How Intelligent Data Mining Drives B2B E CommerceI don’t know about you, but I live in a little teensy bit of denial when I shop online. For some reason, as a consumer, I suspend my disbelief about what data online retailers are capturing about me and what their marketing teams are doing with that data. Let me be clear–I’m a marketer, so I’m perfectly aware that online retailers are gathering as much pertinent data about me as they legally can, but on some level this sort of freaks me out and so I separate my personal life from my professional understanding of how online shopping and data mining go hand in hand.

Last week I read two articles about data mining that blew my mind–one on Forbes.com as well as a supporting article from NYTimes.com–and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about them since.

Both of these articles document how Target Corporation was able to intelligently mine its customer data and by using what it knows about how women shop through the various stages of pregnancy, determine that one of its customers–a teenaged girl–was pregnant before her family knew. Read the articles. They are mind-blowing, at least to me. Why?

Simple–by mining its own customer data, Target was able to figure out how to market to a specific group of people at a time when they would be most receptive to it. The payoff for doing so is huge, especially since Target admits that new parents are the “holy Grail” of retail.

What does this have to do with your B2B ecommerce business? A lot.

While you probably don’t have a team of statisticians to work out a unique algorithm for your business, you do have an amazing amount of data about your customers, what they buy and how they buy it at your finger tips. Chances are high that you aren’t taking advantage of this data to the fullest extent and doing so could help you increase sales.

How? Glad you asked.

By looking for trends in how or what your customers buy, you can intelligently offer them the products they are most likely to purchase as a cross-sell or up-sell on your ecommerce site. Mining your customer data and finding consistent trends might encourage you to offer certain items as a bundled option. The more you know about how your customers buy your products, the more strategically you can craft their online experience and potentially, offer a solution to a need your customer is only just discovering.

To learn more about how to maximize the impact of your B2B ecommerce site, download the white paper, B2B Ecommerce Success – Seven Questions to Consider When Beginning an Ecommerce Initiative.