Leveraging Analytics for eCommerce


A powerful tool when creating an eCommerce website that assists in the success factor of all aspects of the website that are important; from design and user flow, to functionality, to product analysis, to testing goals, measuring traffic and purchases, gauging interests, monitoring user activity and navigations, when or how close you were to converting, cart abandon rate, and much more. This article will delve into; firstly, potential analytic tools, how to implement analytics across your eCommerce website, the utilities of these analytics, reporting and using of the stats, and essentially how it could assist in creating a successful eCommerce website with higher conversion rates. “Google Analytics is a valuable ally in the ecommerce battle for consumer dollars. The insights it provides contains a wealth of information about your site, your visitors and where they came from. All this information can be used to find new customers and increase conversions.” explains Richard Lazazzera on some of the benefits, including user acquisition, in his article titled ‘Google Analytics For Ecommerce: A Beginners Guide – Shopify’ on the Shopify website.

Today, potential tools and avenues to capture data and web analytics for your eCommerce website or web application are pretty large and looking good, to say the least; some popular available tools out there are on the market are; Google Analytics (of course), Clicky, KISSmetrics, Church, Mint, Open Web Analytics, Clicktale, CrazyEGG, and Cloudflare .“ E-Commerce is a very dynamically evolving industry and this is primarily because of its underlying ever-changing technology that make it work. Companies like Amazon, E-bay are capable of building predictive algorithms being executed in real time on big data environment.” reiterated in the entertaining article on the subject titled ‘What is the role of analytics in ECommerce industry?’ by Tavish Srivastava on the niche analytics tech website analyticsvidhya.com. Needless to say; these eCommerce giants are harnessing, taking advantage of, and setting the pace for web analytics applied to the category of eCommerce.

Analytic implementation can get pretty extensive if you’d like it to, depending your needs and resources. For the stake of discussion I’ll use the most popular tool as a reference point and sample, GA or Google Analytics. Google, still reigning supreme on the Analytics front (and pretty much everything else, really); provides a powerful suite of services and abilities with it’s GA or Google Analytics API. GA is completely free and comes with a powerful easy to ready visual dashboard where all stats report; it is easy to implement from the beginning stages and easier goals, such as simply tracking views and geography; it has a large community and lots of documentation for the advanced implementer, or developer, and it’s API can be customized pretty deep with JavaScript. Some of the intermediate achievable goals with Google Analytics include; tracking user bounce rate or abandon rate (with eCommerce, pertaining to cart) within pages or forms, users average time on page(s), when elements or documents are pressed (hovered, scrolled, etc), time and place of website visit, which devices and where, what time of day, how the user even got to your web property in the first place, and what stemmed their interest.

With GA’s relatively new predictive analytics API, obviously the rabbit hole can get even deeper; from making predictions and assumptions based on user behavior (past and present) patterns and assuming user sentiment while triggering custom chain event tracking that could do all kinds of things you program it to with JavaScript including tracking and reporting anytime any piece of content has been touched, played, accessed or considered, as well as setting and identifying channels, segments, and custom goals pertaining to the data gathered. “This is the pinnacle of predictive analytics: knowing what’s likely to happen and being able to plan in advance. “ boasts Christopher S Penn in his comprehensive and energetic article on the topic of Analytical power titled ‘The Power of Predictive Analytics and Google Analytics Data’ found on his personal website. The future of Predictive Analytical tools and APIs is certainly something to follow and watch closely; as it can most definitely help the effectiveness of your eCommerce web property and web application.

Utilities achieved and potential reports, from data gathered, and the ways you can leverage these reports are enormous. “2017 is the first year mobile claimed more sessions (52%) than desktop (36%) and tablet (12%) combined. Desktop generates 61% of all online revenue, with users 164% more likely to convert than those browsing on mobile. Plus, when desktop users convert, they spend an average of 20% more per order than mobile shoppers.” is just a small tidbit sample of data insight achievable with analytics; as described by Alan Coleman on his thorough article published on moz.com titled ‘The E-Commerce Benchmark KPI Study 2017: 15 Essential Takeaways’. In the ever growing, always expanding and never ending digital and Information Age; data is one of the most valuable thing to obtain.

All data obtained via advance tracking and analytical tools provides worthwhile insight of what works and what doesn’t, what your users may like and dislike, the effectiveness of your past and current strategies; design, user flows, web forms; and then of course how and what to sell in terms of products at which price points, to which audiences, at what time and where. “The real revolution isn’t about the data, it is about the stunning progress in the statistical and other methods of extracting insights from the data.” rants Gary King on his website https://gking.harvard.edu/. You can see how this data could clearly help in new user acquisition to your website. As a bonus it also serves as a great utility to serve effective, appropriate, target-audience based advertisements as well; this pertaining to an eCommerce web property could be yet another strategy to convert new products.

Without continuing for ions, the power, utility, technology, capabilities, and just utmost value of implementing and utilizing an Analytics strategy on your eCommerce web property is almost priceless. In summary; things like ‘better understanding of website performance through comparing key performance indicators (KPIs) with industry benchmarks, and Gaining insights into which key metrics will ensure e-commerce success’ is very good intel to obtain. The insights and data obtained about your product, and the effectiveness of how your selling it is huge. “The result of your online businesses’ success is always due to combination of many ideas & efforts, and the successful “coming together” of multiple marketing strategies and different traffic sources.” stated in the article at sparringmind.com titled ‘The Top 10 Best Web Analytic Tools’. With data like this accessible at hand while constantly harvesting, testing, and analyzing new pertaining analytics strategies; it’s only a matter of time until you flesh out the formula of a successful eCommerce website, and more importantly product and ways to sell it. So, don’t miss the opportunity to leverage analytics for your eCommerce web property!

References

  • Srivastava, T. (2015, September 15). What is the role of analytics in E-Commerce industry? Retrieved October 23, 2017, from https://www.analyticsvidhya.com/blog/2015/08/role-analytics-e-commerce-industry/
  • Coleman, A. (2017, September 07). E-Commerce Benchmark KPI Study 2017: 15 Essential Takeaways. Retrieved October 23, 2017, from https://moz.com/blog/ecommerce-benchmark-kpi-study-2017
  • GARY KING. (n.d.). Retrieved October 23, 2017, from https://gking.harvard.edu/
  • Penn, C. (2017, August 30). The Power of Predictive Analytics and Google Analytics Data. Retrieved October 23, 2017, from http://www.christopherspenn.com/2017/08/the-power-of-predictive-analytics-and-google-analytics-data/
  • Lazazzera, R. (n.d.). Google Analytics For Ecommerce: A Beginners Guide – Shopify. Retrieved October 23, 2017, from https://www.shopify.com/blog/14681601-google-analytics-for-ecommerce-a-beginners-guide

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I’m Cameron Cashwell, I’ve been a Web Developer for 6+ years. I’m always on the look out for exciting new projects and ideas. Wanna work together? http://www.cdev.co/#request

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