Once you have your online store up and running, the next step is to setup your analytics and track your progress. With analytics you can tell how your website is doing, whether or not your online marketing campaigns are driving traffic, and what keywords are attracting the most customers. Analytics for ecommerce are a little different than traditional websites, especially because an ecommerce site is set up with multiple pages. Before you start analyzing the data you’ve collected, you’ll want to understand what you’re looking at, what pages matter, and how to find custom variables.
Grouping Your Pages
It’s likely your ecommerce website will have thousands of pages. Therefore, analytics for ecommerce should be grouped by category or page type so that you can accurately measure how each page is performing. For example, some page groups you might have include:
• Home page
• Landing page(s)
• Content page(s)
• Product specific page(s)
• Checkout or shopping cart page
• Payment or order confirmation page
You can filter by page type when you look at your analytics. This will help you determine which pages are performing, how well they’re performing, etc. You’ll want a good deal of traffic on your product specific pages as well as your landing pages, while your checkout and payment pages won’t generate much. By breaking up your analytics into categories, you get a more accurate representation of how your site is performing.
View Your New Visit Percentages
High traffic on your analytics for ecommerce is important, but it’s even more important that your website constantly attracts new site visitors. It doesn’t matter how you get those new visitors — organic traffic, marketing or campaign-driven, etc. — the more new visits you get, the more likely your website is to succeed. An ideal percentage is 75 percent or higher for the first few months after your site starts up. If you don’t see a 75 percent or higher number, you need to adjust your marketing.
Review Your Overall Site Engagement Stats
Site engagement stats can include the pages per visit, your site’s bounce rate, and the average visit duration. These numbers tell you exactly how visitors are engaging with your ecommerce site and are important analytics for ecommerce business owners. If any of these numbers are low, it is an indicator there is something wrong with your site — either in design, product offering, etc. Also, you might have a design flaw that causes glitches in a user’s experience, which need to be found and addressed right away.
Understanding Your Conversion Rate
Analytics for ecommerce involve a lot of tagging, which can be done via a Google program or a different analytic program. These tags are more efficient and can be placed on your web pages for accurate tracking. One important tag to review is your website’s conversion rate. You’ll need to make sure your conversion tags are properly placed on all transaction confirmation pages for a more accurate report.
While there is no magic number, your ecommerce site should have a high conversion rate (meaning a high number of visitors that transform into buyers). If your conversion rate is low you need to identify why — poor marketing, navigation issues, etc. — and fix those issues.
Analytics for ecommerce are different than other websites and while they might seem complex, they aren’t. By implementing the right strategy you can get an accurate representation of how your website is operating, where you need to improve, and what products/pages are producing the highest ROI for your company. No matter what you’re selling, analytics should serve as a guide that pinpoints exactly where your ecommerce site needs to go in order to succeed.