In a series of blogs accompanying the AT Internet’s e-commerce webinar in partnership with industry expert Benoît Gaillat, we look at common pain points voiced by e-marketers in today’s fast paced and competitive online arena. Part 3 looks at another common issue for anyone working in e-commerce – “I do all my reports in Excel”
To read the previous articles, please click below:
To ensure that your company is truly data-driven, it is important to break out of your silos and democratise your digital analytics throughout your organisation. From the e-commerce manager to the data analyst, it is vital for everyone to be able to share insights and improve their overall performance and decision making. A successful e-commerce strategy needs to encompass the entirety of your digital presence.
Reporting in Excel: what are the risks?
Relying on excel reports to display your performance can be fatal for various reasons:
- “They are overly complex and it’s difficult to extract actionable insights…”
Large A3 reports can often be too complicated to decipher and can be out of context. Although they can represent sales activity, it’s hard to compare the information to previous weeks or months.
- “There is too much data!”
Creating endless reports can become an end unto itself and can lead to little or no marketing actions. Complicated spreadsheets are frequently inaccessible to the board of Directors and company decision makers. The purpose of reports is not to display data but to give you insights to help your business grow!
- “The right people are not receiving the right data”
When disseminating information within an organisation, it’s important to
ascertain exactly what is required:
Who needs what numbers?
What is the most effective way to share the data?
Adapt your reports to the needs of their users
The content and format of data need to be adapted to each person receiving it – otherwise your information is reduced to useless vanity metrics…
An ideal place to start is to define your KPIs according to your degree of maturity, the time you need to spend on analysis and size of the respective teams. You can ask the following questions:
- What is my business model?
- What are my growth drivers?
- What are my sources of income and expenses?
Indicators should be adapted to each user with the right level of information – this way you avoid wasting everyone’s time unnecessarily. You can send the required information in the right tailored format to each user.
Your reports also need to be targeted to specific profiles – C level, marketing, technology, operations, product managers, etc. Circulating the same report among all your teams is not only a waste of time and resources but will torpedo your e-commerce strategy.
The main purpose of a report is to give you the keys to act – a report should answer a question. If you cannot make any decisions after reading the report, it is because the question may not be clear, or it has been asked incorrectly. For example, your “top product” report could in fact refer to “products to invest in” or “products to put on the homepage” or “newsletters to send with these products”.
Once you’ve established your main indicators, you need to equip yourself with reliable and impartial tools to study the right numbers. The key takeaway is that you need to use your data to TAKE ACTION!
Keen to learn more about how you can optimise your e-commerce activity?
AT Internet’s E-Commerce guide is your essential handbook – it explains how the insights you gain from web analytics can help shape the ideal shopping experience: