4 things you must know before you invest in eCommerce insights


For ambitious brands growth doesn't have to be a grueling task. There’s a wealth of eCommerce data available for Sales and Marketing teams looking to establish and profit from their online channel. However, without an understanding of the actions needed and the ability to flow these to the relevant roles, brands run the risk of being left out to dry with no clear direction on how to resolve their eCommerce business challenges.

Whether you already have an eCommerce analytics tool or are on the hunt for one, having the right capabilities will make the difference from barely hitting your online sales target, to transforming your entire Omnichannel sales strategy.

Next time you come across an eCommerce analytics provider, be sure to ask them….

1. How quickly can I get beyond the ‘Fix the basics?’

The juicy part of an eCommerce strategy is when you start influencing your category and shopper behaviour, but it’s easy to get stuck in just fixing the basics. Fixing the basics doesn’t have to be like painting the Forth Bridge, it is possible to drive real improvement quickly and ensure all new listings avoid pitfalls to get off to a great start. Once done, with the right action led tool and Client Success Support, you can start delivering strategic objectives to gain competitive advantage. One sure way of spotting a provider who has this capability is if they put together an implementation plan before you on board. This shows they understand you’re about to embark on a journey with the intent of progressing at each stage, instead of ticking boxes and producing eCommerce score cards with no real sales values attached to it.  

2. How much internal resource is this tool going to take?

Most analytics tools end up being used by one or two power users within the business, who then struggle to gain any kind of traction internally. To get stronger buy in means every department needs to experience the benefits and it needs to add value to every individual role in your organisation. This isn’t a tall order for a provider that is actually focused on helping you win online.

You’ll know the platform is capable of doing this if it defines the category in the same way as your company does and it will allow the data to flow into actions and then contextualise them according to the job roles. This kind of structure will practically help your teams to implement your sales and marketing strategy without any training, additional resources or outside help from experts and support your strategic retail conversations.

3. What breadth of insights do I get?

Some tools give you retailer specific insights which will leave gaps in your insight if you don’t buy into all your retailers. Others will give you information based on your suggested SKUs which will leave you in the dark about your competition. If you’re in it to win it, neither are good enough. An advanced platform that truly understands your business challenges will give you a complete category view across all your retailers and all your markets. This can get messy which is why the platform that will be the most valuable to you, is the one that streamlines all these worldviews into actions that need to be taken so you don’t get lost ploughing through the data.

4. How do I get ROI from my online channel?

So, you present the proposition to your leadership team and highlight a need to improve your positioning on retailer shelves. It’s all going great until someone asks:

‘How do we know we will get ROI if we don’t know the value of online sales?’

IGD’s latest figures showed that online will represent 6% of all FMCG sales in 2018, rising to 8% in 2023 – that’s an increase of 52.4% up for grabs. Not knowing what your starting position is can’t be an excuse for not harnessing this growth to its fullest potential, but rather a recipe to fall behind your competitors because whoever gets there first will be able to master and then dominate the market.  

Make informed predictions based on your overall sales data and set targets for improvement. If your UK turnover is £100m and you are not currently optimising online you will perhaps be achieving 4% or £4 million on online sales. Low hanging fruit alone should increase this to 5% ie by £1 million in year 1. Have a go at our 3 step ROI calculator here to get an idea of how much your business can make.

The right eCommerce insights provider will walk you through the above and calculate the size of the prize, as well as implement an effective framework to help measure your progress. The providers that don’t are the ones who will be feeding you a hose pipe of data with no measurable impact; you’ll be hard done by trying to prove if your platform actually made a difference to your organisation by the end of your contract.

Amanda Critchley, Business Development Director, E Fundamentals

Mandy Critchley, Business Development Director, E Fundamentals

Mandy Critchley has over 20 years of experience working with brands and retailers predominantly within the FMCG and Pharma categories. With a wealth of commercial experience across the spectrum of digital marketing and insights, Mandy has worked with major brands on propositions that enable them to move the dial for their online sales. Former roles include Head of Client Services at Bounty UK and VP Sales at mySupermarket.

Talk to Mandy today to find out how the smartest & simplest eCommerce analytics can revolutionise your sales in online retailers.

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