Bad Data – Is it Holding Your Ecommerce Business Back?

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For what is a business without data?


Let’s get it right.

It’s vital that data is entered into systems accurately, and automation can really help to solve this problem. All businesses, including ecommerce, rely on quality data. This quality data consists of, but importantly, is not limited to:

  • Order Quantities 
  • Shipping Addresses
  • Sales History
  • Marketing Performance

Inaccurate or missing data can often lead to a lot of frustration, along with wasted time and money – something we’d all love to avoid. And so, becoming aware of the problems your business may face, can help you to implement intuitive solutions.

Let’s address the real impact of poor quality (bad) data.


Returning Customers Not Coming Back as Often

Not being able to align product offerings with customer wants and needs is a common effect of bad data. Getting your marketing message right can only be helped by using good quality data. Effectively testing marketing efforts through A/B testing, and segmenting audiences can give you a much greater insight into customers reception and how profitable your marketing is. You can provide value through reciprocity – read more about it here.

Upselling Opportunities Missed

This is a real pain point for eCommerce businesses. Missing out on such a great opportunity to increase sales is a travesty! Good data will enable you to categorise customers and recommend products that will appeal specifically to that customer with their purchase history. A quick way you can start to implement upselling is by recommending products that are often bought with the product the customer is looking at. Having the right data means you can categorise and pair products more effectively, as well as suggesting products to your customers that they never knew they needed! (Adding such value to your website will encourage customers to return!)

Missed train showing missed opportunities

Traffic to Your Website Slowing Down

What’s gone wrong? A decline in traffic to your website could be attributed to a drop in organic search results. It’s so important to research keywords. If your target customers are using search terms completely different to your chosen keywords, you won’t be top of the pile in search results. Regularly reviewing keywords should be high on your priorities, especially as an eCommerce business.

Your website is a shop window for potential customers all over the globe, but it’s no good if it isn’t being seen! When your customers search for specific products, there is often a description that pulls through to the search results. Not having a product description can really harm your search results standing. This key data often grabs the customers attention, encouraging a click through to a website. So make sure they exist and are relevant, including the appropriate information, then you can focus your attention on retaining and upselling to customers.


Order Shipments Going MIA

Customers are making purchases, but the orders aren’t arriving. Why would this keep happening? Address changes and typos can interfere with shipping orders and send them awry. This is a costly mistake for business – and one that can be prevented! Customers with accounts could receive a notification, asking them to check and amend their address every so often. And, your website could use an automated address verification software. Turning that bad data into good data.

Missing piece like orders that go missing

Email Bounce Rate Skyrocketing

Fortunately, it can become fairly obvious that you are using bad data when it comes to sending out emails. If the emailing list is old, you’ll see a steady increase in the number of bounces. However, if you get a massive spike in the number of bounced emails, this can indicate a problem with new subscribers to your emailing list. Often it can be due to an unclear signup campaign. To combat this, firstly, ensure your list is GDPR compliant and your emails include an unsubscribe button. The GDPR benefits both you and your customers. Your customers are qualified as being genuinely interested in your products and services and you have a more valuable list ready for use. And, using an email service provider such as MailChimp, can really help you to evaluate your email marketing through user-friendly reports.

(Take a look at how you can optimise the free marketing space in your email signature here!)


Customer Service Issues on the Rise

A rise in customer service calls could be because of poor (bad!) data. The same can be seen in an increase in call length.

  • If your product descriptions are missing or lacking in information, as mentioned previously, customers will have no choice but to leave your website and look elsewhere or get in contact and ask directly. 
  • Not being able to effectively track and update customers on their shipping estimates can lead to disgruntled customers wondering where their packages are. Providing inaccurate data has a knock-on effect on your company’s reputation.
  • Customers not being able to update information without calling in can be really frustrating and time consuming for them. 

Call length can be lengthened by bad data, duplicate records and misspelled names, which all exasperate the client who is wanting a quick answer. A great way to solve this issue is by providing a great FAQ Page that becomes the go-to for customers looking for information! You can also save time and resources, as well as boosting customer satisfaction by implementing an automated way to update details. Minimising errors and freeing up your support staff. Enabling them to focus on more urgent support calls.

Increase in frustrated customers due to bad data

Mismatched Reports Wasting Time and Money

If your reports are not matching and are often inconsistent, this can lead to poor decision making. Ensuring your system integrations are working properly and effectively can help to produce a profit. Importantly, inconsistent reports may lead to mismanagement of stock or a marketing effort that promotes a product, then the sale price results in a loss. Review your reporting process when you think that there has been a miscommunication or inaccurate input of data.

Bank note on fire representing time and money wasted by using bad data

Simple Tasks Taking What Feels Like Years to Complete

We all work at different speeds. But, if you see a sudden increase in the length of time it takes an employee to complete what would normally be a quick task, you may have a data issue. This increase in time spent on understanding and trying to use bad data may contribute to mismatched reports. Bad data can disrupt the usual process, as the employee will have to look and find the missing or correct data. Ensuring that all employees from all areas of your business understand what is good and bad data, can help to improve systems and processes. Helping your employees become more efficient and therefore quicker.

Snail showing how slow processes become when using bad data

Suffering a Decline in Sales

Customer satisfaction can be damaged by slow responses, and therefore can result in a decline in sales. If data is missing, such as product information, potential customers will have to get in contact for information, or worse – they won’t bother. In this day and age, customers are able to quickly research products and find the best one to suit them; missing or weak information will most certainly result in a decrease of sales. Look at similar websites or similar listings on other platforms and take note of the depth of information. View best selling products with high ratings, what information do they include? Can you provide as much information for your customers?

Image looking down stairs showing a decline in sales


Your eCommerce business needs quality data in order to function, progress and forecast efficiently. Taking a look at the above-mentioned consequences of using bad data, you should be able to more easily identify weaknesses in your own data and improve them!

If you’re interested in automating your systems and processes in order to minimise data errors and avoid bad data, we can help! Contact us here.

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