Data Driven Marketing

Data-driven marketing for eCommerce

It’s very trendy to talk about data-driven marketing. Everybody’s claiming it’s the way of Ineffective Marketingthe future and almost everybody’s doing it.

Or are they?

Data-driven marketing is one of those buzzwords that sound awesome and intimidating at the same time. It looks like it’d make you millions, but people can’t exactly explain what it is.

What is data-driven marketing?

Well, it’s the opposite of doing marketing in the dark, the way you or people before you have been doing it, following subjective assumptions and basing marketing decisions on guesswork.

Data means facts and it is the most solid, objective foundation to run your marketing on.

Data-driven marketing definition:

The process of making decisions about marketing strategy based on facts and data insights rather than guessing and gut feeling.

Ecommerce data consists of customer behavior and feedback, marketing performance, sales trends and product insights.

By collecting, processing, distilling and analyzing this data generated by the business, ecommerce marketers are able to:

  • predict future trends,
  • adapt to customer expectations,
  • tailor the shopping experience,
  • improve sales and marketing performance,
  • increase ROI and
  • do more effective marketing overall.

What makes us believe the data-driven approach is the future of marketing?

  1. It leaves no room for guessing. It sticks to facts.
  2. It eliminates the blanket approach of one-size-fits-all marketing.
  3. When data is not utilized, it’s essentially lost. It’s the navigation tool of an ecommerce business and if you don’t put it to work for you, you’re basically giving way to others who are.

How data-driven marketing works

Your store generates tons of data – customer interactions, orders, product performance, marketing campaign stats, etc., etc.

Data-driven marketing tools process this data so you see trends, correlations, insights, and results. This way, you understand better what works and what doesn’t, what’s a waste of money and time and so on.

Then, based on this knowledge, you can make marketing decisions faster and better.

Your strategy will be backed by facts and numbers, eliminating distractions and focused on the things that have proved to bring you growth.

Data Driven Marketing For Ecommerce

Benefits of data-driven marketing

If you’re not doing it already, you might be a bit reserved. Why should you change the way you do marketing?

One reason is your competitors who utilize their data have an advantage over your gut feeling and assumptions.

Facts, not guesswork

Another is that marketing now is more science than art. You need to be able to justify decisions – especially when they involve money – with solid numbers, i.e. data.

Data shows results objectively. That’s why in A/B testing you start with a hypothesis and look at the numbers to confirm or reject it. You don’t jump to action on the hypothesis alone. Informed decisions are better decisions.

See past trends, predict future behavior

Although things change over time, it’s good to have a starting point – a hint what to expect – when planning for the future.

In ecommerce, you can catch important trends looking at customer behavior: buying cycles, product use cycles, seasonality. Those are pretty much connected to your products and brand so they need to be taken into account in your strategy.

Relevance & personalization

How can you understand your customers if you – in ecommerce – never meet them? You have to read their actions and decipher their wants, motifs and buying stimuli.

Customer behavior data holds the answers. It shows you how often they buy, what they buy – and like, what promotions make them buy, what’s the best way to reach them, how much they’re willing to spend on your products and so on.

If you want to sell more to those people and find more like them, this knowledge should be the basis of your offers. Thanks to data, you’ll know how to reach each customer subgroup and give them the experience they want.


When things happen is one of the easiest things to catch and act on in data-driven marketing.Data Driven Marketing Tool

Knowing when and how often people buy (different things!), when they churn, how often they browse your site without buying and so on is a gold mine of opportunities for engagement. Your email marketing will be right on spot.

The simplest data-driven email marketing campaign is an email sent exactly when people are ready to buy again – if your data says that usually happens 5 weeks after the 1st purchase, shoot at the end of the 4th week.

Optimization & efficiency

Since data is merciless about results, you can see what’s worth keeping and what efforts should go:

  • Abandon non-converting channels.
  • Increase investment in converting channels.
  • Scrap effort on campaigns that only bring bad-fit customers.
  • Develop products that increase customer loyalty.
  • Cut stuff customers don’t notice/ need and do more of what they say they like in their feedback about the shopping experience.

How to do data-driven marketing – examples and implementation

What can you do with data? Basically, anything but better.

1. Reach users similar to your customers.

With data, you know where your best customers come from, what offers they bite on, what messaging works, etc. So getting more of them can be a strategic effort.

2. Reactivate idle customers

When people go longer than your average Time between orders metric, you can proactively remind them about yourself to get that repeat order.

3. Keep customers from churning

If you follow typical customer lifecycles, you’ll know when people are most likely to leave you and never return. Take chance into your hands and proactively work on retention.

4. Focus on channels that pay off

Data-driven marketing increases ROI because it optimizes spending for the greatest returns. You don’t have to waste time on things that don’t bring you sales.

5. Earn customer loyalty with the right products

From product insights, you’ll know what products inspire loyalty and make customers talk good things about you.

Those are the products you need at the front so as many new customers try them and get hooked on your brand. We call that the Superstar Product Technique.

6. Tailor campaigns & offers to customer liking

All behavior and demographic data give you a picture of the buyer.

From here, personalize their experience to fit their way of shopping (for example, buying in bulk once in 2 months, on mobile, gets free shipping because of order value) and tailor offers to reflect their taste (needs baby stuff, cares about eco options).

7. Be where customers are

Once you stop guessing where people are in the mood for shopping, focus on these channels and engage actively, dropping the others.

See that a review site is a steady referral source of traffic? Get featured more on there. Notice customers from Instagram often cancel orders? Save yourself the trouble and don’t push there.

8. Use demographic data to customize experience

Shipping, holidays, products can all depend on customer’s location.

One example we love is that you can sell woolen Christmas sweaters to Aussies and better yet remember not everybody celebrates Christmas.

Seasonal offers can work wonders if you take the time to craft them for specific locations. Girls from Central Europe where winters are not to be underestimated will appreciate it if you don’t insist on sandals and silk dresses in your New Year’s collection.

9. Do smart email marketing automation

When you track what customers do, you can react accordingly, adding value – appropriate automation is giving more content of a certain kind to those interested or offering only similar products to the ones bought (e.g. vegan supplements, or girl room decorations, or plus-size clothes).

Any automation shooting in the dark won’t get the results you want. One-size-fits-all doesn’t work anymore.

10. Better product offerings

Product development is not to be overlooked. With time, you’ll know what direction your brand is taking to be relevant to its perfect customers.

Any product decisions can be solved with insights what people buy over and over, what the recommend to friends, what they buy as gifts and what gets returned.

Data Driven Approach

In short, data-driven marketing is listening to data and navigating your strategy backed by numbers. Anything else is shooting in the dark. :)

Wanna do data-driven marketing for your store?
Try Metrilo for free
eCommerce analytics, CRM & email in one


About the author

Stoimen is our Customer Happiness guru. Advises customers on how to make the best use of Metrilo for their marketing and plays table tennis in-between. A mountain lover and a chess champion.

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