Web Analytics is obviously an essential tool for any eCommerce site as it allows for collection of data that can keep you ahead of your competition. There are a lot of analytics packages out there, some free, some extremely expensive so how do you decide on the package that’s right for you? As Google Analytics roll out their premium subscription at $150,000 a year, many eCommerce sites are wondering what data could possibly be worth that money. Here are the most popular free and paid for packages, helping you to decide what you really need. #1. FREE Google Analytics The standard version of Google Analytics is arguably the best place to start. It has everything you need to collect the information that can propel your business forward. It will enable you to lower bounce rates, step inside your customer’s minds and produce content that you know your visitors will adore. For those new to analytics it can seem like a lot of information to process however once it’s grasped it’s easy to understand and provides the right information for taking action to improve. It can also be combined with many other Google services such as AdWords and Google Places so you can boost your SEO ranking too. #2. PREMIUM Google Analytics As it is in its infancy it’s yet to be decided if this is actually worth the hundred and fifty thousand pounds however we couldn’t mention packages without satisfying a little curiosity of this one. It seems that for this money you receive all of the above PLUS unlimited support from a Google expert, refreshes within 4 hours instead of 24 – which can allow you to monitor effectiveness almost in real time and a staggering 1billion hits processed every month. For multibillion dollar companies this could provide everything they need to consistently drive new traffic, keep current customers close and stay well ahead of their competition. #3. FREE Yahoo! Anything Google does, yahoo does; later. This is true of the Analytics as they now provide a free package that is very similar to google. Of course it’s worth a try, especially if domains are bought from Yahoo! As they compete with Google they are also a search engine that shouldn’t be ignored. Popular in the UK due to the amount of BT customers alone, Yahoo can deliver statistics that you can act upon. Some do consider the dashboard to be a bit confused though so not the best if you enjoy clear-cut data without too much delving. #4. FREE BrandStreet BrandStreet is an APP for retailers who want to explore new beacon technology without setting up a completely separate APP (and having to get their customers sign up to that) to do so. Beacon technology may be in its infancy but there’s no denying the power of the analytics behind it. If you are beacon enabled and on BrandStreet you can expect to gain access to incredible data such as how long someone stays in store, how many passers by are tempted by a window display, which products produce most customer loyalty and so on. This actionable data is brand new but it will soon become an essential tool for those who have a physical presence in the High Street. Kevin Robinson, the founder, told me, “many analytics are geared towards online measurement and statistics but there are many bricks and mortar stores that need this intelligent insight to drive loyalty and sales. BrandStreet enables this while giving retailers the chance to adopt the latest beacon technology without any risk.” #5. Woopra Woopra offers a monthly or annual subscription for its detailed analytics that promise to keep you in the know on the go. Woopra not only gives an overview of the visitors to your website, they can actually tell you WHO each visitor is, adding details such as gender and location. You can track visitors and watch them convert to customers before your very eyes as you adapt your marketing to suit. Once you’ve found a winning formula you can apply it to all and receive results via text message direct to your phone or through their user friendly iPhone and Android Apps. It seems ideal for the smaller business that wants to boost customer engagement and loyalty. #6. Adobe Analytics Adobe Analytics gives you a 360 degree overview of your traffic. The most noteworthy feature is clearly the ability to tie in social media campaigns and to see at a glance how effective these are. As social sharing is now considered to be the diamond of advertising, being able to measure the effectiveness of Facebook alongside the conversions on your website is a tool not to be ignored. Prices are not clear unless you contact them directly however they do have a download so you can try it for free. #7. Clicky Clicky is quickly overtaking Bing as the third most popular web analytics tool. This is because it offers a very simple dashboard that allows data to be presented in such a way that executives don’t need to call the IT department to decipher it. There is a free version however for just a little per month you can have access to: Individual customer analysis Real-time analysis Customisable dashboard And even a chance to earn money back through becoming an affiliate. It seems there’s little wrong with Clicky but beware. It’s not going down very well with Ecommerce sites as although it allows for goal setting it doesn’t keep an eye on conversions. Some suggest pairing it with a Magenta suite, others believe it’s best to choose another altogether. #8. Locowise I caught up with the founder of Locowise to ask about the importance of analytics software. Locowise provide analysis of social media for big names such as Chelsea football Club, Cheryl Cole and Olly Murs, he explained what Locowise is all about, he said, “We were born out of an agency I founded and still own (Vanda Sports Group) because I couldn’t find the tool I needed and I come from a quant background. Locowise was never meant to be anything but an internal tool but 3 months after we showed it to clients, it was obvious we had built something that could stand on its own. The platform is Facebook only and something we intend to maintain as we want to establish an unparalleled expertise is what is still the dominant brand platform and not be diluted by a desire to move into the others. We have enjoyed some success and now manage pages of around 250million fans with Adidas, Everton, the Sun and Samsung amongst the clients. Our approach is very much about providing actionable analytics, presented beautifully and we are achieving this. We are also getting into the higher end of analytical pursuit by building algorithms to predict fan base growth and to help brands understand the correlations between engagement and fan base growth as well as the behaviours of paid over earned fans. Our clients know when to post, where to post and what to post to encourage the most shares and interactions.” Images: “businessman touching analytics symbol on black background/Shutterstock.com“ ________________________________________________________________________________ Tweak Your Biz is a thought leader global publication and online business community. Today, it is part of the Small Biz Trends stable of websites and receives over 300,000 unique views per month. Would you like to write for us? An outstanding title can increase tweets, Facebook Likes, and visitor traffic by 50% or more. Generate great titles for your articles and blog posts with the Tweak Your Biz Title Generator.