Clearly, there are a number of issues that could affect your sales but have you ever looked into the effect that poorly managed data could be having on your figures? The truth is that this is one of the big factors that many companies fail to take fully into account.
So, if you want to boost your sales then there are a few important points to take into account. This should begin by fully understanding what a data feed is and how you should be looking to use it to good effect.
To put it simply, a data feed is a file that gives you a range of information that relates to your sales. This could include useful details such as product name and information, sales prices and quantity of sales.
Typically, this information can then be imported into a database and filtered or manipulated as needed. It should be in a format that can be read and interpreted very easily, even by someone with no specialist knowledge or IT skills.
A high quality data feed can be used to help you boost your conversion rate and ROI. However, the following points are some of the areas in which businesses sometimes go wrong when reading this data.
A set of data that doesn’t have the right type of information on it can be even worse that not having a data feed at all. Just imagine the chaos that it could cause if the data you receive gives you completely the wrong impression of how you are doing.
This means that it is vital that your reports contain the information that you most need and is completely accurate as well. Therefore, a good starting point is to consider what you would most like to see on here.
By getting this right at the outset you will feel comfortable that you are getting fed the information that is likely to be most valuable to you. However, don’t rule out the possibility of your needs changing over time and your data feed having to change with them.
Even if the data that you receive is comprehensive and relevant, it won’t count for much if you don’t review it regularly. After all, things can move very quickly in the world of online sales and you don’t want to fall behind your rivals.
If your number of sales plummets or your cost per sale rises then this is something that you need to know about right away. Even just a few days of poor sales or rising costs that you don’t analyse well could turn out to be very costly in the long run.
Of course, it can be tempting to leave this kind of report for later on. However, it is good to get into the habit of checking it regularly and then acting on it swiftly.
It is entirely possible that someone in the company reads the data feed regularly but doesn’t ever act on it in the right way. How is that possible and how can you avoid it happening in the future?
Well, perhaps the biggest possibility is that the person who reviews the data feed doesn’t have the skills, experience or authority to do anything significant with it. It could be that they automatically check this report every day but without really fully understanding what they should be looking for on it.
Therefore, it makes sense to put in place a process for acting on your sales data feed once it has been reviewed. This process should make it clear exactly what needs to be done whenever certain issues are flagged up.
It is also important to remember that looking at each day in isolation isn’t the best approach with your data feeds. If you work in this way then you run the risk of missing out on trends that could prove to be very important for your future business.
In this way, it is far better to look for trends that are only apparent through comparing a few days or weeks’ worth of data together. These trends may sometimes be fairly obvious but at other times you may need to look hard to find them.
Of course, there are both good and bad trends to look out for. It isn’t just about looking for bad news, as you may find positive news that you can use to your benefit from now on too.
3 Min Read
Published: 9 February 2017
Mat is the founder here at Actuate. His role focuses on strategy, culture, looking after our clients and every now and then getting stuck in with coding.