Customer data collection: It’s a process that can either make you an ecommerce genius or turn you into a laughingstock. We have all questioned someone presenting data, whether the data was egregious, inconclusive, or based on false data collection. 

Let’s explore some of the right and wrong ways to collect data from your customers and how to use that data to market, inform, and convert for ecommerce. 

The wrong ways to collect data

The invasive inquirer

Picture this: You receive an email from a company asking for your shoe size, your favorite color, and your deepest, darkest secrets. Yikes! Remember, there’s a fine line between personalization and prying. Respect your customers’ privacy and only request relevant information.

The never-ending form

Imagine stumbling upon an ecommerce website with a data collection form that feels like an endless abyss—asking for your name, age, occupation, mother’s maiden name, pet’s name, and so on. Keep it concise, people! Nobody wants to spend an eternity filling out a form. Keep the questions relevant and snappy.

Also: What do you intend to do with the information?  Make sure you’re taking action on anything you ask for in a relevant way. If the reason why you’re asking for it isn’t obvious, explain it briefly on the form for customers.

The aggressive harasser

You’ve just made a purchase, and the next thing you know, you’re bombarded with a never-ending stream of emails, texts, and carrier pigeons. Take it easy, bud! Avoid becoming a data collector turned digital stalker. Respect your customers’ boundaries and give them space to breathe.

The right ways to collect data

The “value-for-value”approach

Provide customers with a clear and concise explanation of why you’re collecting their data and how it will benefit them. Offer exclusive discounts, personalized recommendations, or relevant content tailored to their preferences. Make it a win-win situation!

Ask for permission, not forgiveness

Ask for permission! Nobody likes unwelcome surprises, especially when it comes to data collection. Ensure your customers explicitly give their consent before gathering their information. Transparency should be your love language.

Everyone likes a good game

Turn the data collection process into an interactive and entertaining experience. Create quizzes, contests, or fun surveys that customers can’t resist participating in. Inject some humor and creativity to make it an enjoyable journey for everyone involved.

From data to dollars—best practices for customer data

Personalization is only kind of a buzzword

Once you have collected data, use it wisely! Tailor your marketing campaigns based on customer preferences, buying patterns, and demographics. Create personalized product recommendations and offers that make your customers feel like you read their minds.  

Also, remember not to make assumptions and alienate half your audience or half your product catalog. Knowing someone is male or female may be helpful on an engagement ring site, but will it really be helpful if you are selling pet food? We see too often people coming to shop for one thing, being categorized as a certain kind of person, and then never being introduced to all the business has to offer. There is no need to over-segment!

Timing is everything

Analyze the data to determine the best moments to reach out to your customers. Don’t pester them with offers at 3 a.m. or during their favorite TV show. Use the data insights to send timely and relevant messages that align with their routines and interests.

Quantitative data usually doesn’t supply any answers

Lastly, remember that data alone won’t magically convert customers into buying machines. Combine your data-driven strategies with captivating storytelling, exceptional customer service, or a sprinkle of humor. 

The numbers in your dashboard may tell you who is converting and who is not, but they are not going to tell you why or how. Build genuine connections with your audience, gather qualitative data like a fiend, and the conversions will follow suit.

Get the most value out of your customer data

Data collection in the world of ecommerce can be treacherous, but with the right approach, it can be a goldmine for marketing, informing, and converting customers. Avoid the blunders of invasive questioning and overwhelming forms, and instead, embrace the delights of transparency, gamification, and personalization. 

Remember, data is a powerful tool, but it’s your creativity and finesse that will truly make your ecommerce efforts shine. Care about your customers in a genuine way, and doing things “right” will be easy.

At Recharge, we value privacy and handle personal information accordingly. Learn more about how we handle personal information by reviewing our Trust Center.