How to Use Ecommerce Data to Innovate on Product Development

Dan Moss

December 17, 2020

Data analytics is the secret sauce powering almost every successful industry in the world. Everything from what you see on social media to the headlines you click on to the fact that you’re here reading this blog is determined and shaped by data, and data has become an especially important tool in ecommerce.

Ecommerce data helps your brand determine everything from ad spend to your organic search rankings, but that’s just the beginning of what it can do. Data can not only help you market your product, it can also lead to radical innovation that makes your products more attractive and functional for your customers.

The old way vs. the new way of innovating on product development

Back in the days of yesteryear, product development was a process that largely hinged on gut instinct. If developers and brand leaders felt like a tweak on a product would lead to more sales, they’d tweak it. Lacking the infrastructure and information to measure how that innovation might land, they might stumble onto a smash hit or a total lemon.

While intuition still has an important role to play in product development today, the rise of digitalized data has given brands unprecedented access to the minds of consumers—we know their buying habits, what they Google search, and what kinds of advertising gets them to click, for starters—and empirical evidence that not only mitigates innovation-associated risk but can be leveraged at every point of a product’s conception, design, and distribution to help a brand thrive.

How data can inform product development

Using data analytics, a brand can parse the landscape of a product category into understandable pieces that offer valuable product solutions for their customers. Data can tell you which products are trending and when they’re trending. It can tell you what consumers are saying about a particular product, for example, what they dislike about it, what they love about it, or what they wish it did differently. Data scraped from customer reviews can give you valuable feedback on your product’s design and functionality, and pricing and search data can show you if a certain category is too competitive for your brand to enter, or if you stand a chance there.

Ultimately, data can provide your brand with next steps to make your products work better for your customers. Brand leaders who are effectively using it to innovate their products are positioning themselves as market leaders in the ecommerce space.

Case Study: Hydro Flask and Chill

Hydro Flask is one of the hottest brands in the food and beverage industry, and it has been for several years. On its own, Hydro Flask is pretty innovative—it’s popular precisely because of the design of its products. Hydro Flask water bottles are built with TempShield insulation and double vacuum construction that keeps drinks cool for almost 24 hours, which makes them great portable products for hiking and spending time outside in warmer weather. The brand has also recently evolved its product lineup to include insulated food transport containers, like totes, food jars, and lunch boxes.

Product designers and developers across the country have paid close attention to Hydro Flask’s popularity, manufacturing their own Hydro Flask accessories—like silicone boots, stickers, and spout caps—to piggyback off the brand’s success and compete in the space. One of those developers is Pattern’s Product Development Head Dan Moss.

Moss and his team of developers wanted to know which kinds of products were trending in the water bottle category on ecommerce and how they could capitalize on it. Using data analytics, they found that Hydro Flask handles were seeing lots of chatter. In response, they conducted data analysis on the positive and negative reviews of each Hydro Flask handle on Amazon. With this data, Moss’s team could determine what problems customers had with these handles and how Pattern could offer an innovative solution. What they found was enlightening.

Customers who bought Hydro Flask water bottle handles on Amazon often felt like the pricing was too high. It was difficult for some of them to physically pull these handles off of their bottles, and they were disappointed they couldn’t interchange them. Some customers felt like their handle looked cheap and gimmicky.

Based on that feedback (as well as the analytics showing Pattern could compete on price), the Pattern product development team went to work creating a new product that wouldn’t have the same issues as its predecessors. Product engineers created multiple iterations of a handle concept. Finally, they landed on Chill, a comfortable, stylish, and reversible nylon strap with a unique push ring clip system that fits most wide-mouth water bottles and rests below the rung for easy attachment and detachment.

Chill Handle Example of Product Development for Ecommerce | Pattern

Chill handles have been on Amazon since about August, and thus far, they’re being received really well by customers, with 150 reviews and an average rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars. The Chill handle has also been selected as an Amazon’s Choice product and is expected to continue doing well for Pattern.

Chill is just one example of how data analytics can point out existing issues with a product and help brand leaders connect the dots to find exciting solutions for their customers. Backed by data, your brand can build a product that’s more efficient, more innovative, more functional, and an overall better quality. And by improving the quality of your product, you create a domino effect that can lead to a better customer service experience for shoppers and ultimately, more sales.

