When running an eCommerce business, every little advantage is crucial.
With up to 80% of eCommerce stores failing and with industry giants like Amazon becoming ever more dominant, carving out a place in any marketplace is a steep challenge.
That’s why analytics are an absolutely vital part of any comprehensive strategy. Using insights and data that you collect from your marketing efforts and customer behavior, you can steadily improve your campaigns and start gaining a sizeable advantage over the competition.
But how can you use analytics to provide a boost to your eCommerce marketing campaigns? And which metrics should you focus on?
Let’s dive deep into the most important aspects of analytics for eCommerce that you should consider to get the most out of your efforts.
Why Are Analytics Important?
Before we go on to the specific strategies and metrics you should focus on, it’s important to understand why you should focus on customer analytics in the first place.
One of the primary reasons why analytics are so important is the fact that they help you channel your resources more effectively. As a small-to-medium eCommerce store, you probably don’t have infinite resources and time for your marketing efforts, which means you need to understand what’s bringing you the best results and focus your attention on that.
Without specific knowledge about what’s working, you might find yourself spending most of your budget on approaches that aren’t delivering or aren’t even well-suited for the audience you’re trying to attract.
Another important benefit of analytics in eCommerce is the ability to steadily gain an advantage over the competition. Every usable insight that you can gain gives you knowledge that others in your marketplace don’t have, helping you make informed decisions and attract customers that others fail to convert.
Finally, as you gain more experience and have concrete data backing up your decisions, you will notice that your day-to-day decisions will become much better.
Your campaigns will convert better, you will discover opportunities that others are missing, and will have a finger on the pulse of the entire industry, adapting to changes early and taking advantage of new opportunities that arise.
Most Important Analytics for your eCommerce Business
Now that we’ve gone through some of the reasons why analytics is essential in eCommerce, let’s look at what you should focus on when analyzing data to get the most useful information that you can use in your decision-making process.
Understanding what your customers and website visitors want is a top priority for any business. Unfortunately, most companies end up making a lot of guesses at what their readers might prefer when it’s very easy to see actual data that can point towards the right approach.
One of the metrics that can provide you with a ton of insights is on-site search.
If you have a search bar on your site, you can use analytics to see the most common search terms and get a much better idea of what people are interested in.
You may find that some of the topics aren’t even covered on your site, which will give you a clear idea of what your top priority pages or content should be. If people are searching for specific products, you might need to consider adding them to your selection for an easy way to boost sales.
If many of the queries concern questions about how to choose or how to use your products, you might want to consider creating a knowledge base system where you could post comprehensive answers to these questions, as well as develop guides about various selections.
Remember, when you help your customers become more informed about the products that you offer and the various options that are available, you are not only positioning yourself as an authority but are also significantly increasing the chances of them making a purchase.
Map Out Your Customer Journey
Without analytics, the path that your customers take before becoming your customers would remain mostly a mystery. Sure, you could make educated guesses about where your traffic is coming from or how the visitors are interacting with your website, but in the end, you wouldn’t have any actual data to point to when optimizing your funnel.
Luckily, with the help of customer analytics, the process becomes much more straightforward.
You can track your customer journey through each step of the funnel, knowing exactly how many drop off at each point and having countless opportunities to split test variables and see whether you can make a noticeable improvement.
For instance, when you send out an email to your subscriber list, you can track how many people open the email, how many clicks through, how many add your product to their cart, and finally how many finalize their purchase.
Having this information at your disposal will show you where the biggest issues are and will help you focus your attention on improving those areas without messing with what’s already working well.
Find the Most Profitable Marketing Channels
As a small-to-medium eCommerce store, you are likely not working with an unlimited marketing budget, which is why you need to focus on getting the most value out of your efforts.
Even though there are many eCommerce marketing strategies you can use, not all of them will be equally effective in your situation. While one might work well in one industry, it might be completely ineffective in another, not to mention the sometimes stark differences between audiences and their online browsing habits.
Luckily, customer analytics allows you to ensure that you know exactly how much value every dollar you spend is bringing.
Whether you’re using paid advertising or are focusing on organic traffic, you can find out how many of your site’s visitors are converting, as well as how they’re interacting with your website, whether they engage with multiple pages, and how many of them add items to their cart.
For instance, you might be getting a lot of organic traffic from certain queries on Google, but you might find that the vast majority of that traffic isn’t converting and isn’t even performing any meaningful actions on your site.
Meanwhile, keywords with less traffic but with a stronger buyer-intent might reveal themselves to be much more profitable and deserving of more attention, even if the sheer number of monthly visitors is much smaller.
Insights gained from analytics are becoming the driving force of success in eCommerce. With so many tools designed to make the job easier, any eCommerce business not using analytics in their decision-making process is sure to fall behind the competition.
The above sections are just a few ways to use analytics to improve your marketing efforts and make more sales.
As you get more familiar with how you can use data, you will find that there are virtually unlimited options for improving your business and driving your sales with the customer behavior insights you can come up with.
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