Harnessing the power of accurate data, site and application performance analytics and reporting tools can rapidly enable a B2B business to optimise their digital performance.
Just collecting data on everything you can find and building reports isn’t necessarily a good use of time. Data collection and analysis should always be used to answer a question or solve a problem. In the B2B eCommerce world, we have seen useful reports being built around:
- Market intelligence: are there new territories the company should expand to? Where are competitors dropping the ball? What new products do customers need?
- Website analytics: what pages are converting? What pages have higher than average bounce rates? Does your website throw up any 404s?
- Social media analytics: what products are people interacting with? What marketing approaches work best?
- Since introducing page speed as a ranging factor for mobile searches in 2018, Google observed a 20% reduction in abandonment rate for navigations initiated from Google Search.
- Customer-specific catalog information: if you have different catalogs for different clients, looking at each one separately to find your bestsellers.
- Sales funnel reporting: are you converting your potential clients to happy customers?
Business intelligence can allow a business to make operational changes and improvements based on real data, not just based on someone’s ‘good idea’. Businesses can make informed decisions about a wide range of aspects from onsite product merchandising and marketing automation programs and campaigns, to sales efforts across the entire enterprise.
The most successful B2B merchants that we see are those that harness the power of business intelligence by adding meaning to it, through data visualisation and report dashboarding that’s targeted at specific stakeholders within their organisations.
For example, in an ideal B2B business model, the Retail and Merchandising Manager, CMO, CIO, CEO, CFO, Supply Chain Manager, and Customer Service Managers all have business intelligence data presented to them in an easily consumable, personalised relative to their KPIs, and real-time dashboard format at the click of a mouse. They can then use the insights to make decisions about their department and evaluate performance far more frequently.
There has been a rapid evolution of platforms and tools that allow data aggregation (middleware and data warehousing) and presentation and visualisation (analytics and reporting platforms).
Many B2B businesses embarking on a digital transformation journey will need to re-architect their entire data and analytics approach. Keeping data siloed in separate departments, saved in spreadsheets on people’s desktops, or locked down to specific users only means you’re stopping your company from reaching its full potential. Centralising data is vital.
We often see challenges here due to a disconnect between marketing, IT, sales, financial and operational business goals and KPIs. Often, alignment of the key business goals and indicators on commencement of an eCommerce solution development can be the key to building out a successful analytics framework.
Something to Consider: Five Step Plan for Business Intelligence Setup
- Key operational and financial goals should be developed before embarking upon any part of your B2B digital transformation journey.
- Building a successful analytics and reporting framework requires buy- in from a wide range of business stakeholders across all departments.
- The data inputs need to be set up correctly. Data integrity and credibility can easily unfold your efforts.
- Understand the analytics that are crucial to different individuals, and how those might vary.
- Consider building out reporting and dashboard capabilities incrementally, it can be agile.
Enjoyed our Business Intelligence highlight? Download our whitepaper ‘How to Succeed at Digital Transformation in B2B eCommerce’, to read the full chapter and more.