If you have ever dismissed analytics because you thought it was too expensive or too hard to understand, you’re not alone. For many business owners, analytics has seemed like a tool that only made sense for big corporations. In the past that might have been true, but new technology has made analytics not only accessible, but a necessity for today’s small and medium businesses.
The dictionary definition of analytics is the systematic analysis of data. That sounds scarier that it is. For small businesses, all it means is tracking the behaviors of your customers so you can see what they want and how you can keep them coming back for more with the end goal of boosting revenue.
In order for that to work, your business first needs a way to collect customer data. If you have a website or online store, your website collects all that data for your online visitors, but what about your brick-and-mortar business and walk-in customers?
Say hello to the new generation of payment hardware. Thanks to touchscreen- and cloud-technology, it’s never been easier to collect customer data. There are various ways to do this, but at SpotOn, here’s what we've found works best:
- By integrating payment processing with a marketing or loyalty program, you can easily collect customer email addresses at the point of sale by offering a “Get it Now” deal or asking customers to sign up for your loyalty program
- The customer simply signs up with their email address, either directly on the touchscreen display of your next-gen payment hardware or on a dedicated tablet
- Cloud technology then imports those email addys into your marketing engine
- Every time a customer redeems a marketing deal or checks-in to your business to earn loyalty points, your system tracks their data so you can see how often they visit and how much they’re spending
- By additionally integrating the marketing or loyalty program with a mobile consumer app, like SpotOn Mobile, customers can check-in to your business quickly and easily, and you benefit from having the ability to reach them with deals and awards via mobile alerts in addition to email
That's all there is to it when it comes to gathering customer data, but data collection is just the beginning. The end goal, remember, is to increase the effectiveness of your marketing efforts and grow revenue. To learn how to do that, read Part 2 of this series, “Using Data to Optimize Marketing.”