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Two things are certain in the modern retail landscape:

  1. Gathering data is a vital part of planning a successful marketing and sales strategy.
  2. There is just way too much data to go through!

Many retailers are much better at collecting data than they are at using it effectively. They set up and receive reports. But they don’t take action.

But how can you make the time to comb through it? How do you understand what it actually means? How can you know what’s important and what isn’t?

Don’t let data overload paralyze you into inaction.

Here are a few strategies for making use of your analytics to improve your bottom line – starting today.

Only focus on your most important products.

If your business sells dozens or even hundreds of products, you have hundreds if not thousands of numbers to consider. If you try to wade through everything, you’re probably going to feel overwhelmed pretty fast.

So don’t. Decide which products matter most. Your top performers. Products with the highest margins. Products with the highest cost.

Only pay attention to the data that pertains to these specific products, and ignore the rest of it.

After a few months, you can step back and take a more macro view of your product offerings. Then determine if any of them should replace your current “top” items.

Focus on reducing losses.

It’s all too easy to spend money promoting products that aren’t selling. Or channels that aren’t working for your business.

Hone in on the metrics that can stop the bleeding.

Cost of Sale Percentage (COS%) and Cost per Acquisition (CPA) are two important metrics to consider. You can easily identify products with a slim or even negative profit margin. Compare the total cost of the sale and your revenue.

Make a point to review only those numbers on a regular basis.

Automate your strategy.

You don’t even have to review the data to take advantage of it. Look for tools that allow you to automate actions based on the results of your analytics.

For example, GoDataFeed allows you to automatically suppress products based on conditions you define. This could be a drop in conversion rates or an increase in ad costs. The system can automatically stop promoting the product and send you a notification.

You can review the cause when you have the time – but automation allows you to take action immediately to stop the problem.

Search for opportunities.

Look for ways you are doing well – then take action to make the most of those successes.

The first step is to look for top performers or products with high margins. Then brainstorm ways to do even better.

You could increase ad spending or optimize your product copy for high-margin items. Or you could upsell items related to your current top-selling products.

Here are a few more tactics for making the most of top-selling products.

Make a Plan and Put It in Motion

The key is to have a game plan. If you try to do everything at once, often you end up doing nothing at all.

So focus on one strategy at a time. Stick to it for a set period of time, say 2 to 6 months. Then switch to another.

But make it a commitment. Set a standing meeting. Schedule a regular appointment. Do what it takes to make taking action on your analytics a priority.

Your bottom line will thank you for it.