A Quintessential Guide to Web Analytics for E-commerce Site Owners
It was not long ago when it was practically impossible to know who visited our site and what the purpose of their visit was. Only big corporations could afford to incorporate high-end web analytics techniques for tracking and reporting user activities on websites. But now things have changed. These days, you have access to intuitive and efficient web analytics tools to track your e-commerce business.
However, the online marketing domain is ever transforming with new services, technologies, and marketing methods emerging every passing day, with some new ones quickly replacing the older ones to become the new norms in online business! These changes have affected several groups of businesses in a big way. The e-commerce store owners are one amongst them.
The ability to make quick decisions is the key to surviving and becoming successful in the e-commerce business. And the web analytics plays a major role in such decision-making process! In this post, I’ve offered some useful insights about web analytics, and how you can leverage it to improve your e-commerce store. Here you’ll also find some vital tips and facts for small and large online store owners.
Web analytics & Your e-commerce Business Bottom Line
Before I dig any deeper into the nitty-gritty of web analytics for e-commerce sites, I must remind you that, for improving your bottom line in online business, a solid understanding of the basics of web analytics is vital.
Choose a feasible system – that works!
If you are an e-commerce store owner with a shoe-string budget or limited resources, then pick a marketing channel that produces the best results with the least burn rate. This is crucial to the success of your online store. Plan to spend your marketing budget very prudently. Lack of knowledge of a feasible, working marketing channel for your business will both burn your pocket and waste precious time!
Unawareness of the right channel can also stop you from utilizing the most feasible working channel for your business. That way, you will waste your marketing budget on unproductive and expensive channels apart from the economical and profitable ones.
Acquire knowledge and stay ahead of your competition
To stay on top of your industry, you must have easy access to all statistical information about your online marketing and sales activities. This gives you an absolute edge over your rivals that have no access to such information! You must have a thorough understanding of the trends in your industry and also the ineffective marketing channels. Lack of this knowledge can seriously affect your bottom line.
Consumer demands in your market can only be perceived by understanding the changes in consumer behavior. Once you are equipped with this knowledge, you can remove certain products or add some to your listing on your e-commerce site. You can also make tactical changes to the pricing of those products that are in high demand. Such strategic changes can cause immense improvement in your revenue or at the least prevent your bottom line from a catastrophic decline.
Information will help you increase conversions
If you have vital analytics information about your e-commerce site under your belt, it becomes incredibly easier for you to test out different marketing strategies. And you can easily ascertain what’s working and what’s not! This is the very basis for increasing conversions. The access to crucial analytics information also enables you to constantly test out different marketing strategies and other methods to reach out to your audience. Presenting different versions of the website content or even the whole e-commerce website to your audience are the best ways to optimizing your online business!
Now, this brings us to the most vital business concept – the analytics of the sales funnel!
But hey, if you are still a complete stranger to the world of web analytics! This video from Bluehost should get you started.
Understanding sales funnel analytics
Your web analytics is never complete unless you are tracking the activities of your sales funnels. A sales funnel will essentially have all the various steps that your prospective customer has to go through before they hit the sales button. Every marketing activity in your business can be perceived as a funnel.
Let’s imagine that you have several followers on your social media page. The following example is a classic example of a typical sales funnel.
- You posted about one of your e-commerce products on the page.
- Few of your followers see the post.
- One of those followers clicks through the post.
- He lands up on the product page on your e-commerce site
- He decides to buy the product and adds it to the cart.
- He completes the purchase by entering his personal details and hits the ‘Buy’ button.
Please note that at every stage of this funnel, some percentage of users will decide not to go further and leave the funnel. Analyzing this drop out percentage will uncover the mindset of those users who left and what stopped them from continuing further.
An email marketing campaign is another typical example of a sales funnel.
Let’s imagine that you sent out an email announcing a discount on one of your products (with the link) to 600 subscribers.
- Out of those 600, only 480 were delivered to the respective mailboxes.
- From those 480 delivered emails, only 200 were opened by your subscribers.
- Out of the 200 opened emails, only 50 clicks through the link.
- From those 50 clicks, only 30 subscribers add the product to the cart.
- And among those final 30, only 10 subscribers actually complete the purchase.
