Web analytics is one of the basic elements of building a web presence, and especially effective e-commerce. Why is it worth analyzing every scrap of the page? How to go about it? We are revealing the secret!
Why is ecommerce analytics so important?
Collecting and analyzing data allows for better use of available resources and the selection of strategies that will positively affect the company’s development. In business, instinct is what counts, but making decisions based on your gut feelings may not end as happily as we would like. It is similar with the evaluation of our work – relying on your own assumptions or sympathies does not give the full picture of the situation. Collecting complete data allows you to indicate specific areas and activities that need correction. An analysis based on these data allows for setting a clear path and effective implementation of plans in further periods.
Analytics in e-commerce has many advantages:
A. It allows you to make informed decisions based on real information – as mentioned above, concrete data allows action to be taken based on real needs, not subjective feelings.
The collected records make it possible to identify groups of recipients and adjust the method of communication to their needs and expectations. The analysis also allows you to adjust ads and offers to current trends that have a significant impact on how and what we buy.
B. It enables you to increase your income – proper communication with the customer is not only an effective way to convince him to buy in our store, but also to return to our virtual thresholds. Analyzing data and drawing correct conclusions from it also allows you to expand your audience. Greater reach translates directly into greater profits.
C. Zooms to Better Operational Efficiency – Data allows you to make better business decisions, such as allocating your budget to different advertising channels. Choosing the channels that are the most effective and investing more money in them is a chance for more profit.
One of the basic features of the e-commerce world is its constant changeability. The flexibility of the solutions allows you to quickly adapt to trends that are visible, among others, thanks to the tracking of user behavior on websites and a quick response to external factors. The first part of 2020 showed it perfectly well – the global lockdown made it necessary to increase spending on Internet activities of many enterprises, and in some cases – even to start operating online. Many of the companies have found out that running an e-commerce business is significantly different from what their brick-and-mortar stores are used to, where sales are carried out on slightly different principles.
What data to collect?
Sales in online stores depend on many factors. The most important ones certainly coincide with what we know from stationary sales, e.g. the price and availability of a given product. In the case of online sales, however, there are also more technical aspects of the website – such as speed, navigation within the site and, for example, the availability of popular technology solutions.
The same applies to marketing activities – in a stationary store at the checkout, additional products are recommended, here in the basket you can encourage to supplement purchases with what other customers have bought. When it comes to advertising – stationary solutions are based on television and banners, which will not always attract the eye of a potential customer. On the Internet, advertising can be more effective – for example, remarketing allows you to track an undecided customer and remind him of the store and products that he has previously viewed.
Information about the client and the possibility of tracking him appears along with the implementation of solutions enabling the analysis of his behavior. Most of them are based on data provided by cookies – cookies that identify users and their computers, save preferences and play a huge role in supplementing Internet activity statistics.
Data is collected by appropriate software – here Google Analytics definitely dominates, without which analytics in e-commerce would not be the same. The information base can be extensive and the records very detailed, such as the age and gender of users, location and language. Information about their interests can also be obtained from the reports. The other information collected relates to more technical elements – e.g. the operating system and browsers used by your potential customers.
Collecting the results, tracking and comparing them with each other allows
you to get quite detailed information about who visits our pages and:
– from which pages users come to the site,
– how long do they spend reading posts and which of them are the most popular,
– what products are most often bought together,
– where the customer most often resigns from buying in the store,
– how many sessions does it need to finalize the transaction.
How to use the data?
Data collection and analysis are not enough. Outlining the points where our business loses or does not use its potential – this is a real value that should be translated into specific actions. Ecommerce analytics allows it.
The information collected by Google Analytics and other tools should be taken into account in many processes related to the online store, including while designing the site. Analytics is also necessary during UX processes, especially in the phase of optimization of ready-made solutions. The data is also useful for planning marketing activities and solving problems with the website.
Website tailored to the user
Designing and checking already implemented changes allows you to increase the availability of the website and make it easier for users to navigate through them. Simple paths and easy access to information also work well for online stores. A large number of unclear categories or a chaotically designed form for customizing goods can frustrate customers and, as a result, make them give up the purchase. Difficulties with finalizing the purchase are also sometimes the reason for making a decision about choosing a competitor – even if the price of their products is higher. Controlling all steps leading to the completion of the purchasing process allows you to catch the moment when the customer gives up and design it in a way that will allow you to change the user experience for the better.
From the UX and website design point of view, the information on what devices the website users use will also be valuable. In the case of an advantage of traffic from mobile, it is necessary to ensure the correct design of the website and its appropriate size – not only adjusted to the smaller screen diagonal, but also to a weaker network connection. The time when your customers visit the site may also be important – some of the night audience will certainly be delighted with the possibility of using the dark mode option.
Marketing – with analysis
Google Analytics and related solutions are at the heart of every Internet-oriented marketer. This is where i.a. information about users is obtained – who they are, where they come from, what interests them. The tools allow you to select the content that engages them the most and those that do not arouse much interest. In the case of e.g. newsletters, tracking codes allow you to control how many e-mails have actually been opened and whether their recipients have made a decision to switch from them to the pages promoted therein.
Knowing your users, which will allow you to divide them into more or less engaged groups, is useful when setting up Google Ads campaigns. Increasing the financial outlays for a given group may bring better results than advertising aimed at everyone.
Analytics allows you to create events and goals, which makes it much easier to measure the effectiveness of your marketing activities. Additionally, in the case of Google Analytics, dedicated e-commerce reports are also available, which allow for a broader view of sales in the store.
Creating goals is one of the elements of building an effective marketing
strategy, especially if it is created in a SMART way:
This methodology allows you to create real goals, the level of fulfillment of which can be controlled using Google Analytics. Goals can be set according to what works best for your store.
When analyzing problems with conversions (that is, meeting goals), it is worth asking yourself a few questions … basically one, only a few times. “5 whys” (5 why) is a method that allows you to effectively drill down into a problem and find its cause with a single question. Answering subsequent questions, e.g. the most popular product stopped selling. Why? There was an error on the page and it cannot be added to the cart. Why? Recent update changes have been badly implemented. Why? The pressure to introduce changes was too great and the acceleration of activities was done at the expense of testing. Why? The outlays for the IT department are too small, and their lack affects the quality of the entire store.
Analytics in e-commerce – react to changes!
Keeping your finger on the pulse – for example in the form of tracking within your website, definitely facilitates quick response to potential problems. Example? A sudden lack of conversion or the abandonment of the cart may suggest problems with a given subpage – e.g. its significant slowdown or technical error, preventing the transaction from being completed. Quickly locating the problem saves time and money.
Analytics in e-commerce – where to get knowledge?
The basic analysis of your own online store should start with the
implementation of the Google Analytics tracking code. You
can learn about how this tool works and how to set your own goals from official
Analytics Academy – there are 4 courses on the platform:
– Google Analytics for beginners,
– Google Analytics for advanced users,
– Google Analytics 360 package – first steps,
– The basics of Google Tag Manager
Basics of analytics in e-commerce
Investing time in your development and skill development is never a waste. In the case of business issues, a different – more analytical – view of the world of shopping will allow you to pick out the subtleties that will allow your store to grow and achieve real profits! Failure to implement analytical tools and actively use them is simply a waste of money. Don’t take chances – check out our guides today!