The adaptability and predictive analytics of cloud allow e-commerce companies to excel in an increasingly complex marketplace.
- Global Adaptation
- Predictive Analytics
- Strong Cloud with Distributed Storage
Clarins, a French makeup manufacturer, decided to aggressively target the Chinese market in 2012. The company had previously only made sales in China via its affiliates.
It wasn’t easy to figure out how to maintain its current brand presence and properly position itself with Chinese consumers, explains online sales VP Laurent Malaveille.
Using a cloud e-commerce system makes it easy to split those two messages. In years past, running a complete second website could have been prohibitively expensive. Today, system maintenance is entrusted to a cloud provider. Since the basic technical aspects of Clarins’ infrastructure are covered, the IT and e-commerce teams are able to focus on more specific work concerns such as the company’s rewards program. The Chinese site was a huge success, with double-digit revenue increase through the first six months.
The company currently operates a dozen e-commerce websites worldwide, each of them tailored toward the specific regional culture and powered by a cloud server.
One reason the company is using cloud is that it wants to be able to rapidly enter different markets without having to hire a bunch of IT personnel. Clarins also wants to avoid the patching and upgrading that’s required with traditional, on-premise systems.
“Another factor in Clarins’ decision to go with … a cloud offering [was that] it can easily handle the company’s traffic surges during holidays and promotions,” Mary K. Pratt of CIO explains. “[Its] architecture can rapidly scale as the company launches new country-specific websites”.
As new features get released, they are deployed immediately to customers. Since features become available without having to perform upgrades in-house, it’s easier for Clarins to grow.
Cloud computing creates broader options for companies setting up online sales systems. Clarins appreciates the ability it now has to easily build in its own features that fit its evolving needs. One example is a point-based customer reward system that is built into its e-commerce platform.
“We didn’t want to be trapped into one set of functions,” says Malaveille. Using cloud “has empowered our [IT] team to run our business in a more dynamic way.”
The cloud makes it possible for anyone to use big data and run predictive analytic projects. Shockingly, though, 4 in 5 e-commerce companies aren’t fully leveraging their analytics, according to one analysis. In fact, a substantial number of companies don’t monitor the basics, such as weekly sales and conversion rates.
Here are three ways in which analytics are being used by online retailers to increase their sales:
- On-Site Offers
Build.com relies on its partnerships to feed possible customers into its online store. The affiliate sites give people discounts through a variety of clickable coupons.
Traffic was coming to Build.com, but a problem was occurring that was not immediately apparent. Customers who accessed the promotion were sent to the homepage, and it wasn’t obvious if the coupon had in fact lowered their prices.
That was a broad issue, but analytics allowed the company to solve the problem by targeting users individually (a classic case of big data being used to solve small, discrete problems). According to Sid in Kissmetrics, the company used analytics to determine the referral site of each user, along with the specific coupon code accessed.
“Using this data, they were able to create personalized pop-ups and banners for each visitor,” says Sid. “For example, if a visitor comes from CouponAlbum using a 2% discount coupon, they see this pop-up as soon as they land on the Build.com homepage.”
- Email Offers
Personalization is a major strength of big data and the cloud – as indicated by the federal Precision Medicine Initiative, which is using data to personalize healthcare.
Personalization can save lives, but it can also do something as simple as generating better email response. An Experian study found that by customizing emails, it saw open rates and click-through rates respectively rise 29% and 41%.
- Dynamic Pages
Sure, it’s become relatively easy to create customized on-site and email promotions. Those elements are single pieces. When you are ready to really get the most out of your customer analytics, it’s time to implement dynamic pages.
After all, the numbers favor dynamic pages, according to Sid. “59% of online shoppers say it is easier to find interesting products on personalized e-commerce stores,” he says, “and 45% are more likely to shop on a store that offers personalized recommendations.”
Strong Cloud with Distributed Storage
Cloud technology allows you to globally adapt and use analytics to drive smarter e-commerce. Not all cloud is created the same, though.
One critical aspect of a strong, 100%-high-availability cloud is distributed storage. With distributed storage, there is no single point of failure and none of the bottleneck risk associated with centralized storage. Experience Superb’s superior cloud.
By Kent Roberts