big data in small business
Sara Sargent
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Small Business, Big Data: Are You Using Yours Correctly?

Big data isn’t only useful to big businesses. Nearly half of the data collected on consumers today details their personal analytics; the way they prefer to shop and what they prefer to shop for. This data comes through mouse monitoring, purchase histories, and consumer-professed interest, among other elements.

If you already have consumers with rich purchasing histories, and your platform is set to collect their interest data anyway, why not use it to your advantage? Your back-end consumer information has numerous uses, no matter your industry. All you have to do is apply it.

Influence Consumer Purchases

Amazon is among the most influential online marketplaces today. Its recommendation system is, as a result, one of the best examples of big data’s usage in e-commerce. Amazon considers the following elements when sending its consumers recommendations:

  • The times at which consumers have previously made purchases
  • Customer ratings on other products
  • The buying habits of other consumers with the same or similar rating and purchase histories

Based on all this information, Amazon is able to influence consumer behavior and encourage more purchases. You can implement a similar recommendation system within your platform, as long as you suss out what kind of data you’ll need beforehand.

Track Consumer Trends

In a similar vein, tracking when, where, and what kind of purchases your consumers are making can help you better understand how to grow your business.

For example, say one of your products wildly outsells a number of the others. That prevalence, if you’re tracking it, tells you what product features your consumers like best. As a result, you can create products in the future without the features consumers are uninterested in, boosting your sales and lessening your production costs.

Avoid Operational Risks

You can also use data to outthink scammers who want to take advantage of your business. Consider the way banks now monitor transactions in the workplace. Front-to-back processing allows bank administrators to stay on top of:

  • People sending money
  • People receiving money
  • How often transfers occur
  • Where consumers live
  • How much money consumers spend

By employing similar monitoring methods, you can ensure that no one’s seizing consumer financial data or your own company’s assets via fraudulent transactions.

Utilizing Big Data

Many existing platforms, including WordPress and Google Analytics, let you start gathering consumer data. You’ll need to break the assessment of that data down, though, to use it properly.

Ask:

  • What data will most influence the success of your business?
  • What data is most relevant to your business at this moment?
  • How should you segment your audience to avoid repeat data?

Big data has the potential to help your business thrive. Not only can you better understand your consumers’ needs, but you can also influence those needs. Take advantage of the tools at your disposal, and see how user data can change the way you run your business.

Image attribution: Tierney – stock.adobe.com

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