The eCommerce industry today world over is valued at over 1.2 trillion dollars. If the eCommerce industry was a country, it would be competing with Canada for the title of one of the world’s top 10 economies. So why are data scientists suddenly so in demand in the eCommerce space? Can your company benefit from bringing a data scientist onboard? We break it down and give you the context you need to decide.
Ecommerce and fashion are exploding:
Estimates suggest that 40% of internet users (close to 1 billion buyers) have made a purchase on the internet – and that number will only continue to grow. A large part of the eCommerce industry is connected to the fashion industry.
Image: Speed Commerce
A space that grew largely through designer brands, retail and brick and mortar stores has grown into the online space, catering largely to women and now to men as well. The fashion industry is all about immediacy, trends and expressing oneself – other ecommerce stores connect with audiences over books and entertainment products, accessories, home furnishing and a whole lot more. Someone’s gotta watch and find meaning from all these products, inventories, databases, supply, and purchasing trends, right? Enter the data scientist.
Data Scientists get the larger picture
Data scientists are not usually from backgrounds like marketing, ecommerce or retail. In fact, data scientists are often from backgrounds as different from fashion as statistics, economics and physics! Traditionally with offline marketing, marketers had little data from surveys on who their consumers were and how they used products. Supply and demand directed most of the buying from warehouses and often, brands died down because they didn’t reach the right audience at the right time with the right content.
Now, with businesses going online – businesses have more data and a data scientist’s skills offer something that marketers can’t always promise – the ability to take the data available and find meaning and trends in it that help ecommerce companies optimize their processes.
Processes that Data Scientists Can Optimize
In terms of the product, a data scientist can tell you what to sell, at what price, what is missing in the product mix, what needs to be built and a whole lot more. For any eCommerce company, a good management system for warehousing, inventory, logistics, managing supply, demand and more is necessary. A data scientist’s skills can come in handy to manage the supply chain they can understand
- What needs to be stocked, replenished
- Which vendors provide the most efficient service
- Where resources are being lost (shipping/transportation)
- When there will be high demand (festive seasons)
Acting on User Behaviors and Trends
Apart from day today operations, a data scientist’s skills can also come in handy when it comes to eCommerce insights and trends. Data scientists can predict what trends will have the most impact on a business and how to prepare for their arrival. In the fashion industry, every season offers new looks and trends – data scientist’s are the ones that can truly analyze what is popular at the time and what isn’t, based on real data.
Often, instead of learning more about users, it is best to observe what they buy and how often they buy to reach out to them with context. Data scientists can make this clearer, suggesting who to reach out to for with what promotional messages and who has the highest chances of converting.
Web Analytics and Marketing
Once eCommerce companies understand what to sell, and who they are selling to, the question becomes about the content, channel and timing. Fortunately, marketing communication companies like Boomtrain offer Artificial Intelligence powered insights on these factors. A data scientist’s skills can come in handy when optimizing the frequency of communication to a particular group of users, a/b testing headlines, understanding engagement trends and pointing out areas for improvement.
While many eCommerce companies already have web analysts, a data scientist’s skills can also be used to optimize the website’s overall performance. Examining and improving bounce rate, landing page performance, search query accuracy, the conversion funnel and a whole lot more can improve a website’s performance manifold.
Has hiring a data scientist changed your eCommerce platform’s performance? We’d love to hear about your results. Let us know!