web analyticsThe online retail industry has grown at an enormously fast rate, especially after the post-dot-com-boom age. According to a post in emarketer.com, the total e-commerce sales were to the tune of around $2 trillion worldwide in 2016. The post predicts that this figure is expected to grow to a whopping $4 trillion by the year 2020. And Forrester Research Inc. estimates that the number of users searching and purchasing stuff online will rise to 270 million by 2020.

Interestingly, a huge chunk of this online browsing and purchases are (and will be) carried out on mobile devices. Matt Lindner at InternetRetailer.com points out in this post that the e-commerce sales figures in the US stood at a massive $335 billion in the year 2015, which (according to internetretailer.com) is projected to hit $523 billion by 2020.

Why web analytics is vital for e-commerce sites

The online retail industry wouldn’t have attained this stellar growth without the effective utilization of web analytics. If you haven’t yet implemented web analytics on your e-commerce site or still unaware of how it can boost your revenue, please read on.

To keep track of all the progress that your e-commerce site is making, you must have a good web analytics tool integrated with it. Efficient web analytics is all about having the most ingenious and easy-to-use analytics tool at your disposal. Only such a tool can provide you a comprehensive view about the health of your e-commerce site. And also tell you how you can increase your bottom line by keeping close track of your visitors.

If you are not that technically inclined or a complete beginner at e-commerce, the hordes of data spit out by an ordinary analytics tool may overwhelm you. That’s why the choice of the right analytics tool becomes all the more crucial for your business. The tool should be user-friendly and smart at the same time. It must be designed to guide you at each juncture of your business activity by generating action-oriented, meaningful, and detailed reports.

Web Analytics for Increased Revenue

For the owners of brick-and-mortar businesses, tracking visitors is not much of a problem. They can easily know how many people walked through their doors, what products they checked out, and what they bought, their demographic, and so on. But for online retail store owners, web analytics is the only way to know these visitor details. Without an efficient web analytics system in place, you are more or less clueless about what your visitors are doing on your site. You will also have no way to track which marketing tactics are working and which ones are not.

With a good web analytics tool incorporated into your e-commerce site, you can gather almost all the information that you can collect from a physical store. You can easily analyze which marketing campaigns are yielding results, and track almost every user activity on your site. With this analytics data available, you can easily optimize your online store for increased sales. Employing the most effective marketing strategies for your online business will help you drive more targeted traffic to your site. And with more targeted traffic coming your way, it becomes much easier to convert those visitors into customers.

A solid understanding of your site’s metrics is essential to increase your bottom line as well as grow your business at a faster pace.

This video should be a great way to refresh your web analytics know-how…

Start with Basic Metrics Tracking

When you are just starting out with web analytics, don’t get overwhelmed by the amount of data or the charts and graphs that your tool generates. You may not be able to learn all the technicalities of web analytics and metrics tracking – instantly. So give yourself some time to get acquainted with the tool. Initially, you can just start off by tracking the basic visitor details. Analyze their demographic, check where they are coming from, and see what activities they are carrying out on your site.

Tracking your Visitors is Paramount!

You will be completely unaware of your target audience unless you start tracking them. Only a robust web analytics tool can help you determine their interests, language, behavior, demographics, and other vital aspects pertaining to them. You must track both new and returning visitors on your site. Once you have identified who your target audience is you can easily tailor your marketing campaigns optimized for their needs.

This example should make things clearer. Let’s imagine that your site sells stuff that mostly appeals to the older audience in the range of 45 to 55 years of age, but the content is written in a style that’s geared for the younger folks, aged 20 to 30. This can discourage the older (target) audience from spending more time on your site and performing the intended tasks. Only an effective analytics tool can help you uncover such vital information regarding your audience.

Let’s take another example. This is related to the location metric. If your site sells sports supplies and memorabilia related to New York baseball teams, and you get a lot of traffic from sports fans from the West Coast. Then why not include some Dodgers and Giants stuff to your listing? Wouldn’t that give a spike in your sales? This is how your web analytics tool helps in increasing your bottom line.

Know the Visitor Sources

Just as it is important to track your visitors’ activities, their demographics, and so on, it is equally vital to know where they came from. This is crucial to determine which marketing campaigns are yielding results and which ones are the best performers. Analyzing this metric will tell you if your visitors arrived from your Facebook page, paid ads, or your guest blog posts. A good web analytics tool is designed to tell you discreet details about the origin of your visitors. The tool can generate various analytics data regarding visitor sources, which will allow you to fine-tune your marketing strategies. The end result? Increased conversions and sales!

