The Importance of Collecting Customer (and Potential Customer) Details

If you’ve ever purchased something online, you’ll be relatively familiar with the process of filling in multiple fields with personal information before your checkout is complete. In fact, chances are that the majority of retail sites that you open automatically send you a pop up with the opportunity to submit your email address for the company to use. But why is this? Well, as you start to grow used to the world of business, you’ll quickly realise the importance of collecting as many consumer details as possible. Read on to find out exactly what benefits this information can hold for your own small business!

Payment and Shipping
Now, the most logical reason for you to collect customer details online is to ensure that their payment can be properly processed and that the goods that they have bought can be sent out to them without delay or further problems. So make this a mandatory part of your checkout process. Remember to always leave room for a contact number (in case the item cannot be delivered for some reason or another) and a field for notes to be added - your customer may have specific requirements for their delivery, such as having the parcel sent to a neighbour’s house if they are not present to open the door and sign for it. You can store this information in a Bespoke Excel spreadsheet, ready for use in the future and saving them time on checkout if the details are already saved.

The next biggest reason for collecting customer details is for marketing purposes. If you have the email address of someone who has shopped with you before or has displayed interest in your wares before, you can get in touch with them whenever you launch a new line of products or when something they were interested in has come back into stock. This will help you to boost your exposure and to encourage sales that may otherwise have been forgotten. Now, seeing as almost every brand is trying to get customers to sign up to their mailing lists, people may be reluctant to hand over their information, as they don’t want their inbox to be flooded with emails from every brand under the sun. But many will be happy to sign up if they get something in return. So offer discount codes or other rewards in exchange for their subscription.

Market Research
If you include a few extra fields in your forms, you can conduct a little market research at the same time as achieving the above steps. Ask customers their age, gender, and profession. This helps you to get to know the demographic that you are appealing to, thus giving you the opportunity to tailor future products more closely to their needs. This benefits both you and the customer in the long run!

As you can see, collecting customer data is essential to the success of any small business. Not only does it ensure that your customers’ purchases reach them on time, but it can also help with market research and marketing campaigns too!

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