An Introduction to Ecommerce Analytics Part 1
The online environment for ecommerce companies is fluid and constantly developing. In this article, which is the start of a series of articles, I will write about understanding analytics that are helpful for ecommerce companies. For small to medium size companies, it is important to understand analytics as they are critical data points for success.
If your company doesn’t understand what the metrics are saying, then the efforts that you are making are potentially fruitless. Furthermore, understanding the metrics can help move your efforts to channels that are working. For example, understanding consumer behavior and when it shifts can give insights for different demands and ecommerce trends that are happening in the market. Statistical information has the potential to offer higher conversions for your products that you are pushing.
Funnel analytics is one of the basic concepts that is important for tracking your ecommerce websites performance. Funnel analytics is a series of events that are leading toward a certain goal or conversion for an eCommerce business. Consider the analogy of your ecommerce website as a full subway train and each stop on the subway line is one step closer to completing a conversion. At the beginning of the ride the subway car is full and there are many users, but at each stop more riders get off the subway. By the end of the subway line there are only a few users who get to the end and complete a conversion. This is the game of web conversions and analytics, and the route each user takes is consistently the same to a conversion.
The first thing to do is to setup your funnel analytics. We recommend using Google Analytics. While tracking your efforts there are four different categories that all your traffic is acquired through: Search, Referral, Campaign, and Direct. Once you register your eCommerce website you will become more familiar with the different traffic acquisition types that are available on the platform. The platform has a dashboard type data display that allows even the casual user to understand where their traffic is coming from. The important aspect of this analytics tool is that it can bring to light important data that can point out information where the website might be having conversion problems.
Email analytics are far from dead and are still valuable resources for gaining information about your companies marketing efforts. Email marketing also has a funnel affect in place similar to traffic that goes to your website, but it starts with whether or not the user opens the email and clicks. The final goal would be completing a purchase off a link that was sent within the email. There are a few different metrics to watch out for: Sent, Delivered, Unique opens, Unique Clicks, Visits to landing page, and completed actions.
One strong reason to use email is to support shopping cart abandonment metrics for both new and current customers alike. And, it does a great job to inform old customers about new products that are now available. It allows new customers to become loyal customers and reminds old customers of how great your service has become all of which drives the bottom line of your ecommerce business up. Understanding the metrics for your emails will elucidate what campaigns and what messages are working for your customer demographic.
Social Network Analytics
Social networking sites are providing the possibility to have some of the largest marketing platforms for ecommerce companies. Social networking platforms also have similar marketing funnels like email marketing campaigns. The unique part of the social networking sites is that each website has different abilities and content for your customers to interact with. Some of the most popular websites that companies are using to market are Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and LinkedIn.
All these websites provide some sort of analytics which is dependent on the actions that users are able to do on the website. For example, Facebook gives extensive analytics that allow the companies to track page views and conversions through a pixel. Having successful campaigns and marketing on social networking sites starts with studying the analytics and making sense of what is working and what type of content is providing the best social proof with your demographic.
Triangulating all your ecommerce statistics is the most important step to making sense of your efforts. These channels are important to making your ecommerce website successful so remembering that all these resources have analytics and the numbers do matter will make all the difference. Stay tuned for more in depth articles focusing on specific metrics and analytics.