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Analytics Drives Insight, Innovation, and eCommerce Optimization

February 28, 2017

Anticipating customer preferences is key to your brand’s success. In the past, marketers relied on lucky guesses and cumbersome surveys. Now, analytics delivers actionable insight that companies can use in real-time in order to respond to consumer trends and fast-changing market conditions. If your company isn’t using analytics, then you might as well be flying blind, in a storm, without radar.

Analytics Provides Game-Changing Insights Into Consumer Behavior 

 
Web analytics provides a perceptive window into consumer behavior. It is also a game-changing technology for optimizing your digital presence and all aspects of your organization. However, it is not only a tool -- it is a mindset that requires a high degree of both organizational commitment and skill in order to tap its full potential.
 
There are, of course, a wide variety of analytics applications available. Free programs, like Google Analytics, and premium products from Adobe and IBM, are just a few of the options out there. Tools like these are incredibly powerful, but knowing the right way to use them is decisive.
 
The Importance of Measuring So You Can Optimize
 
You can’t fix what you can’t measure runs an old adage. Similarly, you won’t be able to optimize your website without analytics. It all starts with the fundamentals, the so-called Key Performance Indicators. Identifying the measures that matter to your business is essential. However, analytics does more than just provide eCommerce insights -- it can inform decisions about all aspects of your business.
 
Using Key Performance Indicators as a Window Into Customers
 
What Key Performance Indicators matter to your company? Engagement/Bounce Rate, Conversion Stats, Site Search Satisfaction, Shopping Cart Abandonment, Traffic Usage Patterns (by device, geography, browser, and demographic). All these can tell you a great deal about your customers. But you have to make decisions about the kind of questions to ask of the data. The more astute and targeted your queries, the more valuable the answers your raw information will yield.
 
How to Harness Data 
 
  • Are you analyzing customer site search queries to identify individual preferences, consumer trends, and selling opportunities?
  • What do common website flow patterns look like? This is a page-by-page snapshot of the journey customers takes with your platforms. Are they getting stuck at a particular point? Perhaps they are they looking for additional information at a specific junction? Do they drop a purchase because they encounter a page about shipping charges? Mapping your flow can help you optimize the customer’s journey.
  • Do you regularly test and measure alternative eCommerce options? The most successful companies -- Amazon, for instance -- have a culture of testing. By putting several choices in front of customers you can determine which one are the most effective.

Testing allows for certainty but analytics is what helps you identify what actually needs testing in order to optimize and grow your business.

Takeaway

 
In the past, marketing was often a matter of trial and error, hit or miss. “I know that 50 percent of my advertising budget is wasted, I just don’t know which half” runs an old joke that highlighted the marketing dilemma of a bygone era.
 
Analytics replaces guesswork with algorithms that can sift through data, discern patterns, and connect the dots so that businesspeople can respond more adroitly to customer preferences, emerging trends, and changing market conditions.
 
Today’s analytic programs are a quantum leap over the tools that existed beforehand. However, data processing engines are only part of the solution. Businesses need a comprehensive strategy that encompasses resource investment, skill-set development, and the application of a mindset that can harness analytic insights to address and solve specific business challenges. On a practical level, using analytics in conjunction with classic A/B testing is critical to get the most out of your eCommerce site.
 
Guidance offers complete strategy and testing services. Contact our Optimization team today to see how we can help you grow.