Ecommerce shopper analytics helps brands track performance across digital channels and audience segments, with the goal of improving sales. In this sense, paying close attention to the trends in these data signals is an important aspect of an ecommerce brand's success.
To help you understand the potential that analytics carries for your business, this blog post will take you through what shopper insights are and why they are important. We’ll also highlight six hyper-effective ways to use shopper insights to boost brand progress.
What Is Ecommerce Analytics?
Analytics helps you draw insights from statistics that measure brand performance and growth. From social media apps like Twitter to search engines like Google to third-party data sources that benchmark key behaviors in your market, there are scores of online platforms armed with information to help brands gain shopper behavior insights.
These analytical insights help admins identify hyper-successful channels, channels that aren't bringing in their target audience, post performance, audience reach, as well as basic audience demographics such as:
- their geographical location (with 5 miles of the brand's physical stores, etc.)
- digital touchpoint preferences (such as social channels, ad networks, emails, pop-up notifications, preferred website niches, etc.)
Ecommerce analytics, specifically, include these aspects of website performance, audience engagement, as well as monetization, whether your focus is on your own web shop, a specific competitor or your niche market category as a whole.
When it comes to analyzing your own web traffic, Google Analytics helps you track shopping activity across landing pages or campaign-specific streams. At the same time, it helps track transactions, product page engagement, buyer segmentation, churn rate, bounce rate, as well as the number of products you've sold.
Why Are Insights from Ecommerce Analytics Important?
Shopper. Behavior. Insights.
Ecommerce brands thrive on consumer insights, because:
- Customer insights help brands target their needs better.
- These analytics give a direction to a brand's growth strategy and guide their marketing efforts in the right direction.
- Identifying gaps and leaks in a brand's sales funnel and knowing how well they're selling to their target audience helps. Massively.
So, you've got the data and you know how important it is.
But how do you actually collect and use these metrics for store success?
How to Measure and Improve Your Store's Performance with Analytics
1. Track top keywords and conversion sources
There are thousands of ecommerce sites on the web, many of which are competing for the same target audience. Be it online fashion stores or furniture, tracking the right keywords is a must.
The keywords and phrases you target for organic (or paid) reach determine how visible your site will be to your users, and how relevant it will be for the search algorithm. An ideal ranking for relevant keywords is on the top spot in Google SERPs, or at least the first page.
Analytics help you track conversions, bounce rates, and traffic volume across all the sections of your website. Understanding where your customers are opting out of the sales funnel and acquisition process helps in on-site optimization and identifying customer pain points.
For example, a customer exiting the checkout page after opting for a product might be looking for a more effective delivery cost, or simply a smoother payment gateway.
2. Build an Ecommerce Dashboard
An ecommerce dashboard is a useful way to keep a track of your traffic, sales, revenue, and your best-performing streams, all in one place.
An ecommerce dashboard may include all the insights you may deem necessary, and would probably look somewhat like the below example.
Image via Sumo
Analytics platforms generally have plenty of features and widgets that can help you set up different dashboards, including ones that display your performance across a year, a few months, or even a few weeks.
Keeping an eye on your site performance becomes seamless through a dashboard, thanks to not having to download lots of PDFs filled with lots of hard-to-understand numbers. Reviewing and sharing these dashboards across various teams – such as marketing, sales, and web dev – can help fix weak spots in the funnel to improve conversions and sales, plus optimize website UX.
3. Keep an Eye on Your Top Competitors
Let's face it, no matter how niche you go, dozens of different websites are likely competing for the same audience traffic that you’re after. Be it search rankings or sales revenue, competitor research is key to brand success, especially in the highly competitive ecommerce market.
Besides studying competitor performance on social channels as part of your market research, tracking their performance for keywords and audience traffic is essential to improve conversions.
There are several popular tools that ecommerce businesses can use to track, analyze, and utilize competitor performance and to benchmark customer journeys according to niche markets.
4. Monitor Loyalty and Retention
A huge mistake many brands make is solely focusing on grabbing the attention of new users. As is no surprise, they usually have an extremely high churn rate – meaning, these new customers choose to do business with you over your competitors for only so long.
Here's a statistic to show the potential your existing customers carry for your sales and revenue. The chances of selling to a new prospect are anywhere between 5-20%, whereas the probability of an existing customer making a purchase is 60-70%.
Monitoring customer loyalty, retention, and churn rate can give you powerful insights into what your customers love about your brand, and what's making them leave. Putting in an equal amount of marketing efforts to retain your existing customers does not have to be back-breaking work. Through timely (and smartly framed) emails, social posts, on-site updates, and loyalty programs, you can give your retention rate the push it needs.
5. Track Website Usage with Heatmaps
A website heatmap identifies the "cold" and "hot" zones of your website – i.e., what your customers are clicking on. And what they aren’t. Below is an example of what a website heatmap looks like.
Image via VWO
Website usage patterns can help identify which sections of your site are best-performing and which others your users shy away from the most.
While identifying "cold zones," run those sections through multiple checks to ensure they aren't glitchy, unresponsive, or incomplete. A more responsive website will result in better rankings – website UX is one of the most important determinants of website relevance for search engine algorithms.
6. Keep Track of ROI from Paid Ad Campaigns
Once again, more data. While SEO should be at the top of your priority list for better ROI, paid ads should be prioritized as well.
Launching a paid ad campaign on search engines involves keyword research, bidding on the right keywords, thorough competitor analysis, and tracking your ROI.
Besides monitoring metrics on user engagement, tracking your ROI helps you invest in high-performing channels, revise your current ad strategy, and plan for future ad campaigns.
Driving ecommerce growth isn't just about crafting a successful brand messaging strategy, it's also about analyzing shopper insights, based on original research, touchpoint engagement metrics and even industry intelligence. Regularly visit your analytics dashboards and third-party data sources, so you can tweak and modify your strategies for engaging your shoppers.