Using Ecommerce Data for Product Development Example | Pattern

Using Pattern's data to inform product development

Ecommerce data can only be helpful for your brand if you have the right tools to access and leverage it. That’s where Pattern comes in. Pattern gives brands expansive access to data analytics and machine learning tools they can use to grow their business in the ecommerce space. We use data to break down what’s working for your brand and what areas need a bit more work, including your product listings, designs, and brand control.

Product development is an especially exciting area to navigate with Pattern as your partner. Pattern recently acquired Enlisted Design, a powerful branding agency that allows us to marry data analytics with design to help brands craft a powerful product and data strategy.

In an interview with Silicon Slopes Magazine, Beau Oyler, CEO of Enlisted Design, described the potential a partnership between Enlisted and Pattern has for brands.

“Throughout my career, I’ve launched numerous award-winning brands and products that can be found at MoMA, Apple stores, Target, Whole Foods, and Best Buy,” Oyler said. “But as I focus on launching new products, I know that ecommerce will be the best way to reach tomorrow’s consumers. The Pattern platform brings real-time market data to the design process, targeting exactly what consumers are looking for. This has never been done before to this degree. Enlisted interprets that data to create next-level design, and together we win for our partners, and they win at ecommerce.”

To learn more about how Pattern and Enlisted Design can help you grow your ecommerce business and innovate your product line, contact us using the form below.

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Global Ecommerce Weekly News: 27th September 2022
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Global Ecommerce Weekly News: 27th September 2022

Get up to date with this week's ecommerce headlines from around the globe. --- Amazon News --- Amazon drives renewable energy push with 71 new projects Amazon is planning to add 2.7 gigawatts of clean energy capacity through a couple of new projects as the company attempts to use 100% renewable energy by 2025. The ecommerce business will soon have a total of 329 renewable energy projects, generating 50,000 gigawatt hours of clean energy, which is equivalent to powering 4.6 million US homes every year. [Read more on Reuters](https://www.reuters.com/business/sustainable-business/amazon-drives-renewable-energy-push-with-71-new-projects-2022-09-21/) Amazon launches Prime Early Access Sale Amazon is launching a new 2-day shopping event for its Prime members only, beginning on the 11th of October. Across 15 countries, Prime customers will have access to the shopping event, with thousands of deals on offer globall, ranging from fashion to electronics to essentials. The event has the purpose of giving Prime users the chance to spread the cost of items over the winter months, 6 weeks ahead of Black Friday. [Read more on Charged Retail](https://www.chargedretail.co.uk/2022/09/26/prime-early-access-sale/) --- Other Marketplace News --- Shopify unveils new localisation tool Shopify is launching a new localisation tool, called Translate & Adapt, which works with Shopify Markets to offer localisation for sellers who are looking to expand into new markets. The tool translates a user’s online store into different languages, including product pages and information pages. Merchants are also able to create different shipping terms for each market using the new tool, which allows international expansion and offers a more localised consumer experience, unveiling new potential. [Read more on Ecommerce News](https://ecommercenews.eu/shopify-launches-new-localisation-tool/) Etsy is set to invest hundreds of millions into its marketing platform Etsy CEO claims that the company is on route to spend more than $570 million USD on marketing this year. Even during a time of macroeconomic pressure, inflation and rising interest rates, the company is preparing itself and its sellers for the upcoming holiday season and is focused on retaining interest from buyers. [Read more on Yahoo News](https://uk.news.yahoo.com/etsy-600-million-on-marketing-ceo-154054219.html) --- Other Ecommerce News --- Meta looks to cut costs by 10% in the coming months Meta employees are facing job redundancies as the company plans to cut its costs by 10% over the next few months. Meta reported a 22% YoY increase in costs and expenses, totalling over $20 billion USD. The cuts are expected to come in the form of job redundancies as a result of department reorganisations rather than formal layoffs. [Read more on Charged Retail](https://www.chargedretail.co.uk/2022/09/22/meta-to-slash-costs-by-10-over-coming-months/) DHL teams up with Quadient to offer smart locker deliveries in the UK DHL and tech company, Quadient, have partnered to offer smart lockers parcel pick-up throughout the UK. The new contactless, secure locker stations will give recipients more choice and flexibility to receive their parcels at a time and location best suited to them. The partnership plans to install 500 locker stations across the country by the end of 2022. [Read more on Charged Retail](https://www.chargedretail.co.uk/2022/09/21/dhl-partners-with-quadient-to-offer-smart-locker-delivery/) The online fashion market is set to be worth nearly $170 billion USD in 2025 The European online fashion retail market is set to grow 50% by 2025, with an online turnover of $170 billion USD, which is 33% of the retail branch’s total. Cross-border marketplaces prove to be the largest drivers of this growth, with online websites and apps like Vinted largely pushing the market’s online growth. Zalando recently became the largest cross-border fashion retailer/marketplace, responsible for 11.7% of the online market’s share. [Read more on Ecommerce News](https://ecommercenews.eu/online-fashion-market-worth-e175-billion-in-2025/)

