Growth Customer Experience Productivity Business IQ Trends Success Stories Tech Awards Business Tools Business Intelligence Subscribe Tech Enquiry
Smarter Writer
Smarter Team

The Smarter Team is made up of business and technology journalists who write to offer insights to small and medium businesses about technology, business know-how and emerging trends.

Smarter Writer
Smarter Team

The Smarter Team is made up of business and technology journalists who write to offer insights to small and medium businesses about technology, business know-how and emerging trends.

Data analytics is often associated with enterprise-level resources. But there are a wide variety of ways that small and medium-sized business can leverage data insights to serve their customers better.

Woman processing sale with credit card

Research shows that 72% of consumers expect businesses that gather their data, like their name and purchase history, to use it to provide them with a good service.

Kevin Doyle, Regional Vice President of Salesforce, tells us that a “constant, customer-centric approach is the lifeblood of any small to medium business”. Using data to create meaningful connections with customers is just one strategy he recommends when competing with larger organisations. “Delivering outstanding service and knowing your customer is what gives small business an advantage over big spending, larger competitors," he says.

So how can you use data in meaningful ways as a small to medium-sized business? Here are three simple ideas.

Track total cost of purchases over time

You can incentivise repeat business by tracking a customer’s total spend over multiple transactions. For example, fitness supplement supplier VPA Australia offers a tiered reward program to repeat customers, letting them ‘unlock’ perks like product discounts and free shipping offers when they reach certain spending totals.

Similarly, Melbourne-based fashion label Alpha60 rewards customers who spend more than $1,000 over multiple purchases with a gift card they can use for their next purchase. This approach can tap into the psychological benefits of gamification strategy, encouraging customers to return for repeat business.

Identify complementary items 

You can also use a customer’s purchase history to suggest complementary items for their future transactions. This style of cross-selling can be especially effective online, where data can be leveraged to make connections between multiple individual products. For example, online coffee retailer Alternative Brewing pairs sales with tailored recommendations – like filters to match specific models of coffee grinders.

Using data insights to make links between products can help you to anticipate a customer’s needs before they’re even aware of them themselves.

Use dates to your advantage

Key dates can be useful tools to encourage repeat business. This is equally true of routine transactions, such as recurring hairdressing appointments for returning customers, as well as less frequent events – like annual car services. For example, a hairdresser could automate email reminders that are sent eight weeks after a customer’s last appointment, encouraging them to make a new booking.

Customer data to do with dates can also be used to encourage consumer spending. For instance, if you capture personal details during a sign-up then you have the opportunity to create individual discount offers for milestones like membership anniversaries or birthdays.

Want to sell online?

Explore Telstra Business Digital Marketing Services.

Find out moreWant to sell online?

Handsom shopfront
Online shopping: A Q&A with Handsom on adapting through COVID-19

Sam Rush is the co-founder of Aussie fashion label Handsom, based in Melbourne’s inner-north. In this Q&A, Sam shares how the brand is navigating a changing retail landscape in...

Woman typing on laptop
Business IQ
Business IQ
Data security: 5 questions to ask your team

With more people working remotely all across the country during the pandemic, we’ve been inadvertently thrust into the middle of an evolving experiment. This period of transiti...

Woman working remotely on laptop
Business IQ
Business IQ
Are you cyber-secure when working remotely?

For small and medium businesses that have shifted some or all of their activities to remote working, it’s important to consider whether your cyber-security measures are enough ...

Woman making contactless payment
Customer Experience
Customer Experience
Explainer: The payment methods consumers want

New technology has been changing the way consumers pay for goods and services for a while, but the physical limitations caused by COVID-19 have only accelerated the shift. As s...