How can advanced analytics be useful for the Small Businesses?
Small businesses collect a lot of data about their customers, unknowingly. Not only do they collect small data around customer details, they also collect a lot of transactional data. The transactional data is generally of no use and in the end gets rotting in some storage in the hard-drive or some server.
The details about the customer can help us understand some basic information about the customer, like what is their characteristics, what they kind of products they can buy, etc. but the transactional data is really powerful.
On the basis just the basic details provided by customers, like gender, age, residential address, etc. you can simply present customers with what they like to buy. e.g. send a lipstick offer to females and not males. Similarly, offer liquor to customers over 18. Simply helps you having a relevant offer for your customers.
Today, there are lots of small techniques that can be used for understanding customers behavior. By linking customer details to the transactional data, you can group customers on the basis of their buying habits and patterns and find out what your customers like to buy from you the most and that can drive the way you position your business in the market. This can help bringing lots of new customers to your business and also improve repeatable purchases.
There are simple techniques like CLUSTERING and ASSOCIATION ANALYSIS which allows you to cluster customers and products you sell to your customers and then offer customers who are likely to take up the offer. e.g. if a customer has bought a printer from you then it is logical to offer them with an ink refill in the next three months. Just simply group customers buying printer in the same week and after three months offer them ink through an email. It can be simply automated.
Another level to the same is predicting the customers who are likely to buy the products in the near future and offer that product, so they do not go looking for that product with someone else but only come to you. This can be simply done by using some simple predicting techniques, available on your desktop even today. Just look around.
All you need to do is use the data already available to you and change the way you do business and make your customers feel special.
It is about selling the right product to the right customer at the right time through the right channel.