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When it comes to running a business online, the decisions that you make can come into effect instantly. While this makes it easier to be more flexible and agile with how your run your store, it also means that you can quickly make some badly thought out choices that will cause ongoing harm to the business. So, what can you do to make sure you’re making decisions for the benefit of the store?

Here, we’re going to look at a few tips you can use to make better decisions in ecommerce. We’re going to look at the information you should be using, the strategies that should drive which decisions you work with, and how to implement them in your long-term strategy.

Keep an eye on the metrics of the store

First of all, you need to know how the store is doing, as well as where it could improve. Most e-commerce platforms will have their own analytics tools that you can make use of. However, you need to make sure that you’re looking at more than just sales and profit. You have to consider: which other metrics should you track? With metrics like average order value, acquisition cost, as well a customer lifetime value, you can see where you’re excelling and perhaps where you should be focusing your efforts.

Use data from all of your sources

Your e-commerce site is going to be a great source of data, make no mistake about it. But it’s likely that you have others, such as social media, customer relationship management tools, and so on. By putting data from these sources together, you can get a much better idea of the full picture of your customer’s experience and how they use the site. Tools that help integrate from Shopify to Bigquery can help you ensure you’re putting your data together with other sources. This is what is referred to as “Big Data” and it’s helping people get the entire context they need to make better decisions. This can especially help if you’re able to use customer-specific data, so you can track individuals across multiple data sets, which might help you market towards them and support them much more effectively.

Keep decisions in line with your long-term objectives

You might think of a decision or a course of action that might help with immediate concern, but how far does it get you towards your eventual goals for the business? Does it help or will it hinder? If you’re looking at ways to grow your business, for instance, then it might become important to focus on decisions that win over more customers. If you’re looking to profit during a seasonal peak, then it might cost less to focus on remarketing to customers that have already been converted once.

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Know how your site is used

When it comes to decisions that are specific to the e-commerce website’s design or how it is used, then there may be some data that you are missing. Conversation rate optimizations tools like VWO Insights can help you get a better idea of where your user’s focus is, what they’re looking for, and how effectively your site can help lead them to what they’re looking for. This is another data point that many business owners are missing. For instance, you can use heatmaps to see which points of the page your customer is focused on, as well as using search data to get an idea of what products they might be looking for more often, so you can either ensure you have them in stock or are more effectively and widely promoting them.

Take a look at the trends

Any e-commerce business owner should be looking more closely at what their competitors are doing. A little competitor research can help you get a good idea of where trends in the industry are going. If your competitors are starting to move in a certain direction at the same time, it might be an indicator that they have noticed a change in customer purchasing or behavioral patterns. Of course, you don’t have to “follow the herd” every time, so to speak. But knowledge of those trends can help you make decisions with the fuller content, whether you follow them or not.

With the right perspective, the right metrics, and the right data at your disposal, making better decisions for your store can become a lot easier. Hopefully, the tips above help you make the choices that will keep your store growing.