For many business owners, the most important piece of information is the bottom line. As long as revenues exceed expenses, you can consider yourself successful.
Savvier merchants look a little bit deeper. In addition to sales and costs, they also identify things like best-selling items or most-profitable customers. This data makes it easier to improve marketing efforts and secure even more business.
Though long-term success in today's competitive business climate requires more. You might be enjoying a good run today, but profits always attract competition. Over time, your margins will shrink as the market becomes more saturated.
To avoid this, you should develop more comprehensive profiles about individual customer tastes and habits. The better you understand your target market, the easier it becomes to service customer needs. Customer profiles also allow you to identify those opportunities that'll bring in the most revenue with the least amount of effort — but how do you build a customer profile for your niche?
You can make very general assumptions based on publicly available data. For example:
- Americans increasingly prefer shopping online.
- Millennials don't like to carry cash.
- Retirees prefer using checks and paper money.
Remember though, your competitors have access to this information as well.
To truly distinguish yourself, it’s crucial to use your own internal payment data to develop more accurate profiles for your specific niche and target market.
Using Customer Payment Data to Generate More Sales
Depending on your payment processor or your eCommerce or ERP software, you might already have a wealth of actionable data points at your fingertips, including:
- Browser preferences (i.e. Firefox versus Chrome).
- Shopper locations (i.e. IP addresses and countries).
- Device preferences (i.e. Mac versus PC or Android versus iPhone).
- The best-selling days, items and hours.
From this, you might determine that your most profitable customers live in Oregon (even though you’re based in Florida); and they overwhelmingly prefer shopping on Safari browsers via their iPhones — particularly during Saturday afternoons.
With this information, you can make your site mobile-ready (especially for the iPhone). You can also begin promoting sales during the weekend, with special attention focused on the Pacific Northwest.
Not bad, but this is still just scratching the surface.
Let’s dig deeper.
Payment Integration and Detailed Customer Analytics
It's possible to gather all of the above types of information by hand — simply by glancing at your payment processing reports. However, by integrating payments with business tools you probably already use, you can automate this customer analysis:
- Syncing payment processing with your accounting software allows you to quickly determine where your money is coming from and how it is being used. You can instantly identify best sellers, losers and high-value customer segments.
- Integrating payments with your customer relationship management (CRM) platform shows you how users interact with your business, including their shopping preferences, conversion potential and preferred communication channels.
This level of integration not only saves you precious hours, but it can also help to reduce errors and operating costs. Probably most important, you can use this information to develop even better products, services and advertising campaigns that you know (in advance) will appeal to your target market.
To learn how payment integration can help you develop more detailed customer profiles, contact our support team today.