have to conduct the same analysis, research, or work. As a result, it allows your business to have higher efficiency, reducing time and cost and minimising human error.
Data management and analysis can help eCommerce businesses truly understand customers, providing them ways to analyse customer experiences, needs, and behaviours. Businesses have an endless supply of data to manage, from the first time a customer engaged with your business to fulfilling orders to brand perception, which can fuel their analysis and anticipate customers’ behaviours and why.
With good data management, businesses can accurately analyse data to predict and identify which offerings and services will better suit customers’ needs and create a more personalised experience in the future. With this better understanding of customer expectations and needs, businesses can also increase customer retention and satisfaction, which helps eCommerce businesses grow.
Reduce security risks and remain compliant
From your employees’ home addresses to your customers’ credit card details, a business is expected to protect and safeguard this data against breaches as well as meeting data privacy regulations and laws.
A poorly managed data pool runs multiple security risks. And if there’s one thing that a business owner doesn’t want to experience, it’s a data breach or loss. You want your customers and partners to trust your business and feel secure in giving your business their information, whether their contact information or payment information. Strong data management can significantly reduce security risks ever happening to your organisation.
Also, effective data management is critical for ensuring compliance with international and national data privacy laws such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and industry-specific security and privacy requirements.
By being compliant, you ensure that you’re protecting customers’ data as well as your business against possible fines and penalties of being uncompliant.
Allow you to stay competitive
The speed at which a business can make decisions or change directions according to trend is a key factor in determining its success. If businesses take too long to react to a changing market or new profitable strategies from competitors, it can limit a company’s growth.
Effective eCommerce data management provides you timely insights and access to industry information to easily and quickly spot changes in marketing strategies to customer behavioural trends. As a result, your business will be able to make reliable decisions and act faster. This allows your business to stay competitive by ensuring a more agile response to market changes and demands.
While businesses often focus on getting and retaining customers to thrive, their employees are the ones who make that possible. With employees being your most valuable asset, it’s only logical to invest time and effort in engaging them.
Once again, data management can help here. Like in customers, good data management allows HR teams to collect and analyse data—surveys, feedback forms, or performance reports—on key changes in employee behaviours and engagement. It also allows HR managers to understand what motivates employees or what causes their productivity to go down.
This helps HR departments create initiatives to engage and motivate employees, ultimately building a happier and productive workforce.
Best data management practices
Here are some tips that can help improve your eCommerce business’s relationship with the data it stores and collets, making it easily accessible for use in improving the processes of your businesses and ensuring compliance with security standards.
Determine your business objectives
Your business is collecting so much data that you need to create an action plan on what to focus on. And that action plan will stem from the objectives you’ve set as a business. For instance, your business’s goal is to grow your customer base by 10% in the next quarter. So, what kind of data and insights will be the most valuable? What information should you be collecting and focusing on? Establishing a clear goal can serve as an anchor for you to determine the processes and tools you’ll use.
Build the data process
After setting your goal, it’s time to determine how to perform the three main data management activities: collecting, storing, and processing analysis. For collecting data, you need to figure out the data sources, the method of collecting, the data collection schedule, and data location.
As for data storing, you need to know how and where your data will be stored. How will you organise the structured and unstructured data? You also need to consider the security protocols to incorporate.
In terms of processing and analysing data, determine who’ll be responsible for these data. If you have different teams handling it such as your sales and marketing department, consider hiring a business intelligence analyst to pull and generate reports.
Create a data management team and choose the right tech
Data management is a complex and vast area of eCommerce business operation. This means it requires a dedicated and knowledgeable team of data management experts to properly and correctly manage it.
A skilled and experienced team with data management skills—whether outsourced or in-house—is critical to refining and developing a global approach to data management. Rely on your team to act as managers and consultants in terms of connecting your company data to its more comprehensive operations to scale and grow.
In addition, you also need to find the right technology that’ll support your efforts. Having an in-house team of even the most skilled data management professionals is useless if they’re not equipped with the best tools to access, monitor, and organise your data—both while it’s collected or stored.
With so much data to sort, it’s impossible to do it manually. Although Excel sheets can be useful for a while, they can prove to be unsustainable and faulty as your business’s data grows. Looking for the best data management system suited to your business operations and size should be your top priority, alongside hiring the best team.
Establish governance standards
Think of data governance standards as your standard operating procedure (SOP) for data management. It identifies what actions are taken, when, and by whom. Doing this can help streamline your data management processes by ensuring everyone in your company is following the same formula.
It also promotes responsibility and accountability, creating a sustainable structure to grow your data management strategy over time. Plus, data governance equates to cleaner data, ensuring faster analysis and better business decisions.
Set up data compliance plan and review security policies regularly
As data privacy laws become more increasingly common, data protection and privacy compliance are critical for your business. Your data shouldn’t only be useful for scaling your operations but should also be auditable in ways that demonstrate adherence to business partners and regulators.
Also, as the threat constantly evolves and changes, your business becomes more at risk of security breaches. Small businesses became the prime targets since they’re often less protected than larger companies. Thus, to protect your eCommerce business, you need to regularly check on your security policies and revise them to meet the current threats.
When used properly to your advantage, eCommerce data management can help attract more customers, beat your competition, optimise business processes and productivity, boost profitability, and more.
In short, having proper eCommerce data management and the best practices to implement it should help your business develop and grow into a highly competitive organisation. Consider the ideas mentioned here as you enforce data management in your eCommerce.