The long-term success of any business that relies on sales involves knowing your customers and how you can fulfill their needs. Understanding how to effectively pair your customers with your products and services, as well as pinpointing buying patterns, allows you to increase sales and remain ahead in an increasingly competitive industry.
What is business intelligence?
Business intelligence involves using raw business data to create actionable insights, such as sales and marketing opportunities. You can analyze data for nearly every aspect of your business, from finance to marketing. For sales opportunities, looking at customer purchases can reveal a wealth of information that can be used by sales teams for promotions, email segmentation, event planning, etc.
Examining your data gives you a glimpse into your customers’ preferences and buying behavior. The easiest way to analyze it is to look for trends with both individual customers and your customer base as a whole:
Seasonal Trends: Are there certain times of the month where sales have increased or decreased? What about the year as a whole?
Product Performance: Are there certain wines that continually outperform the others? Ones that don’t sell at all? Do customers commonly purchase certain wines together?
Customers: Are there trends you can spot with individual customers’ buying patterns? Do they make purchases at specific times, such as holidays? How many repeat customers do you have – and how might you be able to entice them through targeted promotions, events, or exclusive offers? Do they tend to make a lot of purchases for gifts?
Geographic differences: Do you see any trends based on where your customers live? For example, maybe one type of wine is more popular with local customers, while a different type is favored by customers outside of the area who take advantage of your online ordering.
The venue of purchase: Do customers mainly purchase your wines in-person at the winery? Online? Through your wine club?
Events: Which types of events have been the most popular overall? Least popular? Which events have attracted particular types of customers?
How to use the data
Once you have identified particular trends, you can begin to put your data to use. Here are just a few ways you can effectively increase your sales:
Understanding customer needs
By understanding your customers, you can make better recommendations and increase your ability to upsell. Say you have a customer who only purchases your Merlot. The next time they come in, you can tell them about the great promotion you’re going to be running on Merlot at the end of the month, or ask them if they know about the discount offered for purchasing a case.
Personalized sales strategy
Since you know which customers have purchased specific items, attended events, or taken advantage of particular promotions, you can tailor your marketing emails to be very specific. Segmented emails based on customer preferences are typically more effective than general emails, as they are highly relevant to the intended customers.
Target your promotions and advertisements
Use your customer’s demographic data to target audiences on paid social advertisements, events, or other types of promotions you would like to run. If there are certain wines that sell really well during Father’s Day, for example, you can create a promotion for those wines that run a couple of weeks leading up to the holiday.
Organize your online offerings more effectively
If customers generally make combined purchases, you can organize your online shop to have these wines grouped together. Another effective way to increase sales of commonly purchased products is to have a message on the product page that says, “commonly purchased with ___” to encourage people to purchase both items together.
As you can see, business intelligence can be used in any number of ways to gain a better understanding of your customers and how to fulfill their needs. There are nearly unlimited ways you can use your data to increase sales or even improve your daily operations. Spend some time regularly sorting through your data, looking at trends, and you will find that your sales and marketing efforts will be more effective.