Every marketer knows that data is essential to the success of your ecommerce brand — but it’s not always easy to collect and convey that data in a simple way. Without a streamlined ecommerce analytics solution, you can't measure your results, improve your campaigns, or prove your marketing ROI.
Understanding what customers want and how they interact with your brand can help you make strategic decisions that boost conversions and online sales. Ecommerce analytics provide a way to standardize this data and determine which strategies are working, and which aren’t.
In this post, we’ll discuss why ecommerce analytics are crucial to a marketer’s toolkit, how to use them to your advantage, and how the tools you rely on should make this process easier for you. Let’s get into it.
Understanding Ecommerce Analytics
Ecommerce analytics is the process of tracking, measuring, and analyzing data related to transactions on an e-commerce website. This data can include information like the number of website visitors, popular products, the amount of money they spend on each product, and more.
As an ecommerce brand, you can use this data to understand your customers' behavior, improve your marketing tactics, and increase online sales.
You can also use it to measure the success of your website and make changes to improve your marketing performance. For example, analytics allow you to compare different types of content on your brand website, in terms of interaction and conversion from website visitors.
Not every ecommerce metric is important to a marketer; some analytics may be more relevant to your broader ecommerce team, or your product team. While it’s valuable to understand the scope of ecommerce data you can track, it’s also a good skill to learn which you should prioritize.
Types Of Ecommerce Data You Can Track
Tracking metrics and key performance indicators will give data-driven insights into your customers' behavior and help you identify areas where you can improve your results. For example, you can use cart abandonment rates to improve your retargeting campaigns and boost conversions.
Depending on your goals, learning the type of data you should track is critical. Here are some of the most critical data points every ecommerce marketer should monitor:
1. Target Audience Demographics
Before starting a business or selling your product or services online, you must deeply understand your audience. After all, your business exists to serve them, and if you don’t know who they are or what they want, you won’t be very successful.
To understand your audience better, start by determining your ideal customers and customer journey. This will help you figure out who is most likely to be interested in what you're selling. Valuable insights like their age, geography, and gender can help you learn that.
Two of the best ways to begin understanding your target audience are user-generated content (UGC) and Ratings & Reviews. Get to know your existing customers who already love your brand, and what they have in common with each other. The feedback you get from UGC and reviews will not only help you narrow down who to target in future marketing campaigns, but it also shows what specific campaigns are memorable.
Checkout Comments ask customers why they purchased a product, immediately after the sale goes through. A quick look at the Checkout Comments on Morphe’s website indicate that consumers value the colors in a specific makeup palette for both everyday and holiday makeup looks. This is great feedback that can help the brand understand who their customers are.
Social media listening tools are valuable assets to monitor what your customers and target audience are saying about you on other channels, beyond your brand website. They can help you track mentions of your brand, see what people are saying about you, and get actionable insights into the things that interest them. Pixlee TurnTo allows brands to collect UGC and reviews while also monitoring unique hashtags, mentions, and user activity on social media.
2. Customer Acquisition
Acquisition means driving high-quality traffic to your website and converting that traffic into paying customers. But how do you know if your acquisition efforts are paying off? The answer lies in acquisition analysis.
There are two main ways to acquire customers for your ecommerce business: paid acquisition and organic acquisition. Paid acquisition is any marketing activity where you pay to drive traffic to your websites, such as through Google Ads or Facebook advertising.
On the other hand, organic acquisition is any activity where you don't pay for the traffic, such as through SEO or organic social media campaigns. Travel brand Skyscanner redirected 50% of its Instagram profile viewers to the brand’s website by featuring UGC in posts and urging users to visit their site for more. This shows UGC’s potentially huge impact on organic traffic for any brand on social media.
You can also get organic traffic by building trust and customer relationships. You can do this by creating a solid brand identity. Sometimes even something as simple as including LLC after your business name can help with your branding efforts. The meaning of LLC after business names is that your brand is legally registered. That can help you with building customer trust.
Of course, you need to track paid and organic acquisitions separately to see which marketing channels perform better. That way, you can adjust your marketing budget accordingly and focus on the activities that give you the best investment return.
To track paid and organic acquisitions separately, start by setting up two different goals in Google Analytics. One should be for paid traffic, and the other goal should be for organic traffic. Here is a screenshot to help you visualize the idea.
Then, analyze your customer acquisition data. Look at conversion rate, cost per conversion, and revenue per visit for paid and organic traffic.
Your website traffic data can tell you a lot about your audience. Consider data like where your traffic is coming from, what pages your audience spends time on, and what content they’re engaging with.
