How To: Increase profits using eCommerce analytics

November 7, 2016 by Leah Na'aman

You may have sales, SEO and marketing efforts in place, but how do you know if you’re targeting the right channels or demographics? And while you may have invested a lot of money into building your website, is it actually chasing customers away? Insight into every element of your store is needed and this is why fully utilizing the power of eCommerce analytics is so important.

All online retailers have some form of analytics built into their websites to track basic metrics, like site traffic. But unless you’re using analytics software to its fullest potential, you’re losing out on a lot of insight and a lot of money.

In this article, we’re going to give you an overview of how you should be using eCommerce analytics data. By adopting these techniques, you’ll have the power to improve your store’s performance and significantly increase your profit margins.

Magento 2 and Google Analytics

Most eCommerce platforms have some form of analytics incorporated into their systems; however, these are often limited, which is why Google Analytics remains an incredibly popular choice.

Because of its analytical power, Magento facilitates easy incorporation of the software into its online stores; in fact, installing GA on your Magento 2 site is an even simpler process than it was with Magento 1. Now, you just need to enable the GA setting in Admin and add your account number.

The software comes with several great features. One example is eCommerce tracking, which allows you to track product and transition data on your site. Again, simplicity is key and this can be launched by enabling the feature in your GA account. Content Experiments is another excellent addition, making it easy to run simple A/B performance tests on specific pages.

The importance of targeting specific metric patterns

Tracking specific funnels of interaction between your online store and customers is how to really harness the power of metrics.

The issue with website analytics is that many users just look at the overall numbers; however, it’s only when you dive into these figures that you start to truly understand what’s going on. In doing this, you’re pulling specific pieces of information from the broad range of tracking GA does and identifying positive or negative patterns affecting your profit margins.

One way to track specific funnels is by setting ‘goals’ and there are numerous ways to create these. For guidelines, you can visit the official Google documentation on this.

eCommerce Analytics: The metrics you need to focus on to boost revenue

As we’ve said, GA has the ability to track a broad range of metrics, but your focus should be on targeted funnels. Here are some of the specific areas you should be concentrating on.

Bounce rates

This is the percentage of people who visited your site and then left without taking any action. This indicates that they were brought to the wrong place or they didn’t like what they saw. Bounce rates above 50% are a sign that something is wrong and could be costing you money; however, looking at the bounce rate as a whole won’t allow you to get the results you need.

Not every page and funnel is failing. Breaking bounce rate information into digestible pieces will allow you to see the specific problem areas. Investigate which pages have the highest bounce rates and conduct some research into why this may be. It could be due to a number of elements you can fix easily, such as slow loading times or weak sales copy. Once you make these improvements, continue to track these pages and see how each change leads to improvements.

Sources

Identifying where your traffic is coming from is crucial if you want to optimize your sales funnel. For example, a page without obvious flaws and a high bounce rate may just be attracting the wrong customers.

If that page has traffic coming from an Adwords campaign, the problem could be the consumers you’re targeting. Maybe you’re using the wrong keywords and therefore attracting the wrong demographic or maybe you’re targeting the wrong demographic altogether.

Setting goals to track customers coming from specific sources allows you view the path they take. If a particular source is resulting in high bounce rates, you’ll need to re-evaluate and continue monitoring your eCommerce analytics until you see positive results.

Average load times

Consumers want eCommerce stores – and websites in general – to load quickly. Every second counts and browsers have very little tolerance for sites that take several seconds to load completely.

Monitor Average Page Load Time to ensure every page on your store’s website is loading fast enough. If some pages are slower than others, a common reason for poor performance on eCommerce sites is image size. Installing an image resizing plugin or simply uploading smaller files will easily fix this issue.

If image size doesn’t seem to be the problem, ensure you have taken advantage of Magento 2’s full caching abilities. The platform’s out-of-the-box features can significantly improve performance with very little effort required from developers.

Time on site

This can be a very useful metric to follow when it comes to consumers that haven’t converted into a sale. The longer the time a customer spends on your site, the more interested they are in your products. Interest is a positive factor in the selling process and if it’s not enough to result in a sale, this could be an indication that you’re doing something to put them off.

Tracking the paths these visitors take and look for any patterns that could shed some light on the situation. For example, if a large percentage drops off on one particular page, further investigation of that page should be carried out to identify problems.

Cross-sells

When establishing an eCommerce analytics plan, another area you should be tracking is upselling. Many online stores have a Recommended Products block on product pages and other areas of their sites to encourage buyers to add extra items to the list – but is it actually working for you?

You should have a goal set to monitor upselling and cross-selling activities. If these sections aren’t yielding results, something needs to be fixed. Perhaps you’ve positioned them in the wrong place or you’re recommending the wrong type of products. For example, promoting useful accessories for a television may yield better upselling results than advertising other types of televisions, which may derail the consumer from purchasing altogether.

Utilize A/B testing in this instance and run different variations of the page to see what works better.

Magento and the future of eCommerce analytics

There are plenty of features available to online retailers when it comes to analyzing metrics, but Magento users should prepare for a big boost in customer insight power. Back in August, the platform acquired RJMetrics, a company providing big data analytics to businesses, which has now been renamed Magento Analytics.

The plan is to integrate MA with the Magento platform to provide a better understanding of customers. The program pulls data from a variety of sources, such as Google Analytics, Facebook ads and Zendesk to offer merchants new insights through intuitive front-end analysis.

To understand the importance of this development, think of it this way: what Google Analytics tells you about the pages on your website, Magento Analytics can tell you about the people on your website. MA’s integration with the Magento platform means you’ll be able to get a whole new perspective on consumers as MA tracks consumer behavior and then collates this knowledge with data derived from web analytics tools.

In other words, start using your current eCommerce analytics software to its fullest extent now, so you’re ready to utilize the extra information Magento Analytics will send your way.

Facebookgoogle_pluslinkedin

Author

Leah Na’aman