Analytics aren't just for enterprise businesses looking for high-level data insights. In today's business world, the importance of data analysis extends all the way down to small mom-and-pop shops serving their local communities. Part of this trend is due to the broad availability of analytics tools. Google Analytics offers free insights to any company or user, and other, low-cost tools make it easy to reveal simple but influential insights about how your company does business. But it's also a matter of staying competitive.
There are a lot of ways performance can be measured, and the metrics can get confusing and misleading fast. For small businesses focused on building a presence within a region, the importance of data analysis can be distilled down to a few keys data points that shed light on how well you're reaching an audience.
Demographic data is easy to gather and interpret online, and it offers quick, insightful information about your consumer base. By understanding the age, gender and ethnicity of your consumers, you can adjust your marketing and advertising approach across any medium. Whether it's traditional ads or an online digital marketing campaign, demographic data is the cornerstone to help you understand how to position your company and where your resources should be invested.
Profit per Customer
The profit earned per customer is a very insightful metric, and it's applicable to both online and offline sales. Entrepreneur ranks it one of the five most important metrics for any small business. It shows you where your greatest earnings are coming from and offers a strategy to increase overall revenues.
Your profit per customer data may suggest, for example, that in-store sales see more money spent per sale than online transactions. That means digital marketing might generate a better ROI by trying to drive foot traffic into stores.
Phone Call Referrals
According to a recent Forbes article, many consumers prefer calling a company to filling out a form online, and a phone call can prove to be one of your most valuable leads. In the smartphone era, phone calls are a seamless channel through which digital marketing can drive offline sales. Consumers choosing to make phone calls are highly interested in what your company has to offer, so they're typically better prospects for sales than the average website visitor. Phone call tracking is very easy through several different analytics tools, particularly Google Analytics.
Consumer Location Information
Just how local are you? Where are your shoppers coming from? For businesses working in a smaller region, this is important. Location-based information can indicate the size of your company's footprint — in other words, the diameter within which it receives a high percentage of its sales. Online analytics track this with ease, and in-person tracking can be as simple as asking customers for their zip codes when ringing up a transaction.
The more you know about your consumer base, the better you'll be able to give them what they want.