In this continually evolving market, it is essential to stay relevant to your customers and competitive enough for your rivals. As the world is becoming increasingly digital with every passing day, it is nothing but imperative for businesses to resort to technology for all their problems. This is where digital transformation comes into the picture.
The digital transformation uses coming of age technologies, processes, and competencies in various business functioning areas for effective results. This integration of technology often involves radical changes in the ways of how a business operates and delivers value to its customers. In other words, the cultural, organizational, and operational changes that result in better customer experiences in order to stay ahead of the ever-changing needs of the customer is what digital transformation is all about.
While all of this may sound like an easy solution to all your business problems, it presents some rather unusual challenges. The process of digital transformation heavily relies on customer data as it helps in understanding the needs and wants of a customer. Hence tools like surveys, feedback forms, and more. It can help shape digital transformation by enabling the owners to understand how the customer feels. However, these forms and surveys are limited to the people who are willing to spend time filling them hence being subjected to user-research bias. Frequently, companies struggle with using this data to their leverage because of their leaders’ incompetence in coming together and investing in technology to support dynamic market changes as it demands radical changes in organizational structures.
So how do we attract the right kind of customer for better reviews?
It is simple, personalization and feature marketing are the two best ways to pursue an ideal customer. Gone are the days when personalization was just about acknowledging a customer by their name. Today, it has sophisticatedly evolved into a dynamic display of unique and individualized shopping experience via analyzing customer information that ranges from demographics, browsing behavior, and other data relevant to their shopping journey. Along with that, marketing a product based on additional features has become an acceptable way to catch more eyeballs and has successfully made these techniques the future of any eCommerce business.
But how do eCommerce reviews drive digital transformation?
From highlighting how and where to move, to drive relevant customer experiences, to know how to streamline internal operations, or even adjust the product – data holds the primary key to growth. The trick is to collect from everywhere because it’s all about the data both in terms of quality and quantity. Digital transformation with data delivers value through greater understanding, alignment, and actioning of all kinds of data coming from traditional and non-traditional sources alike. The conventional sources include regular surveys, call centers, and focus groups and analyze the traffic the website receives. In comparison, the non-traditional sources give the alternate data, which can either be bought from aggregator websites or by scraping data from everywhere on the World Wide Web.
The alternative data does not have any comprehensive list. Today, technology can track social media, consumer sentiment, IoT, geolocation, buying habits, airline bookings, retail inventory data, mortgage data, entertainment events data, hotel bookings, satellite images, and much more. Since the source pool to scrape this kind of data is vast, the results can be structured or even unstructured and can consist of everything like web-links, textual and tables of data, images, and videos. Therefore, most of the time, in such cases, the eCommerce crawling guide comes in handy.
So what are the best ways to obtain this type of alternative data?
Obtaining data through Web Scraping –
Since alternative data collection is what drives eCommerce revolution, the easiest and the cheapest way to get the maximum amount of data to analyze is to scrape the web. Web scraping refers to taking HTML code of certain web pages to mine data from them. This process gives you more freedom about what data you want to get, where you want to get it from, and even how to accommodate it in your existing business processes. Valuable data is free and openly available to the public, but it is essential to disguise your IP address because if it gets identified in the process of web scraping, you could get banned, or your competitors will realize you are getting data from their pages. Therefore, using residential proxies for web scraping is essential. A proxy will provide a different IP address that will be seen by the website keeping yours private so that you can retrieve data without a trace.
Using AI and text analytics to analyze the data –
Artificial Intelligence (AI) algorithms and machine learning software helps predict what and when your customers will buy. AI in digital transformation helps to merge and analyze mountains of data into meaningful intelligence, thus, improving customer experience, steering the way for product innovation, and optimizing cost, supply chain, and revenue growth.
Predictive algorithms, like product recommendation engines on Amazon, track everything ranging from various customer needs to their personal information to better understand what products resonate the best with a particular customer. Today, many eCommerce executives successfully implement big data tools for the automation of predictive lead scoring algorithms. The lead scoring algorithm includes analyzing prospective customers’ behavior to determine whether the prospects are valid and then rank them based on their value. This is certainly helpful for eCommerce businesses as they can predict which prospects are more likely to convert into paying customers.
While the digital transformation scale may seem overwhelming to some, but always remember taking the first step to start the process is crucial. If you miss out on digital transformation and do not listen to your customer’s voice, your products will be inferior; your marketing will be less efficient, affecting both the top and the bottom line alike.
Times have changed. True transformation is a constant process of continuous improvement. With the right support, data insight, and infrastructure, AI is leading the charge towards the future. My advice would be to ditch the old analytics, look past your legacy, and start building for the future generations that will fuel success for years to come.
Written by Efrat Vulfsons.