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Starting an eCommerce business is an exciting prospect. Many look at the celebrated success of established eCommerce operators and think, ‘Hey, I can do this.’ Yes, it can be extremely profitable, but to make it work, you need to know the ins and outs of the various aspects that tie a successful eCommerce platform together. Here, eCommerce analytics is crucial. It enables entities to create a more personalized experience for customers, which–btw–is the best way to retain them.

eCommerce is much more than just buying and selling. From catalog sequencing, inventory, attribute, and color management to understanding the demands of your customers, smart merchandising requires gathering data and leveraging it smartly to develop effective marketing strategies to boost sales which drives revenue.

eCommerce analytics is not just another digital trend. eCommerce analytics prepares you for future shifts and shocks in the market. It empowers you to create solid plans that save time and effort. eCommerce analytics means data-driven decisions to reach your goals faster.

Keeping a close eye on all aspects of your online operations is absolutely crucial…you know that. Collecting data generated by your site and analyzing it regularly is critical if you want to know your customers, their needs and expectations, and how they perceive your products and services. This way you can tweak your offerings accordingly so that they better align with the needs of your target audience.

What is eCommerce Analytics?

When customers visit your online store, they bring with them useful information about past purchases and preferences. From the first touchpoint to the purchase, they drop nuggets of information. These might appear in different forms and include everything from how your marketing strategies work (or don’t), how your virtual storefront functions (or doesn’t), or even what happens when it all comes to an end–the post-purchase phase.

eCommerce analytics refers to collecting and interpreting this data so you can make more informed decisions. Customer data is an invaluable source of information for business decisions because it can be turned into actionable insights that inform marketing strategy.

Data can be gleaned from various sources, transactions, customer surveys, and user-generated content on social media. Tracking data gives eCommerce owners a deeper understanding of customer behaviors and responses, which in turn helps drive sales. Discovering new customers, conversions, inventory, final sales–eCommerce analytics includes a wide range of metrics.

Why is eCommerce Analytics Important?

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By gathering and analyzing data, you can better understand your customers’ needs and behavior, which will help you not only sell more and make more money but also keep your customers happier in the process.

The ability to unbolt the power of analytics can help your business become more agile, more responsive, and more profitable–without the need for added outlay on your part. Instead of speculating what your customers might need in the future, use data and prepare to meet and exceed those needs adequately.

A Deloitte survey further reinforces the importance of leveraging eCommerce analytics for businesses of all sizes – 49% say they were able to make better decisions with analytics; 16% use analytics for creating key strategies; and 10% credit analytics for improving their relationship with their customers and business partners.

A common misconception in eCommerce right now is that analytics is a luxury or an add-on feature. The truth, however, is that being data-driven is no longer a “nice to have”–it's a must. By unlocking the power of eCommerce analytics, you can better secure a place for your business in this hyper-competitive market.

(Some of) The Data You Should Care About

eCommerce analytics involves extracting data from every area that affects your business. However, not everything will be useful. The challenge is cutting through the noise and the clutter. While it’s true that different analytics are suited for different business models, there are key areas that merit close attention.

Visitor Analysis

This shows who visited your store, how long they browsed, products they checked, purchases they made (or almost made), why they left, and more. This answers many questions that help understand shoppers' behavior better. Leverage these insights to not only connect with visitors but also to develop more meaningful connections.

Marketing Analysis

The end goal of every business is to increase sales which in turn drives revenue. This can be achieved by looking at what your customers are buying and the purchases they have made multiple times.

Understanding the age and geographical demographics of your customers is crucial to assess who is buying what. Marketing analysis is focused on producing data around these activities. Once you have this information, you can target a particular audience with the right marketing strategy.

Funnel Performance Analysis

You’ve spent a great deal of time and resources generating traffic and other visitors to your website or landing page. But, for some reason, these visitors don’t convert into the leads and paying customers that you need to keep your business alive. Funnel analysis can help you spot at which point visitors are leaving your website. With these insights, you can analyze the conversion process and optimize it.

Funnel analysis helps you go beyond conversion rate optimization by giving you a more thorough overview of your website’s performance. It allows you to understand how conversion rates vary by user or segment so you can improve user experience. This will not only help you improve conversion rates but also identify flaws in the critical paths of your website.

User Retention Analysis

This ranks as one of the most important aspects of eCommerce analysis. Client acquisition demands a lot of resources but the customer lifecycle does not end here. For the long-term survival of any business, it’s critical to focus on client retention as well. Many brands can attract customers through advertising and other marketing tools but these customers often abandon their carts and leave–a very important consideration since eCommerce brands are losing $18 billion in sales revenue each year because of this phenomenon!

Increase Conversion With Smart Merchandising

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It’s clear that a deeper and more strategic understanding of customer activity is critical to every aspect of a smart eCommerce business and it all starts with analytics where you can visualize trends, patterns, and habits. If you want to be successful in eCommerce, a thorough understanding of your customer is crucial.

It’s equally important to understand where people are going and what they are doing online. Analytics is becoming increasingly important as marketers seek to provide enhanced customer experiences, understand consumers better, provide the most relevant products. Embracing analytics means that eCommerce businesses make qualified merchandising strategy decisions and have a greater chance to grow.

Smart Merchandiser empowers you to take control of your online storefront with improved data analytics at your fingertips. Smart Merchandiser gives you data overlays right on the product images. It provides you with page views, conversion, and abandonment rates, as well as sales revenue data, eliminating the need to switch between layout and the analytics dashboards for deeper analytics insight.

Smart Merchandiser further facilitates integrated social media tracking to capture Facebook likes, Twitter activity, and ratings. What’s more, Smart Merchandiser is supported by analytics tools including IBM Analytics, Google Analytics, and Omniture.

Request a demo today and leverage the immense power of data to create a solid foundation on which to build future strategies for your eCommerce enterprise.