What Kind of Data Can You Collect Online?

What Kind of Data Can You Collect Online?

Why do customers prefer one product over another? How can you optimize your marketing efforts to reach the right demographic at the right time? How do you make your digital storefront irresistible and easier to navigate? 

The answer to all three questions & many more is data! This article explores the means and concerns to consider while collecting data. We also touch on what types of data companies collect and leverage to make informed and timely business decisions.  

What Kind of Data Can You Collect Online?

Click to Tweet

Security & Compliance Concerns

Making informed business decisions is impossible without the insights data collection provides. 

On the other hand, companies need to take safeguarding such information seriously. Data breaches regularly and increasingly expose personal, financial, medical, and other information, leaving millions of customers vulnerable while ruining the reputations of businesses whose lax security led to such incidents. 

A single stolen or easy-to-guess password is enough to gain entry. The damage potential grows exponentially since some customers use the same or weak passwords for other accounts. 

While you can’t urge them to do the same, you can make access to the data you collect more secure by using a company-wide password manager. It ensures each password is unique & possible to crack. Better yet, you can use the manager as an authenticator to prevent access through previously compromised passwords.  

Data privacy is a growing concern, and parts of the world have legislatures in place to enforce it. It's best to collect only the data you need for a specific purpose and not hold onto it longer than 

necessary. While doing so, you should keep regulations like the EU's GDPR and expanding state-specific equivalents in mind if you’re doing business in these territories.

The Most Important Data Types and Their Uses  

The Most Important Data Types and Their Uses

Knowing where and what information to look for is fundamental to creating successful business strategies on multiple levels. These range from product research and development to marketing and pricing. Here's what you can collect and should be focusing on.  

Personal Data  

Personal data comprises means of identification like one’s name, address, and contact channels. You need it for shipping purposes, but customers also enjoy the personalization that comes with addressing them by their name. Moreover, you can send promotional messages or newsletters to continue being relevant and foster loyalty if you have their email or phone number.

Demographic Data  

Knowing more about someone’s age range, education level, and income bracket is invaluable for market segmentation and creating buyer personas. The clothing and jewelry industries find such data particularly useful since it lets them create marketing campaigns that target specific audiences with a greater success rate.

Tracking Data

You can learn much about people's behavior and decision-making practices by tracking their online behavior. Sites like Lumify Learn can be helpful for understanding these in detail. For example, an E-commerce store's website may collect data on how visitors got there, how long they're active on the site, and which parts they engage with the most. 

Such information helps streamline inefficiencies in the site’s layout, determining whether marketing campaigns are successful, and minimizing pain points like shopping cart abandonment.   

Since most sites still use cookies, tracking data also serves to identify someone's browsing habits and display targeted ads even when they aren’t engaging with your website directly.

Transactional Data

Making a sale isn’t only imperative for your bottom line – it’s also another opportunity to expand your insights. Payment histories help you identify and better cater to return customers. High return rates for specific products could indicate the product itself is faulty and needs refinement. 

If you're running a promotion like discounts through coupon codes, it's possible to judge its effectiveness by tracking the number of coupons used. 

Don't dismiss the journey customers make before checkout, either! Analyzing which products customers viewed & discarded before settling on their purchase may reveal what makes one product more desirable than another. 

Sentiment Data 

People love expressing their opinions, especially if they feel strongly about something and have a receptive audience. Positive opinions validate your efforts.

Negative ones are equally useful since they may uncover shortcomings and offer insight into how to do better in the future. A single sentiment is a blip, but hundreds or thousands of people who feel the same way are a call to action. 

Pricing Data

No company operates in a vacuum, and customer data tells only part of the story. Setting your sights on the competition is another essential contributor to your overall business intelligence-gathering efforts. It should be done ethically using publically available data, which is more than enlightening. 

Tracking prices over time lets you develop a pricing strategy that undercuts rivals while maintaining optimal margins. Such data is the basis for anticipating and responding to seasonal changes and trends. Combine it with stock information when available, and you can dynamically adjust prices to capitalize on shortages.  

How to Collect Such Data?

Much of what we mention is out there for the taking, provided you know which data to focus on and have the analytics tools to make sense of it. That’s largely due to people’s existing and ever-expanding online footprint.   

You create and reinforce that footprint through almost all online activity. Sometimes, you do so actively, like entering banking info for a purchase or accepting a website’s cookie policy.

The footprint also deepens passively when you comment or like posts on social media or merely visit a site since your IP address gets logged.   

One's digital footprint is a treasure trove of information, but companies use other, more transparent data collection means, too. Although customers can opt out of databases, they appreciate transparency, so being upfront about your data collection policies should be the norm. 

Many users will also be happy to share their information and insights freely. You can entice them to do so through surveys, email campaign sign-ups, or competitions. Not being spammy or intrusive helps a lot. 


Whether or not you should collect data is no longer a question since the benefits are overwhelming. Doing so improves the customer experience, helps you develop better products, and more easily reaches audiences that actually care and benefit from them.

Instead, you should explore the many avenues leading towards these benefits ethically and responsibly. 

Follow us:


I hope you like this post. If you have any questions ? or want me to write an article on a specific topic? then feel free to comment below.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *