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.

Are you meeting expectations online?

Expert advice & practical tips to help turn customers into loyal advocates.

Download free reportAre you meeting expectations online?

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?

Man filming a video
Trends
3 businesses that are winning with video

Video technology has helped a lot of businesses deliver their services – and remain operational – throughout COVID-19. And for many, adopting this technology is not a Band-Aid ...

Man viewing furniture using augmented reality technology
Tech
Tech
Tech evolution: 3 ways to elevate your business

The pace at which technology is developing has made staying up-to-date more accessible, affordable and easier than ever. Adopting digital tools for your business could help str...

Man delivering packages
Trends
Conscious consumption: Even online, consumers choose local

Consumer behaviours and attitudes shifted in many ways as COVID-19 enveloped our reality. But one sentiment has become clear: consumers want to support local businesses, even w...

Woman practices yoga at home
Productivity
Productivity
Working from home: Habits for a healthy mind, body and business

Health and productivity are inextricably linked. So how can you ensure you’re setting yourself and your staff up for success while working from home?