Web Analytics Tops List for ECommerce Decision Making

Written by  May 8, 2008

I’ve said it so many times it should be expected now. When it comes to making decisions on where to start adjusting your website in order to achieve better conversion, the first and last place you can count on is your web analytics program (providing you have a decent one in place.)

Having said that (once again), it should come as no surprise that topping the list of sources which ecommerce retailers base their website decision making efforts on is web analytics.

The E-Tailing Group, Inc. reports that out of 20 different areas to choose from, web analytics was the leader in driving merchandising decisions for many online businesses.

The breakdown of all 20 is as follows:

What drives merchandising decisions
(% of retailers using the following sources)

Web Analytics 86%
Sales History 72%
Brand Strategy 65%
Seasonal Promos/Calendar 63%
Inventory Data 60%
Merchandising “gut” 54%
Product Margin 52%
Conversion Data 51%
Cross-channel store -catalog initiatives 49%
Customer acquisition/retention strategy 47%
Sales ranking 41%
Search data 35%
Search engine marketing/SEO performance data 35%
Customer profiling 33%
E-Mail purchasing patterns 30%
Consumer ratings and reviews 27%
Trending data 26%
Vendor co-op 17%
Member data 10%
Enterprise resource planning apps. 6%
 
Source: E-Tailing Group, Inc.

So why did web analytics top the list? I’ll tell you why I believe it did. Because website analytics provides non-biased, objective, and factual data that can’t be disputed.

Providing it has been installed correctly, web analytic reports are based on concrete information of activities surrounding your site. Web analytics do not lie. They paint a true picture, no matter how grim or glorious of the state of your website at a given point in time based on actual events occurring within it.

Interpret the analytics correctly and you’ll often find a gold mine of information that uncovers exact points of inefficiencies that could be costing you sales.

There are many analytics systems out there. Each offers their own benefits. I’ve been able to generate conversion rates (unique visitors to sales) for clients as high as 18.4% with data that was gathered using properly installed Google Analytics.

So, don’t think that you need to shell out big dollars for a tracking system in order to gather the necessary data to increase your sales and website conversion. It’s not always about the system you use, it’s how you interpret the data it reports.

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