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Merchants Fail to Capitalize on Purchase-Related Data

Posted on 4.16.2013

Site and shopper data is very valuable to merchants, so why are many not taking advantage of it?

A recent Bronto Software and RSR Research report reveals that even though there’s plenty of consumer intent data produced during each stage of the buying process that could help retailers drive more sales, many fail to take advantage of these opportunities due to poor data collection processes and a lack of integration between marketing and e-commerce platforms. 

The report, “Harnessing the Power: How Retailers Collect and Use Purchase-Related Data,” surveyed 85 retailers with online shopping carts in February 2013, and revealed that there is data and email disconnect across retailer segments. The survey took a look at retailer data collection and email practices during the pre-purchase, in-purchase and post-purchase stages. During the pre-purchase stage, most consumers conduct research before making a purchase by first visiting retailer, manufacturer and product review sites to compare products and prices. That said, 47 percent of retailers surveyed said they do not collect product-level site browsing data that can be associated with a specific email subscriber.

Moreover, in-purchase activities move shopping behavior from browsing to the transaction, which gives retailers opportunities to upsell, cross-sell and build repeat business. However, the survey found that 22 percent of retailers are not currently exchanging data between their email service provider and e-commerce platform, which limits their ability to drive more revenue with in-purchase and post-purchase email campaigns.

The report also examined retailer email opt-in, abandoned cart and transactional practices during the in-purchase stage, and found missed opportunities for retailers to more effectively grow subscriber lists and improve email targeting.

In fact, once the purchase is completed, retailers have the opportunity to persuade consumers to take an action, such as making their next purchase or writing a review. The survey, however, found some retailers are still failing to take advantage of this opportunity, with only 24 percent claiming to customize campaigns for active purchasers beyond typical transactional communications of order and/or shipping confirmations.   

“Retailers have a lot to gain from consumer purchase data, but the RSR survey shows many still struggle to make data actionable and they’re missing out on revenue opportunities,” said Jim Davidson, Bronto’s manager of marketing research, who worked with RSR on the report. “Those retailers who close the gap by integrating marketing and e-commerce platforms are reaping the rewards through stronger customer loyalty and a greater share of revenue.”

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