E-commerce Store Analytics: How to forecast sales and maximise revenue in Malaysia

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Success in the intriguing but complex process of online selling largely hinges on understanding your customers and making informed decisions. With e-commerce, evolving technology, customer habits, and shopping trends influence sales. E-commerce businesses can succeed in Malaysia by anticipating these changes and adapting their sales strategy around them. This is where e-commerce analytics comes in, offering business owners real-time insights into evolving shopping trends, sales and customer habits. It’s the process of collecting, analysing, and interpreting data from your online store.

This article will guide you through the power of e-commerce analytics for sales forecasting and how it empowers you toward revenue growth in Malaysia. We’ll explore key metrics to track, how to leverage data for strategic decision-making, and even look into some advanced forecasting techniques. By the end, you’ll be equipped to unlock the true potential of your online store using the power of data analysis.

Why it is Important to Understand Your E-commerce Sales Data in Malaysia

E-commerce analytics are powerful, but their true value lies in understanding them within the context of your business goals. Here’s why analysing your data with the bigger picture in mind is crucial:

  • Keep your key e-commerce metrics in check: Understanding key e-commerce metrics like website traffic, conversion rates, and customer acquisition costs allows you to track your progress toward your growth objectives, such as sales.
  • Extract Customer Journey Insights: Revenue reports combined with customer behaviour data paint a clear picture of your customer journey. Analysing abandoned carts, product popularity, and purchase frequency can reveal customer preferences and identify opportunities to personalise the shopping experience.
  • Predictive Analytics for E-commerce Sales Forecasting: E-commerce analytics can be harnessed for powerful predictive analysis. By studying historical sales data, customer behaviour patterns, and industry trends, you can forecast future sales and optimise inventory levels. This proactive approach minimises the risk of stockouts and overstocking, ensuring you have the right products available when customers need them, especially during peak seasons.
  • Leveraging predictive analytics for e-commerce success: Analysing data allows you to identify areas for improvement beyond sales figures. Moreover, predictive analytics can also help anticipate shipping delays and proactively communicate with customers to improve the customer experience. Similarly, high cancellation rates might point to product issues or unclear descriptions. By understanding these pain points, you can address them and minimise lost revenue opportunities.

To sum things up, analysing your data and applying the insights within the context of your e-commerce business can help you overcome potential hurdles, maximise efficiency, and ultimately drive growth.

Key E-commerce Analytics for E-commerce Sales Forecasting in Malaysia

Sales forecasting is a critical skill for any e-commerce business. By accurately predicting future sales, you can make informed decisions about inventory management, marketing budgets, and overall business strategy. Here’s how key e-commerce analytics can empower your sales forecasting:

  1. Studying Historical Sales Data 

Sales data comprises a few different types of data points, all combined together to offer a robust view of the relevance between your business and your customers’ demands. Here is some more information on what makes up the historical sales data view:

  • Trends Over Time: Analyse historical sales data across different timeframes (daily, weekly, monthly, yearly) using automated reports generated periodically to identify recurring patterns. This helps you understand your sales baseline and predict future performance under similar circumstances.
  • Seasonality and Cycles: Certain products or e-commerce industries in Malaysia experience predictable surges and dips in sales throughout the year. Identifying seasonality and cyclical patterns allows you to anticipate peak demand and prepare accordingly.
  • External Influences: Consider external factors that might impact sales trends, such as upcoming holidays, major promotions by competitors, or broader economic shifts.
  1. Understanding the Purchase Journey

Your customers in Malaysia will leave a digital footprint throughout their online shopping journey. By analysing this data, you gain invaluable insights for sales forecasting. A platform such as Shopee offers a tool like Shopee Store Performance Insights, which provides a complete analysis of your store’s health. It offers valuable data on various metrics, including sales figures, customer behaviour patterns, and how well your products are performing. Here is how you can use these data points:

  • The Purchase Funnel: Track user behaviour through each stage of the funnel – sessions, product views, cart abandonment rates, and conversion rates. Understanding where customers drop off allows you to identify areas for improvement and optimise the conversion process.
  • Customer Segmentation: Segment your customer base by demographics and purchase history. This reveals high-value customer segments with predictable purchase patterns, allowing you to tailor your forecasting accordingly.
  • Identifying Loyal Customers: Loyal customers are the backbone of any business. Analyse repeat purchase behaviour to identify your most valuable customer segments and predict their future purchases to ensure stocked inventory and a robust customer experience.
  1. Targeting the Right Audience Through Marketing Optimization

