B-to-B Cataloging Every Cataloger's Guide to Analysis
- House buyers. Segment your house buyers based on recency. For example, if your RFM segmentation is based on year of purchase, list all your 2006 buyer segments together with a subtotal for each column. Segment and subtotal down the list of 2005 buyers, 2004 buyers, etc.
House prospects. It may be helpful to segment and group prospects together for analysis. Run subtotals for all your columns. If you decide not to group your house prospects separately, include them in the appropriate year of the above housefile groups.
Rented cooperative database lists. Generally, segment and subtotal each collection of co-op lists separately from your other rented lists. You'll find this helpful when determining your continuations and discussing your results with your various co-op brokers.
Standard list rentals. Think in terms of subgroups that will aid in analysis. For example, if you rent from several brokers, some catalogers subtotal their lists by broker. These categories help them discuss results for continuations and new tests. Sometimes it helps to segment rented lists by product purchasers versus subscribers or requesters. If there's no logical subdivision, group them together.
Let the Analysis Begin
When you build your spreadsheet this way, your numbers tell you a story. Look at your house buyer segments by recency of purchase. A quick scan will tell you the most recent buyers perform significantly better than your two- or three-year buyers.
Are your older buyers still profitable? Look at the contribution per order metric. Should you test reactivation strategies?
Beyond their analysis value, these spreadsheets are a vital tool for strategic planning and forecasting. When you build spreadsheets to this detail over the course of a year, you come away with a complete set of response data that is invaluable for next year's planning.
In part two, I'll discuss merchandising analytics and how to use your findings to support your merchandising and product development teams.