Right now, only 20% of online retailers are actually making use of their analytics. So what exactly are the other 80% of retailers doing? Losing out of sales? Suffering from low conversions and return rates? Making less of a profit? And are the 20% of those that are actually making use of their data, by measuring the right information and using the right ecommerce metrics ?
Lost already? Trust me, I get it!
The term “analytics” can be overwhelming, complicated, and almost intimidating. Nowadays, we see it everywhere. It's one of those buzzwords that appears to peak people’s interest… but why exactly are their interests being peaked? It's fair to say that most do not actually understand how to fully optimize the use of analytics.
Let’s start with the basics - what are analytics? Well, essentially, analytics are a bunch of statistics. When those statistics are analyzed properly, it can lead to enhanced productivity and business gain.
For example, let's say you’re a shoe retailer. For whatever reason, this one pair of high top sneakers will just not sell. Maybe it’s because the price is too high, you’re missing information, or it’s simply out of style, but the question is, how do you know?
So which ecommerce stats should you be focusing on, and how can they help?
For starters, you should probably know how people are shopping - a smart phone, computer, tablet? Details like this make all the difference. If your retail platform is built for computer browsers, but 65% of you customers are shopping for shoes on their mobile, you should probably think about restructuring a few things. And by the way… most customers do use their mobile devices these days.
But let’s not just fix on where they are shopping in terms of devices, but what about which ecommerce channels are more effective to increase sales - and which aren’t for that matter. Essentially which products perform better or worse in different environments.
Let’s take our high top sneaker for example, it may sell really well on Urban Outfitters, but poorly on Footlocker, however, our memory foam running sneaker is a Footlocker bestseller. What I’m getting at here, is that just by knowing where your products are being successful will help with regards to making informed and targeted marketing decisions, and boost your sales - especially for individual products.
In this digital day and age, it is pretty obvious that social media can be a huge player in any industry but as well as social selling, one can often forget that one of the best uses of social media is brand awareness. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest - the platforms are endless, and are all used for very different purposes.
By increasing presence on your social sites, and then tracking engagement of your content, you can learn which different types of content attract different types of people, and therefore who you should be targeting and with what content. And this these analytics will help no end when using paid ads to target an active audience for lead generation purposes. Ergo, opportunities for sales.
Ah, conversions. A term used so often, but honestly, not used well enough. While there are many different conversions to pay attention to, here are two categories I recommend starting with:
Funnel performance analysis (a visitor’s progression through the different stages of conversion)
For example, to deal with cart abandonment rate, why not try an exit intent popup - “Did you forget something in your cart?”. Then, you can see what products are continually left in the cart and re-evaluate your marketing of that specific product.
Product performance analysis (crucial stage in the conversion funnel)
Or if you’re having trouble with your checkout abandonment rate, maybe add a guest checkout option. Sometimes people just don’t have time to create an account! There are always ways to optimize your webpage, and processes to increase conversions.
Lastly, let’s talk about traffic. The traffic you generate is obviously extremely important when it comes to successful e-commerce. While there are many angles to consider, let’s start with the three basics:
- Visitor Frequency Analysis (total number of visits made by a user on your online site)
- Site Search Analysis (how your visitors are using your online store, what terms they entered, and how the search results lead to engagements)
- Marketing Channel Analysis (groupings of your online traffic sources)
If you’re having issues with low average session duration and high bounce rates, try prompting a coupon the moment the customer arrives on your site. Then, to incentivize customers to return, consider a reward for their loyalty.
Your online store’s search function tells you a lot, like which terms were entered and what results lead to engagement. Using search terms can give you an idea of the wants and needs of your customers. If you find tons of searches for something you don’t currently offer, that could be a potential new product opportunity. Using tracking tools like Hotjar for example, will also show you where your visitors are heading to and clicking once they are on your site.
The most common channel groups are Direct, Paid Search, Organic Search, and Referrals. Conducting real-time monitoring of promotional campaigns is helpful in order to prioritize your later actions. Is a channel not meeting your ideal goals even though it seems popular? Cut or revamp it!
Like I said, analytics can be overwhelming. Click here, monitor there, rack up the data on this, add a promotion for that… it’s a lot! But, if optimized properly, there is no end to how much e-commerce analytics can help improve your marketing strategy, and of course, those all important sales. What are you waiting for?
Analyze your data to make the right decisions, and watch your sales go, go, grow!