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The Sale is Not the End of the (Bottom) Line #eMetrics

29 November 2012 BY

Most businesses that have a tangible product for sale will often see return rates of 30% or more. In this session, Vicky Brock, Owner of Highland Business Research looks at measuring beyond the sale and optimising for customer life time value and profit throughout in any business.

Analysts in the audience will take on board some of the suggestions that will help them grow in their roles and hopefully get promoted; Business Owners and Managers in the audience should hopefully take some of these suggestions and give their analysts more data to work with to help the business achieve its goals.

[ALT TAG: I WOULD LIKE TO GET YOU PROMOTED]

This is how Vicky’s presentation started and this really does get your attention so let’s get started…

The retail sector is huge and the sale numbers keep growing but one very surprising statistic is that ecommerce clothing returns equate to 1 in 3! This is a massive number but it isn’t surprising as when people buy online they tend to purchase the same item in a few sizes in case one doesn’t fit.

Did You Know?

Customer returns can actually end up in the bin? When you return items that you have purchased, sometimes they can’t be returned to the shop shelves for various reasons and businesses have to shred the product and put it in the trash!

Many analysts are typically focusing on sales but business owners and CEOs focus on profit. Analysts measure top level data based on sales and revenue:

  • Conversion Rate
  • Transactions
  • Revenue
  • Average Value

Analysts are great at the sections highlighted in blue but what many are not doing as well as they could is ‘Extrapolation’

  1. Simulation
  2. Segment Impact Testing
  3. Next Best and What If Modelling
  4. Executive Business Case

Meet the Board

If you are an analyst or if you are doing any form of analysis for a business, the biggest tip for moving forwards is for you to Meet the Board of Directors. They are very smart individuals that know the business inside out but most importantly they know the profit/loss numbers, like the back of their hand. You can find out what they are working on within the business and what tasks they are looking to complete. If you know what they are working towards and they can provide you with more data about the business, you can help feed them data and make their lives much easier. Some of the metrics that they may be looking at:

  • Expansion and Market Share
  • Customer Acquisition
  • Customer Retention
  • Profit Margin
  • Pricing Strategy
  • Operational Efficiency
  • Exec Hires and Leadership
  • Product/Service Line Focus
  • Finance and Cash Strategy
  • Regulatory and Market Report

To Get Promoted You Need Self Promotion

Vicky explained that in order to get yourself seen and heard by senior members of an organisation, you really need to work on your self promotion. She gave the audience five tips for helping self promotion to get you promoted!

1) Get Financial

The following books are highly recommended by Vicky for lots of different reasons:

2) Understand Your Top Line Strategy

If you are in a limited organisation that does not share this information with you, there are some resources and tools that you can use to find it out for yourself:

  • Annual Report & Financial Statements
  • Published Accounts and Annual Reports
  • Board Meeting Minutes
  • Company Intranet

3) Translate and Extrapolate

Don’t make people in your organisation do the work, do it for them and make it easy for them to read and understand. If you give them information that they can use, they won’t start trying to do it themselves and not getting it right. Extrapolate the data based on the business model and objectives so the data is useful.

Think Beyond Sales and Converson

Google Analytics has recently announced that you can plug in your costs so the data that you are seeing makes much more sense. This has allowed us to start looking beyond sales, conversion and revenue data and we can now start thinking more about:

  • Profitability and Margin
  • Lifetime Customer Value
  • Recency and Frequency Modelling
  • Cash Impact

Mitigate Risk

You need to understand the business case and it needs to be validated. Make sure that you are on the same track as everyone in the organisation, ask them questions and you should have the same answer.

4) Get a Mentor

If you aren’t getting a personal mentor, go and get yourself one. You don’t need to pay for this. Think about the person that you aspire to and approach them to see if they would be interested in helping you. The mentor must be in a sphere that touches one of these roles:

  • CFO
  • Chairman of the Board

5) Shadow or Join a ‘Practice’ Board

If you join a board that you can practice on, this is a great place to learn. This doesn’t need to be a business but you could join something like a scouts board or parents board at a school and get some practice in for understanding running an organisation. Once you have gained the experience from a practice board, you will be able to use your experiences in your real job.

Vicky ended the session with two statement takeaways:

“Remember – these guys are amoungst the smartest analysts in the company”
“Speak their language”

Speaker Bios

If you want to find out more about the speaker, check out the below or follow them on Twitter:

AUTHORED BY:
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Samantha Noble is the Digital Marketing Director at Koozai, a Digital Marketing Agency based in Southampton and London and event and brand manager on State of Digital and part of the editorial team.