Global Ecommerce: Weekly News (20th September 2022)
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Global Ecommerce Weekly News: 20th September 2022

Get up to date with this week's ecommerce headlines from around the globe. --- Amazon News --- Amazon to raise pay and add extra work benefits for delivery drivers Following the rise in fuel prices and protests by Amazon workers, the ecommerce giant is raising its delivery drivers’ pay and adding more work benefits. Amazon has mentioned that it will be investing $450 million into rate increases along with an education program and a Delivery Service Partners program. [Read more on Charged Retail](https://www.chargedretail.co.uk/2022/09/14/amazon-to-raise-delivery-drivers-pay-and-add-more-work-benefits/) Amazon announces it will give away shipping software to merchants at no cost Amazon has recently announced that it will be giving ecommerce merchants free software to manage shopper orders on and off its platform as it extends its reach. The ecommerce giant will be ending monthly costs for sellers using Veeqo, a shipping software it recently acquired and instead offer to them a new, free shipping software. [Read more on Charged Retail](https://www.chargedretail.co.uk/2022/09/16/amazon-to-give-away-shipping-software-to-merchants/) --- Other Marketplace News --- Walmart unveils new virtual fitting rooms In an effort to drive clothing sales, Walmart has launched virtual fitting rooms while competitors reduce spending amid the cost of living crisis. The virtual try-on tool can be used by Walmart customers to virtually measure the clothing items and see how the products would look on them. Shoppers will now be able to see how over 270,000 clothing items on Walmart’s ecommerce site would look on their bodies. [Read more on Charged Retail](https://www.chargedretail.co.uk/2022/09/15/walmart-launches-virtual-fitting-rooms-to-drive-clothing-sales/?utmsource=Retail+Gazette+Subscribers&utmcampaign=2da7f0f8f8-EMAILCAMPAIGN202209150742&utmmedium=email&utmterm=0d23e2768b6-2da7f0f8f8-61040615) THG slashes sales and profit expectations The Hut Group has slashed its forecasts for 2022 as rising interest rates, inflation and energy costs take a toll on consumers. Previously, THG estimated its sales growth to be between 22-25% but after a recent evaluation, has lowered this prediction to between 10-15%. Initial predictions did not take into account the negative effects of ceasing sales in Russia and Ukraine along with the impact that the cost-of-living has had on consumer spending. [Read more on Charged Retail](https://www.chargedretail.co.uk/2022/09/15/thg-slashes-forecast-as-cost-of-living-crisis-hits-consumers-wallets/) --- Other Ecommerce News --- DHL and Post Office team up to provide click and collect services Through a partnership between delivery company, DHL and Post Office, a new click and collect service is to be tested at Post Offices before rolling out to over 1000 branches across the UK. Online shoppers will now have the option of choosing their local Post Office as a collection point, and DHL will fulfil the delivery aspect, opening up networks for both parties. [Read more on Charged Retail](https://www.chargedretail.co.uk/2022/09/14/post-office-partners-with-dhl-express-to-provide-click-and-collect-services/) US consumer watchdog plans to further regulate the BNPL sector The US Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has raised concerns regarding the collection of consumer data and the fast-growing nature of the BNPL sector, which includes companies such as Affirm and Klarna. The CFPB is worried that these companies could be negatively impacting consumers’ financial health and aims to put better regulations in place to ensure consumers are safe and empowered. [Read more on Charged Retail](https://www.chargedretail.co.uk/2022/09/16/us-consumer-watchdog-to-start-regulating-bnpl-sector/) Japanese ecommerce market estimated to grow by 6.9% in 2022 The ecommerce market in Japan, largely dominated by domestic online retailers including Reakuten and Mercari, is set to reach $194.3 billion USD in 2022, after seeing an annual compound growth rate of 5.2% between 2018 and 2021. This makes Japan the fourth leading ecommerce market globally, following China, the US, and the UK. [Read more on Charged Retail](https://www.chargedretail.co.uk/2022/09/13/japan-ecommerce-market-to-grow-by-6-9-in-2022/) Ecommerce brands are spending more on TikTok ads TikTok may soon be surpassing Facebook and Google as the most lucrative advertising channel, with ecommerce brands spending 60% more on TikTok ads in Q2. Facebook is still ahead as the top choice for ecommerce advertisers but only grew by 5.6% from Q1, while Google grew 20.5% in Q2, and Snap declined 10.8% in Q2. [Read more on SearchEngineLand](https://searchengineland.com/ecommerce-brands-spent-60-more-on-tiktok-ads-in-q2-387876)

