We recently encouraged companies to take advantage of the lucrative promise of ecommerce. Amazon isn't the only company that can, or should, monetize interactions with customers.

Ecommerce is an equal opportunity for all businesses. Consumers have to submit information to make purchases online. There is no way around data input. Compared with the many other ways that companies track customer information, ecommerce is a gift of the digital gods.

For years, businesses have asked customers to opt into data collection efforts. Customers, though, understandably wanted no part of something they believed didn't benefit them. Loyalty programs are more successful with data collection because consumers recognize they'll receive special promotional offers and discounts for demonstrating their fealty to a brand. Still, businesses have difficulty coalescing and making use of loyalty data because it's often siloed in different promotional and departmental buckets.

Ecommerce is low-hanging fruit because each consumer has to enter data to get what they want. Data collection is a factor of the business. A customer must first create an account that requires pertinent information that establishes a profile: street and email addresses, credit card numbers. A business can ask for even more data, and most consumers usually don't object if it seems like a plausible request. Phone number, date of birth, gender and other data points are identifiers that are within the realm of doing business.

But it doesn't end there. Each step a customer takes on a website or mobile app is a fluorescent footprint that reveals a trail into that person's shopping id (something Sigmund Freud would appreciate). For example, the more a customer explores an outdoor clothing retailer's digital pages on hiking boots, it's evident that consumer wants new kicks. The retailer can parlay those searches into tailored offerings that will all but guarantee a purchase.

Similarly, electronic shopping history reveals an even brighter trail into a customer's true ecommerce impulses the way a paper trail of receipts never could. Ecommerce shows not just the goods they have purchased, but also how often and at what price. Again, this type of insight allows companies to personalize offers that hit the sweet spot of the consumer id.

It's critical for companies to understand their customers as best as they can. Consumers know companies collect their data; they're inputting it, after all. What consumers won't tolerate is a company that doesn't make good use of all that data.

With an ability to segment data – something Zylotech specializes in – companies can take advantage of the low-hanging fruit of ecommerce and create insightful marketing and sales campaigns that will satisfy customers.

Albert McKeon is a Zylotech contributing writer.

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