How Small Retailers Can Leverage Customer Data to Increase ROI & Revenue

The better you know your customers, the more likely you are to make them happy. That’s why customer analytics (using data to measure customer sentiment and satisfy their needs) is so important.

While the idea of using data might be intimidating for small businesses, GetApp points out that customer analytics tools can be found in places you might not even realize. In fact, if you’re using any of the four things listed below, you may already have tools at your disposal that can provide you with insight into your customers:

  • CRM –  Many CRM platforms already include analytics features that can help you glean valuable information about your customers.
  • Customer service program- Some software includes reporting and insights that can provide you with a detailed look at your customers.
  • Social media – Not only can you gain insight into what your customers are saying outside of your own website, but you can also use social media tools to listen in on other sites.
  • Analytics – Data solutions designed specifically for customer analytics can pull information from a variety of sources to provide you with customer insight.

CIO offers 7 more ways you can leverage customer data for the benefit of your customers, and your business:

1. Maximize the power of email marketing –  According to Vistaprint Digital“Incorporating customer data can significantly improve email marketing efforts. This can be something as simple as including the recipient’s first name in the email to improve customer engagement or offering relevant deals based on the customer’s past purchases or browsing history.

“The more information in the email, the more it can be tailored to the interests of each consumer, and the more likely it is to be opened, read and potentially acted on.”


Source: Vistaprint Digital

2. Create personalized offers – Digital age customers are very accepting of targeted offers and experiences specifically tailored to them, according to Leanplum, a mobile marketing automation platform.

“User data facilitates this, making it easier for businesses to understand their customers and develop better interactions with them. Small businesses using customer data to personalize experiences are better positioned to strengthen their customer bases and build brand loyalty.” 


Source: Leanplum

“By spotting patterns in when customers complain and what they complain about, business owners identify specific locations, processes or even employees that don’t maintain the company standard.”  


Source: Point B

4. Improve customer support – “Understanding your customers and using the data you have about them is critical to customer support,” says TeamSupport, a provider of B2B customer support and help desk software.

Savvy companies share customer data with their support teams so they can understand the customer’s entire relationship and see what products they have, what recent issues they have experienced, and review notes or comments from other staff about the account.

5. Refine products and/or services – Using data gathered from support interactions can be a goldmine for developing and/or improving your products and services. Because customer support is on the front lines and communicates with customer base every day, the interactions they have with your customers are invaluable for understanding what your products and services may be missing.

6. Make Important Decisions – Your small business can apply customer insights when making strategic business decisions, like choosing a location for a new storefront. In this manner, you can better position your company to provide the customer with what they want, when they want it.

7. Win back customers – “With the right program in place, SMBs can detect a decline in visit frequency among customers,” says Paytronix Systems, a provider of customer reward programs. “They can use that intelligence to win customers back.

After identifying the customers who haven’t visited for a while, you can send a message reminding the customer of why they love the brand and include a special offer to return. According to Paytronix Systems, win-back promotions typically have a positive ROI!


“Customer analytics is becoming critical,” says SAS. “Customers are more empowered and connected than ever… access to information anywhere, anytime – where to shop, what to buy, how much to pay, etc. That makes it increasingly important to predict how customers will behave when interacting with your organization so you can respond accordingly.”

“While big companies have been using big data to identify trends and track customer behavior for a while now, smaller businesses, smaller businesses, with smaller budgets and fewer resources, are often unable to. However, by simply analyzing the data they’ve collected from email lists, customer purchases, social media and other sources, SMBs can gain a variety of insights into their customers – and use this knowledge to improve processes and discover new business opportunities.” 


Source: CIO

Sherene Funk is the author of the contemporary romance Autumn in Your Arms and two small business e-books. She is a voracious reader who owns more books than she can ever read in this lifetime. A graduate of Brigham Young University, she worked in advertising for many years before moving to her current writing position at Rain Retail Software. She researches non-stop to see what successful retailers do and loves to share what she learns with small business owners.