Global Ecommerce: Weekly News (13th September 2022)
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Global Ecommerce Weekly News: 13th September 2022

Get up to date with this week's ecommerce headlines from around the globe. --- Amazon News --- Amazon scales back on US warehouse facilities Amazon is shutting down two facilities with 300 employees, discarding plans for 42 facilities, and delaying plans to open a further 21 buildings across the US. The ecommerce giant is scaling back on hiring as well as the expansion of its vast delivery network, as it was left with an excess of space following its rapid expansion during the pandemic. [Read more on Business Insider](https://www.businessinsider.com/amazon-closes-2-facilities-scraps-plans-42-new-buildings-report-2022-9?r=US&IR=T) --- Other Marketplace News --- JD.com is ‘betting’ on ecommerce grocery market Amidst a slowing economy and a decline in ecommerce, Chinese ecommerce giant JD.com has increased its urgency to seek new growth engines. The company is looking to boost its online grocery business through offline partnerships and expansion into lower-tier cities, where it may be able to unleash more consumption power. [Read more on The Star](https://www.thestar.com.my/tech/tech-news/2022/09/08/chinese-ecommerce-giant-jdcom-bets-big-on-online-grocery-lower-tier-markets-amid-slowing-economy) Shopee shuts operations in Argentina, Chile, Colombia, and Mexico Sea’s ecommerce arm, Shopee, has shut local operations in some LATAM countries but will continue to maintain cross-border operations in a few markets. Latin America is Sea’s most important region following South-east Asia, accounting for close to 19% of its revenue in 2021. The move away from these countries is largely due to increased levels of macro uncertainty and rising interest and inflation rates, and rather putting a focus on its core operations. [Read more on Straits Times](https://www.straitstimes.com/business/companies-markets/seas-shopee-shuts-operations-in-argentina-chile-colombia-mexico-sources) --- Other Ecommerce News --- Instagram scales back in-stream shopping elements Instagram is re-examining its approach as it hasn’t been able to make ‘fetch’ happen. ‘Fetch’ in this context being the online shopping trends which have become all-consuming in China, and what Western social platforms have been hoping to add into their apps to make them more addictive and revenue-generating. Consumers have not been swayed by the latest shopping tools on TikTok and Instagram, leading to Instagram scaling back its in-stream shopping program. [Read more on SocialMediaToday](https://www.socialmediatoday.com/news/instagram-scales-back-in-stream-shopping-elements-as-it-re-examines-its-app/631276/) FedEx Express supporting the growth of cross border ecommerce FedEx express has expanded its international commerce shipping service to four more markets across the Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa (AMEA) region in an effort to support the strong development of ecommerce in this region. Three of the fastest growing markets, the Philippines, Indonesia and Vietnam are leading Southeast Asia’s ecommerce sales, which is set to reach $100 billion by 2023. [Read more on Post & Parcel](https://postandparcel.info/149889/news/e-commerce/fedex-express-supports-the-growth-of-cross-border-e-commerce-within-the-amea-region/) India ramps up hiring as companies prepare for shoppers Ecommerce companies are getting ready for the festive season by rapidly expanding their temporary workforce. As ecommerce in India grows, the country is predicted to have 372 million online shoppers by the end of 2022. The festive season this year, running from October to December, is expected to see a two-fold increase in logistics and delivery alone. During this period, companies are predicted to add 20% more to their existing workforce base, with a 8-10% higher pay scale compared to last year. [Read more on Business Insider India](https://www.businessinsider.in/business/ecommerce/news/the-great-indian-festival-of-hiring-e-commerce-companies-gear-up-for-indias-shoppers/articleshow/94000346.cms)