Web analytics are far from exciting or sexy. In fact, the mere thought of them evokes tedious hours spent labouring over various variable laden reports. The least enjoyable part of running an eCommerce site is the reporting and that is exactly what web analytics enable us to do. When it comes to eCommerce sites, data is gleaned and poured over in order to establish which pages of a site are proving most popular and seeing the highest levels of traffic. Web analytics allow eCommerce site owners to understand the customer journeys which drive conversions.
Right now, the role of web analytics is greatly expanding. No longer is it just about internal analysis, it is also about external communications. In 2017, web analytics as a tool began evolving into two primary uses; to allow in-depth analysis of the customer and to provide business insights once merged with offline systems.
Web analytics combined with marketing automation is allowing brands to gain a more in-depth look at the customer.
Previously, if our analytics told us that a customer had been viewing a particular product on one of our pages, we whipped up an add for that item which followed the customer around the internet, appearing on other websites that they frequented. These personalised ad campaigns are starting to wain in popularity though. Customer browsing behaviour is now a catalyst for change, not just an excuse to whip up a targeted ad. Data from the likes of abandoned cart pages can provide us with so much more information than just that a customer neglected to finalise their purchase. Data can allow us to communicate with the customer on multiple levels. Through capturing and assembling all data points, companies can produce a ‘Universal Visitor Profile, which can be used as the main source of data on each individual customer, allowing us to communicate with each customer in a bespoke fashion. For example, when an item we are selling comes back into stock, we can refer back to all our Universal Visitor Profiles and use the data to detect which consumers may be interested in this item. We would be able to see from returned items and previous purchases, which size and style appeals to them. We can then email all these customers and notify them that an item in their preferred size, similar to their previous purchases is back in stock.
Web analytics have allowed us to capture data on customer behaviour and combine it with online stock systems, to re-market a particular product.
Site owners look to integrate web analytics with offline systems for new business insights
Analytics are surprisingly being used to enhance other, non-web related data. American airline US Airways had an interesting external use for its website data. Besides from flying passengers around the world, the airline also makes revenue from its data monetization partner Adara Media. While many aspects of the airline’s offline activities such as its booking system, were integrated into its website, certain data such as that which documented all activity with Adara was missing.
Using a process known as tag management solution, US Airways was able to greatly enhance the website data passed to Adara, and achieve an annualized ROI of over 400%.
So whether it’s using web analytics to improve your marketing via enhanced automation or using them to improve internal analysis, the world of analytics is opening up significantly for today’s marketers.