Understanding your Online Shoppers Using Data Part 1: Web Analytics

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Alicia Doiron

As a data-driven eCommerce agency we know that utilizing web analytics software is essential for any eCommerce business. Web analytics can tell you a lot about your visitors. It reveals the paths in which users take to arrive at your online store and at what point they left, which as you’re probably aware is crucial for conversion rate optimization (CRO). But using web analytics is vital for a few other reasons too.

1. Which Pages to Optimize First

Web analytics are perfect in the assistance of making data-backed decisions when determining which pages to start optimizing first. Assumptions are laid to rest. For example, there would be no point in changing an eCommerce page that is receiving no traffic. Likewise, changing a page that has a great conversion rate would be silly.

Web analytics help to identify the flow of traffic, pinpointing the pages with the highest conversion rates, and those that are underperforming. The pages that aren’t converting so well are the ones an eCommerce business would want to start analyzing first.

Common pages an eCommerce business would want to initially evaluate are the homepage, product page, shopping cart page and of course the checkout page.

2. Gain Insights into User Demographics

Through your marketing efforts you want to attract your buyer personas. How can you tell whether you’re initiatives are proving successful? By digging into your web analytics demographics.

Many web analytics allow you to see where your visitors are coming from, their age, interests, gender and more. This is the kind of data you need to determine if you’re attracting the right audience. It can also provide you with more data-backed information on your buyer personas that perhaps you didn’t have before.

3. Web Analytics Help You Track Marketing Initiatives

This allows you to determine whether your inbound marketing initiatives through means such as social media marketing and content marketing are indeed attracting the audience you want, as well as the ROI you’re hoping for.

An example of ROI would be if you were to run a promotion on a certain product, and had utilized your social media channels and eCommerce blog to grow interest around the item. In that case you’d probably want to see an increase in traffic going to that product and hopefully some sales from it.

Using analytics helps you determine what to do more of (and less of) in order to gain more value from your marketing initiatives.

Choosing the Right Analytics Tools

Google Analytics, while free, is a great web analytics tool and does the trick for many eCommerce businesses. You can use it to identify which pages to optimize first, whether you’re attracting your ideal customers, and if your marketing initiatives are working. And Google offers free courses on how to use their analytics suite.

However, if your store is looking for something even more powerful, they offer a more enterprise solution, Google Analytics 360. But if you’re looking to get more specific in certain areas there are some solid alternatives such as Piwik, Kissmetrics, Mixpanel and Woopra.


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