How Mining Customer Data Can Drive B2B E Commerce SuccessData mining is a hot topic in the world of ecommerce. Target Corporation proved that a few weeks ago with the publicity surrounding their intelligent data mining practices. You may not immediately realize it, but as a B2B organization, you have a significant advantage over B2C companies with an ecommerce initiative and it comes down to data mining. It comes down to this:

You know your customers. Through and through. On every transaction. There’s no guessing on who they are, what their business needs are, or what they want.

You know your customers.

It’s an unwritten rule that is enforced by consumers with an increasing frequency–B2C ecommerce sites must give their shoppers the option to check out as a guest. In those cases, shoppers give a minimal amount of information to the retailer about themselves outside of the necessary information needed to conduct the transaction. Unless they log in to a registered account, those shoppers “opt out” of sharing additional data with the retailer.

In B2B ecommerce, you know who your customers are before they ever log in to your site. You know who the company is, what their business needs are, where they are located and which products matter the most to them. You know what they buy, how frequently they buy and how much they spend on average each month. You probably even know who will be placing each order.

Mining your B2B customer data will revolutionize the way you do business and directly impact your bottom line. Here’s how:

Data mining gives B2B companies information about customer preferences. It can help the B2B ecommerce organization determine when their customers prefer to shop, how they progress through the site and which items they consider before they purchase. Likewise, B2B ecommerce functionality such as recent order lists, quick order lists, saved items and the like give the B2B retailer insight on which products the customer anticipates needing in the future.

Data mining allows you to analyze buying patterns. When considering orders received over a period of time, B2B ecommerce retailers can determine how customers buy their products, which products they are most likely to together, and which items are added to the cart, but not purchased.

Data mining makes your promotional efforts more effective. Once you have analyzed customer buying patterns you can start to cross-sell or up-sell customers who buy from you with the items similar customers have purchased. You can also start to create targeted promotions and product bundles in response to customer buying patterns.

By considering what you already know about your customers and comparing that data against other customers who purchased similar products or had similar needs, you can start to identify revenue opportunities and create promotional campaigns to address them.

How are you mining your customer data for ecommerce success?

To learn more about how to leverage the power of your B2B ecommerce site, download the whitepaper, B2B Ecommerce Success – Seven Questions to Consider When Beginning an Ecommerce Initiative.