Monthly Archives: November 2008

Lab Store: Frequent Buyer Analysis

Every year just before the holiday season we take a look at the customer database for the Lab Store – the online retail biz my wife runs – and see what’s up with 10x or more buyers.

I often prefer to look at “worst case” data when doing customer analysis; this way you don’t over-estimate the Potential Value of the business going forward.  The beginning of the 4th Quarter is a good time to do this since “holiday” really hasn’t kicked in yet, so you don’t have those buying influences skewing the natural activity in the customer database.

At the end of September, we took a look at all customers, no matter when they became customers,  who have purchased from us at least 10 times – a best customer analysis.  Considering a “year” to be 9/30 to 9/29,  we bucketed them by when their last purchase was – past year, 2 years ago, 3 years ago, 4 or more years ago (the business started 5 years ago).

Here are the results:

Last purchase date was in               Percentage of all 10x or more Buyers

9/30/07 –  9/29/08                                 75%

9/30/06 –  9/29/07                                 12%

9/30/05 –  9/29/06                                   8%

9/30/04 –  9/29/05                                   5%

If this data is still confusing, the second line above would read, “Of all customers who have ever bought 10x or more, 12% last purchased in the period 9/30/06 –  9/29/07.

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Web Intelligence

As I said in an earlier comment, I didn’t get to see many of the sessions at eMetrics DC due to a raft of WAA stuff and great interactions with the people at the show outside the sessions.  But I have seen a lot of commentary, notably from Gary, Judah, and Eric, and related, from Christopher, on the overall message.

I have to say I agree (or is it have agreed?) – web analytics is headed for the BI shop.  In what form, we can only speculate.  But I have a few ideas, and a great resource that could be quite helpful depending on where you want to go with your analytical career.

The Google Analytics API, for one thing, is going to be huge from a BI perspective.  Just exactly what you have access to and in what format will be an issue for some BI folks, who tend to want “all of it”.

If BI really wants all the data, WebTrends was talking about cleaving the reporting from the processing – just like a traditional BI scenario, where the analytics app sits on top of any warehouse.  But I think in general most BI folks are over-thinking this issue and in time, they are going to be more satisfied with the “right” data, as opposed to “all”.

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