Customer Communities Provide Essential Analytics For Your Business

Carolyn Beal

In the past, an online interaction with a customer was over as soon as they received their order. They would click “buy,” a generic confirmation e-mail would arrive in their inbox, and a few days later, whatever they purchased would show up on their doorstep. If everything went perfectly, the customer might return to your website for something else in the future.

With the advent of online customer communities, however, converting traffic is just the beginning. Turning one-time buyers into consistent members of a community has never been easier with platforms that can be added to any product page. Moreover, thanks to the built-in analytics that customer communities provide, businesses can optimize product pages, drive sales, and enhance how they engage with buyers.

Gain insight into visitor activity to better meet customer needs

Being able to easily track visitors’ page views is a great way to not only determine what brought them to a site in the first place but to also follow their train of thought while they browsed the site. By reviewing what content on a product page visitors are engaging with most frequently, businesses can determine which information helps to increase sales, which customer advocates are driving sales, and how certain content and evangelists are generating sales.

In addition, being able to monitor the differences in browsing patterns between new visitors and existing community members enables companies to gain more thorough insight into what information on a product page most drives sales conversions, allowing businesses to adapt accordingly. Being able to create a dynamic page based on visitor behavior is a tremendous benefit for any business.

Tracking the overall most popular content of a site not only allows for a perfect example of a product page, but it can also offer insight into details that may have been overlooked. If visitors are continually visiting a specific page to check out a shipping policy or looking for a specific answer in an FAQ section, it’s safe to assume that some information is missing or not immediately available to a customer.

Monitor web traffic to improve buyer engagement

While every business dreams of having a full-fledged community that leaves reviews after every purchase, it can be incredibly difficult to figure out why returning customers do not register or regularly participate after purchasing.

By tracking where these visitors are being directed from, a business can work with its partners to rework a referral link or call to action to more directly encourage visitors to join the community. Instead of pointing out the great savings or quality of a specific product, the partners can draw attention to the consistently great customer experience your company provides.

On the other end of the spectrum, continually monitoring traffic means you can spot a partnership or marketing campaign that needs to be re-imagined immediately – just in time for your business to pivot away or make changes.

Manage member interactions to keep a finger on the pulse of your community

Having a high volume of traffic on product pages will never be a negative. But being able to see through the noise and spot high-quality members who post great reviews and make a lot of purchases can be a huge boon to any business.

Whether it’s a single customer who could be tapped to become a moderator or another business that could be a great partner in the future, knowing exactly how often specific members are posting is a helpful way for a business to keep its finger on the pulse of the community.

Protecting the overall atmosphere of an online community from spam and unnecessarily negative members becomes simpler for moderators thanks to analytics. Being able to spot possible harassment from a mile away will do wonders for morale amongst customers, and members are sure to appreciate the speed with which moderators or customer support representatives respond.

Take full advantage of customer community data

Converting a one-time purchaser into a devoted evangelist can seem like a daunting task, but customer communities are providing all the analytics necessary to become an expert. Knowing how a customer views a site, where they came from, and why they stick around to post reviews will put any company one step closer to knowing exactly how its audience thinks, enabling your company to completely optimize its product pages.

These three benefits are just the tip of the iceberg, but there are plenty of other perks to creating an online customer community. Take advantage of the existing technology and see for yourself how easy it is to take advantage of all this data.

Download the complimentary MWD Advisors report, SAP Jam Communities: Bringing Engagement to Commerce, to learn more.


Carolyn Beal

About Carolyn Beal

Carolyn Beal is senior director of Solution Marketing for Social Software at SAP. Her specialties include product marketing, marketing communications, CRM, and demand generation.