Marketing budgets are precious and often quite limited. E-commerce analytics empower you to allocate resources more effectively. Here are some of the metrics you can use to allocate your digital marketing budget more effectively:

  • Channel Performance: Track the traffic and conversions generated from different marketing channels (paid ads, organic search, social media). This allows you to identify which channels work best for your target audience.
  • Cost-per-acquisition (CPA): This metric reveals how much it costs you to acquire a new customer through each channel. A channel with a consistently low CPA can be a reliable source of future sales.
  • Return on Investment (ROI): Go beyond just conversions. Analyse the ROI for each marketing campaign to understand which channels generate the highest revenue and optimise your marketing budget for future sales forecasting.

Leveraging Analytics to Maximise E-commerce Revenue in Malaysia

E-commerce analytics are a goldmine for uncovering opportunities to boost your bottom line. Here’s how to translate data insights into actionable strategies that maximise your revenue potential:

  1. Product Performance

Products are the heroes of your business. However, it is also crucial to understand which products are performing well and which are relatively tricky to sell.

  • Identify Winners and Losers: Analyse which products consistently sell well and generate the highest profit margins. These are your star products that deserve prominent placement on your website and targeted marketing efforts. Turn to your OMS to schedule auto-generated reports to help your team surface  products with maximum sales potential by charting out which products sold more than others.
  • Price Optimisation: Don’t leave money on the table. Use the sales reports to analyse the demand for your products and competitor pricing to identify opportunities for price optimisation. Striking the right balance between profitability and market competitiveness is crucial.
  1. Inventory Management

Sales forecasts derived from e-commerce analytics empower you to optimise inventory levels. These are some of the ways that sales forecasting may help with inventory management for your e-commerce business:

  • Stockout Prevention: Prevent lost sales due to stockouts by using sales forecasts to anticipate demand and maintain sufficient inventory levels during peak sales seasons.
  • Overstocking Elimination: Avoid the costs of excess inventory by tailoring your stock levels to predicted sales. An order management system with a consolidated overview of sales, inventory and fulfilment,  can help you manage inventory better preventing situations of stocking items that may not be selling as well as others. 
  1. Marketing Optimisation

Marketing budgets are precious and oftentimes lower in comparison to most other budget allocations. E-commerce analytics empower you to allocate resources more effectively. Here are some of the ways you can utilise your e-commerce sales forecasting in Malaysia to improve marketing budget allocations:

  • Focus on ROI: Analyse the return on investment (ROI) for different marketing channels. Allocate your budget towards the channels that generate the most revenue. With a 3PL that offers channel-specific inventory allocation, optimise selling by catering to shopper’s demand.
  • Targeted Campaigns: Don’t treat all customers the same. Segment your customer base and develop targeted marketing campaigns that resonate with their specific needs and preferences.
  • A/B Testing Champions: Optimise your marketing efforts by A/B testing different marketing creatives, such as ad copy, email subject lines, and landing page designs. Data-driven A/B testing helps you identify the most effective messaging for your target audience, ultimately leading to higher conversion rates.

Conclusion

Through this piece, it has become clear that e-commerce businesses that leverage analytics gain a significant advantage. By understanding customer behaviour, sales trends, and marketing performance, you can make informed decisions that maximise revenue and fuel growth for your e-commerce business in Malaysia. This article explored key e-commerce analytics for sales forecasting, along with strategies to translate insights into action in the region. From optimising product pricing to inventory management, data empowers you to make strategic choices across all aspects of your online store.

Remember, decoding and implementing insights from e-commerce analytics is an ongoing journey. As you gather more data and refine your understanding, your forecasting and decision-making will become even more effective.  So, are you ready to unlock the full potential of your e-commerce business? Consider enforcing these strategies and explore a partner like Locad, which offers a reports dashboard and inbound report automation to streamline your analytics process. Take control of your data and watch your online store sales soar.

Analysts analyse historical data, customer behaviour, and marketing performance and consider external factors to predict future sales trends.

E-commerce analytics help personalise product recommendations, marketing messages, and promotions, leading to a more relevant and satisfying shopping experience.

The four steps to preparing a sales forecast are:

Step 1: Gather data on sales history, customer behaviour, and marketing performance.

Step 2: Analyse trends and identify internal and external factors impacting sales.

Step 3: Choose a forecasting method.

Step 4: Refine your forecast based on new data and ongoing insights.

There are multiple methods, including historical data analysis, seasonal adjustments, and leveraging machine learning for more sophisticated models.

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