Running an online store is a great thing, especially when it’s well-operating, bringing a steady amount of new visitors from your advertising activities or simply coming from Google organic traffic. But what if these visitors don’t turn into so many customers actually buying your products?
Even if you manage to capture new clients, there’s always some room for improving your conversion rate. According to Smart Insights, the average conversion rate for global e-commerce businesses in Q2 2018 was 2.86%. This means that on average, more than 97% of visitors at your store will not decide to buy your product. Quite a large crowd, isn’t it? So how to change this situation to your advantage and see your conversion rate growing with e-commerce analytics tools?
Data to collect with analytical tools
One of the most important things about optimizing your store for user experience and consequently, on conversion rate’s optimization is understanding how visitors behave at your e-commerce store:
- Which products do they visit most often?
- Which areas of pages do they like to click?
- When do they decide to quit your website?
All of this information can provide you with a pretty essential insight into your potential customer’s behavior and can be a valuable base for your website’s optimization.
But to gather the data, you firstly need a proper data-collecting software. And while you likely have Google Analytics already installed at your e-commerce store, you likely don’t take full advantage out of its data and features. Also, Google Analytics is not the only tool out there to help you optimize your store.
There are quite a few other e-commerce software solutions out there which can be easily installed at your store to bring you an additional set of essential data.
How to use the data in your decision-making?
But having all the data needed, how can it actually help you in growing your online business?
We can distinguish between 3 main areas of the website’s optimization:
- Top: Website’s structure -> the structure of linking/navigation of your website’s pages
- Middle: Pages’ structure -> the structure/design of particular pages in your store
- Bottom: Element structure -> the structure/design/color of particular elements within your page
So how can data derived from analytical tools help you in optimizing top, middle and bottom lines of your store?
Let’s say you use the analytical software to help you understand how users behave at your website.
Case 1. You see a visitor browsing through your store and you realize that the most often visited category within your navigation menu is shoes. This can signal you the information that it might be worth to put “shoes” as a featured category on your home page. At the same time with Google Analytics data, you realize that shoes are actually the category characterized by the lowest conversion rate. As a result, you might consider modifying your shoe category in an attempt to increase conversion rates, e.g. by offering an exit-intent discount using a tool like Sumo.
Case 2. When analyzing your customers’ flow within your online store, you might realize that when adding the products to the basket and proceeding to checkout, the customer decides to visit your “About us” page, where he checks on more information about your company and team and then quits your website. This might be a signal to optimize your “About us” page so that it includes reliable information about your team (e.g. your clients’ logos, the photo of your team), increasing the chances of your visitor coming back on the path to purchasing your product.
Case 3. When looking at the scroll data of your homepage, you realize that 90% of your visitors do not reach the final 25% of your website. As a result, they’re not able to see the option to subscribe for mailing discount updates. You might then consider re-designing your homepage to make sure you’re able to effectively capture your visitors’ email addresses.
The ways of using data to optimize your online store are endless, but first, it’s essential to collect the information required in the decision-making process. So below we look into a few most popular software solutions used by e-commerce businesses for analytics and conversion optimization.
3 best ecommerce analytics tools for collecting data at your online store
From a bunch of analytical tools, there are quite a few which are particularly popular and useful among e-commerce companies.
What’s important to look at when searching for an analytical tool for e-commerce business? There are a few things to consider:
- Does the tool integrate easily with e-commerce platform you’re using?
- Does it provide you with an interface well-fitted to driving proper conclusions, e.g. the segmentation of users’ recordings/heatmaps?
You might also be interested whether the software does not limit you from the proper data collection. E.g. after GDPR implementation in Europe, some analytical software have started to blank the input into the search and contact form queries. If you have a search form available at your website, this might turn out to be quite a significant limitation. You might be interested to use the software which would support you with an option to view search queries of your visitors.
1. Google Analytics e-commerce – an analytical basis for your online store
Google Analytics is the most popular analytical software. According to BuiltWith, 8.4% of the total websites available online are using Google Analytics, with 69.5% of the top 10k websites having Google Analytics installed on their website.
It’s likely you already have Google Analytics installed on your website, however, within Google Analytics, you’d be able to take advantage of the E-commerce Analytics module, delivering additional insight to you as the E-commerce business owner/manager.
What’s the difference between Google Analytics and Ecommerce Google Analytics?
The main distinctive element of E-commerce Analytics is its Customer Report option which can help you understand the behavior of particular customers at your store. This includes measuring metrics like:
- Products’ analytics -> which products are the most visited/purchased by your customers
- Conversion analytics -> which products/groups of products convert the best into paying customers
- Bounce rate changes -> this can help you experiment with product pages and observe the impact of any changes on bounce rate for your website
- Transactions -> the statistics for revenue, taxes, shipping fees for your transactions
- Time needed to realize the purchase
- Last order details
- Total money spent at the store
- Split between existing and new customers
Analyzing who are your actual customers and how they interact with your store can really help you in achieving the targeted growth. Did you know that Amazon generates 66% of its revenues from returning customers? This shows how important it is to target people who have already purchased something at your store.