So at the end of the sales funnel only 1.66% of the subscribers converted into customers. In other words, the conversion rate was just 1.66%. But the conversion rate itself is not enough to tell us where exactly we must focus. Analyze each step of the funnel and you will notice that (at step 2.) the number of “opened emails” was immensely low and the number of people that “clicked on the links” was low as well. So in order to improve your conversion rate, every step of the funnel must be closely analyzed.
This brings us to the topic of implementing an intuitive web analytics tool. Only a state-of-the-art web analytics tool can effectively track your e-commerce sales funnel. You must have a tool that incorporates core e-commerce analytics capabilities. It must allow you to track the most discreet visitor behaviors on your site with immense accuracy and efficiency. Your web analytics tool must be designed to provide you in-depth chunks of information pertaining to every cross-section of your business. Above all, it must be capable of generating various analytics reports – detailed, non-detailed and targeted – to help you make vital business decisions on the go. FoxMetrics is one such tool that integrates all of the above.
Every traffic source is important and must be tracked!
In web analytics, traffic sources are primarily classified into four.
- Search traffic
- Direct traffic
- Referral traffic
- Campaign traffic
1. Search traffic – The visitors landing on your website through search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo, and the like.
2. Direct traffic – The visitors that reach your website through browser bookmarks or by entering the address of your website in the address bar of the browser.
3. Referral traffic – Traffic coming from other websites are referral traffic.
4. Campaign traffic – Visitors reaching your website through advertisements run by you are known as campaign traffic. This type of traffic is also known as paid traffic.
Most of the web analytics tools will classify each traffic source according to its type, which makes it easier to know the statistics from each source. But that alone is not enough. You need a tool that can track multiple marketing campaigns from the same traffic source. This is quintessential for improving your marketing campaigns and boosting your revenue!
Let’s imagine that you posted two tweets to Twitter – one having a link to one of your blog posts, and the other one with a link to your new product page. If your tool doesn’t provide a feature to track the traffic coming from both these links separately, you are at a great disadvantage. Your tool should be equipped to tell you how many visitors arrived from each of these tweets separately. This will help you analyze multiple traffic sources from the same channel and restructure your marketing campaign if required.
Different sales funnels of your business
Now let’s take a look at different sales funnels of different channels that you must track with your web analytics tool.
Your online marketing venture is seriously incomplete without email marketing. It is a powerful marketing channel that you must incorporate into your web analytics program. As pointed out in an example earlier, email marketing shares the same funnel structure of a typical sales funnel. Hence it is crucial for every online store owner to make email marketing a vital part of their online marketing activities. But to thoroughly track the email marketing funnels, you need a good web analytics tool like FoxMetrics.
Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing has to be an integral part of your online marketing arsenal; so should be its analytics. FoxMetrics analytics suite can ingeniously integrate all your social media marketing data. And generate varied analytics reports on different funnels pertaining to different social media platforms.
Pay-per-Click (PPC) Ads and Paid Advertising
The PPC advertising must be tried out by online store owners to see if it works for your e-commerce site. Be aware that just fiddling around with this marketing channel will not yield results. This is serious stuff. It’s important to have a good grip on the functioning of this marketing channel to see how it performs. But if you are not confident about running PPC ads yourself, you can leave this task to the experts. But to understand the funnel analytics reports from them, you must be aware of the basic PPC jargon.
Bringing your web analytics tool to life
Once you have set up your web analytics tool for measuring your sales funnels, you are all set to roll. But not until you have started generating huge chunks of analytics data. After the tool has started generating sufficient data, you will come to know which marketing campaigns are yielding results and which are not. This will help you optimize your sales funnels and channel your marketing budget to the most profitable ones.
One of the most effective ways to optimize your funnels is by performing A/B tests. A/B testing is a technique of presenting two or more versions of the same web content or web page to your audience and analyzing which versions are performing the best.
Once you have become serious with the optimization process, you will carry out various tests and modifications to your marketing campaigns, website, and other features of your venture. The results of these tasks can be highly overwhelming to track if you don’t have an effective timetable in place. Without an efficient mechanism to record these tests, you will be unaware of an unprecedented boost in your sales or a drastic drop in conversions. So creating an easy to use optimization schedule is very important to stay ahead of your competition.
In order to help you take critical business decisions, it is highly essential to have your e-commerce site integrated to a good web analytics tool like the FoxMetrics. This will enable you to collect vital analytics data and generate comprehensive reports based on that data. For running a sustainable and successful e-commerce business, it is crucial to have a solid grip on web analytics. Please click on the following link to know more about FoxMetrics suite of tools.