The E-commerce market is going through an exciting and dynamic period. Having experienced steady growth over the last few years, E-commerce marketers enjoy a surging market with increasingly diverse and granular target audiences. The COVID-19 pandemic further boosted growth by forcing people of all ages from around the globe to go online for day-to-day purchases – including those who had never shopped online before.
This explosive upheaval is a tremendous opportunity for E-commerce marketers, who face a challenge in an industry where companies have relied on their internal data alone to understand their audiences and inform their marketing strategies.
These new demographics exhibit unfamiliar and distinct behaviors, and even previously-existing demographics have changed due to the introduction of large numbers of new members. With competition on the rise, marketers need tools that will provide the insights necessary to analyze and engage their users in meaningful ways, without the privilege of decades worth of data.
External data presents a new path forward for companies looking to craft more efficient marketing strategies that will yield reduced costs per customer, increased conversion, improved customer retention, and more.
What is external data?
Many businesses already utilize their company databases, such as ERP, CRM, transactions, etc., to market their products more effectively to customers. These internal data driven strategies have produced material improvements in sales, customer retention, conversion, and more.
However, internal data sources represent only a small fraction of the relevant data available on the public web.
Customers spend enormous amounts of time online, using social media websites, review websites, performing queries on search engines, and browsing competitors’ websites.
Furthermore, metadata such as location data, browser/device data, and geographic, and financial indicators can provide further insight into who a customer is and help predict their behavior.
External data also goes beyond the customer, to include competitors’ websites, shipping data, supply chain information, weather, and more.
Leveraging external data for E-commerce
Due to the broad nature of external data, there are many ways that E-commerce companies can leverage it to better target customers or to give customers a better experience that will lead to more or repeat sales.
One of the most popular applications for external data in E-commerce is dynamic pricing. Marketers can apply a much richer data-driven strategy to alter product pricing for each customer in real-time.
By monitoring the changes in pricing of rival products listed by competitors, gathering sentiment on social media, and technical data such as changes in supply or manufacturing shortages, a much more precise, competitive, targeted price can be presented to each customer, leading to increased ROI.
Another example of how external data can dramatically impact e-commerce marketing is through reviews analysis. By gathering consumer reviews from popular review websites, companies can gain key insights into who uses their products and what features or use cases customers have discovered organically that could be integrated into the main marketing effort.
For example, a company that sells pillows could find that many customers find a particular product to be great for use on a flight, and could incorporate those keywords into their campaigns. Furthermore, a company might find that their products are unexpectedly popular with a particular demographic, and begin targeting that demographic more heavily.
If you’re interested in learning more about these use cases, be sure to check out our article Exploring External Data Use-Cases for E-commerce where we delve deeper into how they function.
Challenges in external data gathering
While external data can be very valuable, there are a number of challenges that companies typically face when gathering it.
External data is gathered from a wide variety of sources, but often from public websites that have no API, such as competitors and search engines. Gathering the relevant data from multiple, differing sources requires developing individual processes for each source, and further maintenance for each of these processes.
Nimble’s Data Platform helps businesses gather unstructured data easily and effortlessly. By handling the gathering process from the ground up, Nimble APIs deliver web data from any website and provide you with a hassle-free experience.
With the right data-gathering tools in place, consistent and reliable access to your sources is key. To maintain fresh, updated data, many requests need to be carried out continuously and rapidly. A high-performance, quality proxy network is critical to making sure these requests are carried out with a high success rate.
Nimble IP provides a high-performance, massively scalable, and superior-quality proxy pool. Our algorithmically-optimized IP infrastructure ensures your data-gathering operations will run smoothly while offering market-leading tools for control and flexibility.
Another challenge to effective external data gathering is accessing from different geographic locations. Many websites are only accessible from particular countries, or offer different content depending on where they’re accessed from. Here again, the best solution is a deep proxy pool that offers IPs from any location around the globe.
Nimble IP was designed to meet these needs, and offers quality IP addresses from anywhere in the world. Nimble’s IP pool is constantly monitored and evaluated to make sure our clients only use prime IPs, offering best-in-class performance while still maintaining global availability.
For E-commerce companies, the time to integrate external data is now. The power of external data-driven marketing strategies makes all the difference in the extremely competitive e-commerce space. Companies that gather external data and act on their insights will be increasingly outperformed by competitors who do. While gathering external data can be challenging, Nimble’s Platform makes the process quick and effortless.
If you’re interested in learning more about how Nimble can help your business gather and use external data, contact us and we’ll help you get started today.