Know the Visitor Behavior

The web analytics tool will help you understand what your visitors are doing while they are on your site. The tool will track several user-behavior related metrics for you. You will get to know their site navigation pattern, the pages they are visiting, the amount of time they are spending on the site, etc.

Track your Landing Pages

Another important metric that you can (and must) track with your web analytics tool is Top Landing Pages. This way you will know which landing pages are popular among your target audience and where they landed.

Analyze how your landing pages are popular among your visitors.

  • Is it because those pages are highly ranked in search engine results?
  • Or is it receiving the traffic from Pay-Per-Click ads?
  • Or visitors are being referred to those paged through a link from another site?

An ingenious web analytics tool will help you track all of these.

With this vital information, you can make crucial business decisions, such as,

  • You can improve the search engine optimization of those pages for increased profit per sale
  • You can work on acquiring more high-traffic links from other websites
  • Improve and optimize the “Sales Copy” of your top-performing pages for boosting sales

When you are too busy refining the top landing pages, never overlook those seemingly unimportant pages. Maybe some of your less popular pages are attracting a lot of views. Generate customized, detailed analytics reports from your tool to check various aspects of your site’s performance.

Analyze your Site’s Bounce Rate

It’s important to know whether your visitors are hanging around for long on your site or they are leaving immediately after landing. The metric that allows you to measure this activity is called Bounce Rate. If your analytics tool shows a high bounce rate, then it can be a red flag. It mainly indicates that your content is not engaging enough for your visitors to stay longer to explore your site further.

With regard to an e-commerce site perspective, a high bounce rate indicates that the visitors were unable to find what they are searching for on the site and left instantly. If you see decent traffic to a product page with an attractive offer, and the bounce rate is high, then that offer needs to be more alluring. Or it requires some serious content restructuring.  A high bounce rate in an e-commerce context can also indicate that visitors are just doing a price comparison and exiting your site. Or it could be the case that your purchase process is not user-friendly, and visitors are just going away.

An e-commerce site with a huge inventory can also have a higher bounce rate if it’s receiving a high amount of traffic from the search engines. To know what’s causing the high bounce rate, it will be a clever idea to incorporate a live chat feature to your site. This will enable you to ask them if they need any help during their visit. Also, they can type in the reasons for their premature departure.

Specialized Web Analytics for E-Commerce Sites

If you are running an e-commerce site, you’ll be excited to know that there are analytics tools with capabilities specially designed for tracking discreet customer activities. Here are some of those vital metrics that any e-commerce site owner must track to improve their sales figures.

Sales Funnel Analysis

We can treat the checkout process as the sales funnel. An analytics tool tailored to track the customer activities of an e-commerce site will produce detailed analytics data about your sales funnel. FoxMetrics is one such tool that is designed to handle all your e-commerce analytics needs.

Not all customers that add products to their shopping cart will hit the ‘Purchase’ button. Some of them will drop out! Your analytics tool should be able to pinpoint those stages of the sales funnel where the customers are abandoning the sale. Once you know which stage is causing friction, you can analyze it and rectify the problem. Bringing in more happy customers – and SALES!

Average Order Value

This is another e-commerce metric that needs to be tracked all the time. Only a state-of-the-art analytics tool can tell you the variations occurring in the average order value and suggest methods for increasing it.

Determining the Customer Lifetime Value

Your analytics tools should be able to uncover the average spending that a customer does on your products/services as long as he/she is your customer. Once you know the lifetime value of customers you can utilize your advertising and marketing budget prudently.

Analyzing Activities in Real-time

There’s nothing more valuable than having the power to track the navigation of your visitors and seeing their activities on your site as and when it’s happening! This capability can show if there are any navigational issues that your visitors are facing and what’s stopping them from going ahead and pressing the ‘Purchase’ button.

Closing Thoughts

The only way to get better at web analytics is to spend more time with your analytics tool and closely studying the data that it generates. This will not only help you optimize your website for more traffic and revenue but also accomplish sustainable business growth. FoxMetrics analytics suite developed by us helps you do just that. It offers you all the right reasons to devote more time to web analytics. It’s not just intuitive and powerful, but also highly user-friendly and fun to use. Please check out all the intriguing web analytics capabilities of FoxMetrics by clicking the preceding link.