Essential eCommerce Analytics Guide for 2018

Over the years, the internet has allowed us to start a business from home and make money faster than ever. Especially with eCommerce, more consumers are buying products online so it makes sense to enter a niche and attempt to become the number one seller.

Whether you’re researching the market or currently trying to grow your business, you’ll know the key is improving sales. In turn, this increases profit, allows us to improve key areas of the business, and increase sales even further. To do this, you need key data which makes it surprising that so many companies are still choosing to ignore analytics.

The Importance of Analytics - Nowadays, analytics can tell us huge amounts of information regarding our business including how many visitors our website receives, what products are most popular, the location of all guests, the age of all guests, and a whole lot more. If you choose to ignore this data, you’re essentially choosing to guess as opposed to making calculated decisions.

With analytics, you see how people interact with your brand and this information allows you to see trends in advance. After a while, you’ll become skilled in this art and your competition won’t know how to keep up. In addition to this, certain metrics also bring knowledge of where visitors are leaving your website. If a large percentage are making it to the checkout stage and then leaving, this suggests there’s something about your checkout process they don’t like. Once you get into the habit of acting on these metrics, you can continually optimize your service.

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What Should You Measure? - Often, we see people making the same mistakes and one of the biggest is placing a focus on ‘page views’. Sure, this might tell you the reach of your website but you need to focus on quality over quantity; this comes from the amount of time people spend on each page and the conversion rate. For a page that gets 200 hits a day, having every person stay for three seconds or less means nothing so don’t waste time on the simple metrics.

With marketing, there’s a tendency to lean towards finding the channel that generates the most views. Once again, this isn't exactly useful if the same platform has a 0% conversion rate. Instead, it’s much better to concentrate on the platform offering fewer visitors but a higher conversion rate.

Tracking Events and Google Analytics - For a free tool, Google Analytics is certainly a fantastic starting point. This being said, we don’t recommend you rely on it because there are better platforms for analyzing events. The sooner you’re able to assess the behavior of your visitors, the sooner you can personalize your offering and improve your website.

In the past, we’ve found several fantastic tools such as Heap, KissMetrics, Oribi, and MixPanel. With so many available, this begs the question of ‘which is best?’ but we would adjust this slightly and ask ‘which is the best for YOUR needs?’. Rather than getting stuck with a platform that doesn’t help just because it’s ‘popular’, it’s much better to invest in a tool that offers everything YOU need.

Utilizing Your Analytics Tool - Once the program is set up, you need to utilize it as best as possible so we recommend starting by optimizing your sales funnel. From here, you can assess all product pages and marketing channels. If you can optimize all three of these sections of your online presence, you’ll be attracting the right people, helping them through the purchasing process, and offering them the right information on every page.

After this, it’s all about your eCommerce business and where you want to place your focus. While some like to check which devices their customers use, others prefer to focus on location. As long as you have the right analytics tool, you can take advantage of heat maps (showing the hot spots of your website), A/B testing (showing potential changes as you go), and more.

Summary - As we head towards the end of 2017 and into 2018, the competition is only set to get fiercer which is going to highlight the importance of analytics. As you optimize your eCommerce business from top to bottom, you can grow and beat the competition to key customers!

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