3. User Behavior
Understanding common user behavior is crucial to helping you design a better customer experience and increase conversions. By analyzing how users interact with your site, you can identify areas for improvement and make changes that will encourage more sales.
Here are some tips on how to analyze user behavior for ecommerce.
Connect Content Interaction to Sales
Leading brands often feature their own Instagram feed or UGC from customers on the brand’s ecommerce website. Like any other kind of content, one way to measure user behavior is by looking at time spent on site, repeat visit rate, and conversion of site visitors who interact with that content.
This way, you can identify what types of on-site content are impacting average order value and conversion. Pizza oven brand Ooni saw a 185% increase in time spent on-site and a 272% increase in repeat-visit rate after implementing UGC galleries with Pixlee TurnTo. In the platform, the brand is able to easily access these ecommerce statistics to share with the rest of the team.
This is an example of Pixlee TurnTo’s overview of site visitor behavior and purchases as they relate to UGC interaction.
Heatmaps use color-coded graphics to show where users click, scroll, and move their mouse on a page. This can help you understand what elements of a page are most popular and what users are interested in.
Heatmaps, for example, show the most appealing section on the website that people click on, as shown in the image below.
Many analytics platforms, including HotJar and Optimizely, offer heatmap features.
This involves looking at which pages on your site are most viewed and figuring out why and for how long. You can use Google Analytics to see this data.
Use A/B Testing
With A/B testing, you create two-page versions and then show each version to different users. You can then track how each version performs regarding conversion rate and other metrics. This information can help you understand which page elements are most effective in driving conversions.
Additionally, you can look at customer reviews and surveys to get a better idea of their shopping behavior. Then, you can tailor your website and product offerings to meet their needs and achieve your ultimate goal.
4. On-Site Conversions
Conversion rate is the other essential metric ecommerce online businesses should track. By understanding the conversion rate and calculating it, you can make informed decisions about where to invest your time and marketing spend.
You can improve your conversion rate by optimizing your checkout process. Make sure that your checkout process is as simple and streamlined as possible. And offer multiple payment options so people can choose the one that's best for them.
Featuring UGC on-site can power conversion improvements for brands in any industry. Just take a look at the conversion boosts different industries see when showcasing UGC (from our Social UGC Industry Benchmark Reports):
Beauty and Cosmetics: 2.6x
Travel & Hospitality: 1.4x
Home & Decor: 1.5x
Influencer marketing content can also help you build an ecommerce strategy that converts. It allows you to experiment with different types of influencer content, such as videos or social media posts.
For example, Revel Nail uses content from influencers to fill the content gap on its product pages. According to a Pixlee case study, implementing influencers' postings enhanced Revel Nail site conversions by 3.7X. It also helps develop a community around the brand.
Finally, improve your customer service. Giving customers a positive experience increases the likelihood of them becoming loyal customers, which boosts conversion, referrals, and customer retention rates. This means responding to customer inquiries, offering helpful information, and resolving problems quickly and efficiently.
5. Paid Ads ROI
When running a paid ads marketing campaign for your ecommerce brand, it’s crucial to track and analyze your results. That helps you make informed decisions about which channels to allocate your resources and the ads to double down on.
So, ensure you have a conversion tracking system to see how many sales or leads your campaign generates.
In addition to conversion tracking, there are a few other key metrics you should track:
Click-through rate (CTR): This is the percentage of users who see your ad and click on it. A high CTR indicates that your ad is relevant and engaging.
Cost per click (CPC): This is the average amount you pay each time someone clicks on your ad. A low CPC means that your ad is effective and you get a good return on investment (ROI).
Conversion rate: This is the percentage of customers who take the desired action after clicking your ad. A high conversion rate means your ad and landing page effectively drive sales.
By tracking the right metrics and analyzing your results, you can ensure that your paid ads campaign is driving results for your ecommerce business.
Ecommerce analytics are vital. That's because the ecommerce landscape is constantly changing, and what worked last year might not work this year. So, it's essential to stay on top of the latest ecommerce trends and understand the most critical ecommerce analytics.
These will help you measure your marketing initiatives' performance, increase multichannel traction, and guide holistic marketing strategies.
Jon is the founder of two successful e-commerce and SaaS businesses. He's passionate about sharing what he has learned from working with business owners through Venture Smarter.
Pixlee TurnTo Contributor
Pixlee TurnTo welcomes contributed content from leading marketers, influencers and ecommerce experts.