The word “Big Data” came into use in the late 90’s and early 2000s. At that time, it had a specific meaning. “Big Data” has by now been so diluted that to each person and organization it means something slightly different.

In the past few years, we have heard how "Big data " has helped transform large e-commerce brands.

An IDG study last year showed 78 percent of brands agree data collection and analysis have the potential to change the way they do business entirely.

Small Data is the new buzz heating up in the tech world.

According to Martin Lindstrom - “Big Data is all about finding correlations, but Small Data is all about finding the causation, the reason why.”

In this post, I will show you how you can use Small Data to improve your e-commerce store's performance, conversion, and profitability.

#1. Invest in Customer Research & Feedback Loops

Customer research helps to get you closer to your customer. The closer you get to them the better you would make able to make the stick to your store and bring tons of money to your door!

A). Email Your Customers

A simple & low-cost way would be to email your customers and ask them their feedback. You can generate a report of your last orders and send them a simple email with 1 question -  What is one thing that you like about our store?

You can either send them emails from your email service provider, or if you have longer-form surveys, you can use tools such as Google forms and Typeform that can be customized to host any question type.

Whatever the tool or approach it may be, make it personalized and keep it simple.

B). Cart Abandonment Emails

The average cart abandonment for an e-commerce store is around 63%. This implies that 63% of people reach the cart page but do not proceed further. Cart abandonment is a big revenue-suck for e-commerce stores.

There are many ways to reduce cart abandonment rates. However, the objective here is to find out the exact reason for cart abandonment and to strategically plug that hole in your e-commerce store.

You need to have a cart abandonment tool or extension installed that can generate a report of the last abandoned customers. You can create a list of customers and send them a simple email like "What made you stop completing the transaction? Is there anything that you can direct us to which needs improvement ?"

The more personal and research-oriented your content is, the better responses you can expect.

C). Finding Insights In the Data

Metrics are easy; Insight is hard. It is important to understand how powerful it can be to use data to prove your assumptions.

Once you have received responses from your customers, try to find out what problems they experienced within your e-commerce store before they left or they purchased from your store. 

The main goal of the activity is to find insights on:

  • What stopped them from buying?
  • Was there any technical issue on the website?
  • Was there anything wrong with the product image or description?

Once you find the data points that are leading to a leaky bucket, you can go ahead and make small changes in your e-commerce store that would yield drastic results.

Gain insight into your rivals' traffic

Outdo their strategies with the SEMrush Traffic Analytics data

ADS illustration

#2 Implement Feedback Polls

Feedback polls are peepholes into the mind of your customers. When you bring their feedback into your store, you will find out what they think of your store, and how you can develop, design, and plan with them in mind.

A). Visitor Polls

Visitor polls can help you get valuable user data for your website, and the information can help you make changes that will make a true difference to your store. You should run 10 to 15 polls on your e-commerce store on different pages with insightful questions that would engage users and help you to collect data.

For these short surveys, you can use tools like Qualaroo to ask a simple question or conduct a brief poll, with the goal of generating responses from customers who are currently active in your e-commerce store.

B). Search Results Page Polls

You can plug visitor polls in your search results page. You can ask them - "Were you able to find what you were looking?" - "Yes" or "No" and ask for their feedback.

This data could give you an insight into how your search engine is working, and if you are using visitor recording tools like Hotjar, you will get exactly what your customer searched for. This exercise could help you improve your SEO efforts.

C). Product Page Polls

You can implement customer polls on your product page and ask them - "Is the product description giving you the right information you need about this product?"

Their responses will give you the insights you need to influence sales and compel your customers to move the product into their basket.

With this insight, you will be able to tweak your product pages, landing pages copy and rewrite them in your customers’ own words and match to what exactly they are looking in your page.

D). Incentives/Rewards for Feedback

Incentives do increase the number of responses you will receive for your customer feedback survey. A survey by Smokeci states that there is an 8% increase in the number of responses received when customers are incentivized for feedback.

You can incentivize customers by giving them discount coupons for participating in these polls. 

Incentives work two ways:

  1. They get you the insights that you need.
  2. Customers feel rewarded for the efforts they have put in to fill the survey also it brings them back to your store next time for a sale.

#3 Analyze Store Visitor Activity

Visitor recording and session replay tools enable businesses to record, save, and replay the interactions visitors have on their e-commerce store.

Tools like Hotjar and Kissmetrics help you to implement heat maps, scroll maps, visitor polls, slide up polls, surveys, and visitor reporting that covers the whole of user behavior and research.

You can watch a batch of 50 recordings and bucket them in the groups below:

#1People who purchased from your store.

#2People who didn't purchase from your store.

#3People who left specific pages like a Product page, Cart page, Checkout page, etc.

The analysis from Hotjar would give you an insight how your visitors are using your website. 

This would help you to identify areas in your website where customers are dropping off and how you can fix them.


With these small data sets, you would be able to gather much more in-depth insights and information to improve your e-commerce store. The difference between big data vs. the small data is, we are trying to get away from numbers and moving towards words because words help us to dig deeper and learn better.

So, the next time you find something wrong in your Google analytics - a page which is underperforming or bounce rates of specific pages which are high, dig deeper and ask people what is wrong with that page and how they think you should fix it.

Author Photo
Kaartik IyerKaartik Iyer is the co-Founder and Director of Marketing at Infigic, a digital, web & mobile development company. Kaartik is a must follow "ecommerce expert" and has contributed to sites like Huffington Post, Yourstory, Tamebay to name a few. He's passionate about fitness, entrepreneurship, startups and all things digital. Hit him up on LinkedIn for a quick chat on any of these topics.
More about Ecommerce
How To Create an Effective Content Strategy for EcommerceTo create ecommerce website content tailored to buyer needs, you need to understand your user‘s buyer persona and your audience. Plus, you have to create content that converts! Learn more about our ecommerce content tips and how you can create an ecommerce content strategy for your business by reading our guide.
12 min read