The customer expects more and more from the brands it interacts with and purchases from today. The customer doesn't want to feel stalked online, but appreciates a personalized interaction and wants to feel remembered for purchasing with you through personalized customer service after the fact, and with relevant recommendations in the future.

These expectations are pretty simple and straightforward but like all simple and elegant solutions, a sophisticated underlying operational design exists that delivers actionable intel to drive best-in-class creative, content strategy, and performance.

As it relates to online commerce today, Google Shopping is a phenomenal way to increase conversions, gather loads of data, and gain market share against your competitors at the point of search intent. However, those who truly master it's impact will have designed a technology solution that incorporates four complimentary processes to deliver a more personalized experience and increase revenue opportunities with your customers.

Use technology that leverages data science

Data science helps you parse big data into big insights to increase the impact of your marketing and sales efforts and budgets. As mentioned, doing business on Google Shopping means having to handle gigantic amounts of data. What your strategy needs is a way to intelligently parse this big data, and distill it into something actionable. Tech powered by data science - the science of drawing real insights from enormous chunks of data - is up to the task for you to deliver those better, more-granular results. A solution that doesn't use data science - and requires your team to be up to their elbows in manually crunching spreadsheets - isn't a solution, its a nightmare.

How you collect (tag and log) data and traffic across channels and your website is key. You don't want your data layer of your technology stack to be held hostage in one brand's ecosystem of products. This is why I suggest you look at Tealium's agnostic platform as a great place to start and build your data hub foundation. Google Tag Manager is a free solution that offers similar capabilities as Tealium, but remember that you get what you pay for and I would personally recommend investing time in learning the differences if you are running an enterprise that is more than a side hustle.

Machine learning to optimize over time

Machine learning is a type of artificial intelligence (AI) that lets your technology glean insights from data patterns over time. A Google Shopping solution that uses machine learning and data science together can always calculate and optimize the advertising budget on every individual item over time. The result? You get optimized ad budgets for every product every time, spending exactly as much as you need to make the most profits while not under-investing and missing out on opportunities.

Tealium's IQ and Audience Stream solutions have worked magic in several of our portfolio company's in this regard. The ability to understand the customer across its entire relationship with your brand in a one-on-one fashion allows for better decisions related to re-marketing dollars spent, and increases relevance and engagement in parallel.

Unlimited reporting

Google Shopping is a space with a lot of upside - and many of your competitors are battling for conversions right along side you in that channel. Understanding what is happening in real time and over various periods of time is key to maintaining a competitive advantage.

This is why you need a solution that has unlimited storage and unlimited processing power, to store data for future tests while generating reports in seconds. When your team can quickly pull reports on their Shopping campaigns, they can adapt more quickly to changing market forces and, when the need arrives, more quickly course-correct, even during busy times and peak buying cycles like the holiday shopping season.

Customizability

In the era of personalization you need a solution that's flexible enough to let your team optimize their Google Shopping campaign efforts to the specific goals you set before them this quarter - whether that be launching a new product line or driving up overall profits.

In fact, next-generation solutions like QuanticMind use advanced algorithms that incorporate cost of goods sold (COGS) in their calculations. With this kind of cutting-edge algorithm, retailers can optimize their Google Shopping campaigns purely to output the highest possible overall profits. Is your team doing this? Is your current solution capable of doing this? If not, its time to level up your strategy with this kind of integration.

Retailers and brands can also hyper-target known customer lists with zero-waste on advertising spend once they have a verified customer list of shipping addresses from prior orders or opt-ins using a hot, new solution like Gridlite. The possibilities of how you can customize your technology foundation to deliver a more personalized buying experience at scale are endless.

The bottom line

You can carve out tremendous success for your company if you incorporate technology solutions that deliver actionable insights through a blend of sound data science, machine learning, real-time reporting and customizability.

Published on: Jul 6, 2017
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.