Megan Kohout: I’ve tended to join businesses that haven’t spent a lot of time analyzing their customer data, so I’ve needed to determine the best ways to start using the data. One thing I find effective is to listen to how colleagues are talking about the customer and the assumptions they’re making. At a women’s fashion retailer, for example, the employees might assume that a person who buys a specific product is a new customer or from a younger demographic. I like to take those assumptions, look at the data, and share whether that’s really the case.
It’s also a matter of putting myself in the customer’s shoes and trying to understand why they are shopping. For example, are customers shopping for an outfit or for individual pieces? Are they stocking up or shopping for a specific occasion? Then, I use those questions to guide analysis.
There are also some standard customer metrics such as one-time shopper percentage, omni-channel shopping patterns, and behavior by LTV deciles that are a good place to start in any business.