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Common eCommerce Analytics Challenges Online Businesses Face (and How to Overcome Them)

Updated: Mar 11

e-Commerce analytics

eCommerce teams that make decisions based on data are winning. 

Studies reveal they're 23 times more likely to acquire customers and six times more likely to retain them. When compared to eCommerce brands that make decisions based on intuition, data-driven eCommerce brands are 19 times more likely to be profitable. 

However, the path to data-driven success in eCommerce doesn’t come without its hurdles. 

The exponential growth of eCommerce, particularly after the pandemic, has led to data lethargy. With a constant influx of data – advertising, content from multiple platforms, inventory and order details, logistics information, and more – businesses struggle to convert this into meaningful insights and actionable strategies. 

The amount of data generated is too much for the human mind to comprehend, leading to analysis paralysis. Decision-makers find it difficult to identify actionable trends amidst the data flood. 

Further complicating matters are the characteristics of this big data, the 5Vs: volume, variety, velocity, veracity, and value. In this blog, we’ll dive into these 5Vs and see the challenges they pose in eCommerce analytics. 

5 Vs of big data — the biggest hurdle in eCommerce analytics

Running an eCommerce brand is not as easy as some people might assume. Here are the 5 biggest big data challenges that eCommerce business owners face in running eCommerce analytics. 

5 Vs of big data in eCommerce

Challenge 1: Volume 

The volume is the amount of data generated in the eCommerce industry. This includes details like product information, customer behavior, purchase history, marketing campaign performance, and logistics data. 

Customers' activity on the internet is expanding. And with growing activity, the volume of data that eCommerce businesses need to manage also grows exponentially. 

The impact 

The overwhelming volume of data can be a significant hurdle to effective analysis and growth. Here's how it impacts eCommerce businesses: 

  • Missed insights: Businesses might struggle to identify valuable trends and insights buried within the vast amount of data. 

  • Analysis paralysis: Decision-makers may face analysis paralysis, leading to delays in implementing strategies and reacting to market shifts. 

  • Resource: Arranging the resources required for managing and processing large data volumes can be challenging for smaller businesses. 

What’s the solution? 

You need data unification to address the challenges of data volume. This involves consolidating ineffective data siloes from various sources, such as websites, marketplaces, marketing platforms, and inventory management systems, into a centralized platform. A unified dashboard for eCommerce data allows for easier data access, streamlined analysis, and improved decision-making. 

Challenge 2: Variety 

The variety refers to the different formats and types of data generated in eCommerce. Different types include structured data (product prices, customer demographics, and purchase times) and unstructured data (customer reviews, social media mentions, and website clickstream data.) 

The impact

The first problem with data being available in different types is integrating and analyzing them due to inconsistent format and structure. This often leads to inaccurate insights and doesn’t give a holistic view of customer behavior and market trends. 

There’s also a risk of limited insights. Businesses that don’t have a single view of their data might only analyze structured data that’s easily accessible. Doing this neglects valuable insights hidden within unstructured data, which leads to a fragmented understanding of customer sentiment. 

How do we tackle data variety? 

Overcoming the data variety challenge requires investing in data cleansing and standardization tools. Or a tool that collects heterogeneous data from multiple platforms and transforms it into homogeneous data. These tools give a structure to unstructured data, making it possible for you to run the analysis on them. 

Challenge 3: Velocity 

Velocity is basically the speed at which the data stream comes to eCommerce brands. This depends on how customers interact with your brand in real time, the fluctuations in website traffic, and ongoing market shifts. 

The impact 

The high velocity of data can lead to: 

  • Missed opportunities: Businesses might miss out on real-time insights, which, by the way, are crucial for immediate action and course correction. Even reacting to market changes is delayed. 

  • Delayed decisions: If brands follow the traditional data analysis methods, they might be unable to keep up with changing data streams. 

  • Data backlogs: The constant influx of data can create backlogs within data processing and analysis systems, which further delays insights and hinders timely action. So, let’s say if brands want to do a root cause analysis, they won’t get the right insights because the data is far away from the actual value. 

How do we address the velocity? 

To address the velocity challenge, brands need to invest in real-time eCommerce analytics tools and practices. These tools are created to process and analyze data streams almost instantly, allowing eCommerce businesses to gain real-time insights, optimize campaigns, identify trends, and react quickly. 

Challenge 4: Veracity 

Veracity tells you about the quality of data and how accurate it is. Inaccuracies within datasets can lead to misleading insights and detrimental business decisions. The different data sources and high velocity in eCommerce can make maintaining data veracity a complex challenge. 

The impact 

Decisions based on inaccurate data are prone to being misguided. This leads to wasted resources and also damages the customer's trust. Inaccurate customer data also directly translates to ineffective marketing campaigns, isolating the brand from its potential customers instead of reaching them. 

What’s the solution for data veracity? 

Overcoming the veracity challenge requires you to implement robust data governance practices. These practices are: 

  • Data validation: Regularly checking data accuracy to identify and correct errors. 

  • Data cleansing: Removing duplicate entries, formatting inconsistencies, and standardizing data formats. 

  • Data access controls: Limiting access to data to authorized personnel and implementing data security measures. 

Challenge 5: Value 

The value is the potential economic, intelligence, or strategic benefit the dataset can offer a business. Extracting meaningful insights and applying them to strategic decision-making is crucial for getting the true value of data in eCommerce. The challenge, however, lies in transforming the vast amount of data into actionable intelligence that drives growth. 

The impact 

By failing to extract value from data, businesses might miss out on valuable insights that could improve customer experiences and identify new revenue streams. And because the data is not valuable, it will generate meaningless insights. And when those insights are implemented, it leads to unproductive strategies that fail to address customer needs or respond effectively to market trends. 

What’s the solution? 

Here are some things you can do to ensure that you get maximum value out of your data: 

  • Invest in analytics expertise: Hiring skilled data analysts or partnering with data analytics agencies. 

  • Build a data-driven culture: Encourage a company-wide culture that values data and its potential. 

Accurate and real-time eCommerce analytics with Graas 

The vast and ever-growing data stream in eCommerce comes with both opportunities and challenges. By understanding the 5Vs of Big Data – volume, variety, velocity, veracity, and value – can smoothly tackle the eCommerce analytics challenges. 

eCommerce brands can implement strategies like data unification, data cleansing, real-time analytics, and data governance practices to overcome these challenges and get the true value of their data. 

Graas, a comprehensive eCommerce analytics tool, allows you to conquer the 5Vs of data and use your data to its full potential. The intuitive dashboards provide a single source of truth, streamlining data analysis and offering a holistic view of your business. 

Seamless integrations ensure data accuracy and reliability, while real-time insights allow for immediate action based on scientific attribution models. Beyond numbers, Graas provides actionable recommendations to propel your business forward. 

Take control of your data and ride the wave of success driven by it. Sign up for your free Graas trial today! 


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