There are quite a few ways you could use this data to your advantage and maximize ROI from the returning customers:
- Sending targeted mailing campaigns with the complementary products (e.g. purchased iPhone -> send the list of accessory products) using a mailing automation software
- Personalizing the pop-up message for the person returning to your online store, e.g. “Welcome back! We’re really happy to have you as our customer, so please grab a $10 discount from our team”
- Targeting people who haven’t been shopping at your store for a specific time frame with a tailored mailing campaign, e.g. “Hey, we haven’t seen you shopping for more than 3 months. Did you know we’ve recently introduced a -20% holiday season promotion for our branded t-shirts?”
Expert’s comment, Ronnie McKenzie, Storehacks
Google Analytics – For a free tool it is an absolute powerhouse for data analytics. Having used it for years I am quite familiar with it, however, still find I haven’t even scratched the surface of its capabilities.
With enhanced e-commerce, you can delve deep into customer interactions with your products. If you LOVE data, you’ll love this. Aside from the information, you can gather from user behavior on your site there is another novel aspect…
Real Time viewing of what your customers are doing onsite. My favourite url handle… /checkout/thank_you <- means money in the bank.
2. Hotjar – enrich your Google Analytics data by observing real visitors’ behavior
Google Analytics makes for a great base to analyze your e-commerce store and it’s more than a great data aggregator (or I’d say more sort of a data generator;) ). However, if you’re looking for a way to analyze the real user-experience at your online store, it won’t provide you with an essential insight about clicks, mouse movements or most clickable areas of your online store.
With Hotjar, simply by installing a piece of code to your website, you get access to the following details about your online store:
- Heatmaps -> Areas most clicked at your store e.g. to learn which buttons/elements are the most engaging to your customers
- Recordings of visit sessions ->e.g. to learn reasons why visitors might quit your store
- Scrolling behavior -> the statistics about scrolling the web pages and the % of users reaching a particular level of the website
So having all of the above data, you’re well-equipped with the information needed for the decision making process. So how can you use it to get more customers at your online store?
- Analyze if customers actually click the buttons you want them to click -> try changing the design of the button, link and test if it impacts the customers’ clicks
- Analyze the % of scrolling the particular webpage -> try putting the relevant information higher if your visitors do not reach this point
- Analyze recordings of each customer’s session -> Monitor how customers interact with your store and e.g. how they react e.g. to exit-intent messages
Expert’s comment, Wiktor Sobolak, Growth Marketer, Divante.co:
3. CrazyEgg – analytical software with the built-in optimization tool
CrazyEgg is another analytical software solution, allowing for an in-depth analysis of your website/e-commerce store. It additionally provides you with an in-depth analytics of clicks on your website, depending on the source of your visitor. What distinguishes CrazyEgg from other analytical tools like Hotjar is its built-in tool allowing for optimizing your website and testing different design’s variations.
With CrazyEgg, you get access to 3 major products:
- Snapshots -> with snapshots you’re able to identify the sources of your visits, how people are using your store or where they might get stuck
- Recordings -> recordings let you measure the exact behavior of your website’s visitors browsing through your website with the session replays
- Editor -> with CrazyEgg editor, you’ll be able to optimize particular elements of your website or do A/B testing without the need to engage an IT professional/designer
How can you use the above functionality to grow an online store?
- Optimize user experience for the visitors, depending on the visit source
So, having the information about your visitors’ behavior, depending on the source of the visit, you can add specific actions which influence your visitor, depending on the source they’re coming from. For example, let’s say you discover customers visiting your store after a Google search are less engaged and, never scroll down to enter the promotions section. You can set up a pop-up letting them know about the available deals, targeted solely at visitors coming from Google. Or, another way would be to set up an automated live chat message with the link to the directory.
- Identify the elements of your store customers want to click on and simply make them clickable
You might not even be aware that people click on specific parts of your store. Even more, they might think a particular element is a button, then discovering it’s not actually a clickable element. You can either take advantage of this discovery, making the element (e.g. an image) clickable or alternatively change its design so that it doesn’t distract the customer from his journey at your store.
- Test different design/layout and optimize for conversion
With CrazyEgg’s editor, you’d be able to test different versions of the website and check how the changes affect visitors’ behavior. However, to introduce A/B testing, you’d first need to make sure you have enough traffic on your website, which would increase the reliability of the implemented tests.
Expert’s comment, Vlad Calus, co-founder Planable.io:
Another good tool for optimizing your store’s performance is Visely. It’s supercharging your sales by giving you specific recommendations, based on the analytics in the back and people that are more open to buy the product. They’re doing an absolutely amazing job and you should definitely give them a try. I personally saw how sales were up with 10% just a month after installing it.
As you can see, analytical software installed at your store does not mean a straight path to success. A key is to properly use the data, drive the right conclusions and test your store for optimization when possible. This, in connection with other e-commerce software solutions, should help you grow conversion at your store and drive more happy customers and 💰 your way.
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