E-commerce Link: Taming Web Analytics
Most Web analytics programs churn out a mountain of data—some of it relevant and much of it not. The challenge marketers face is how to sift through that mountain to uncover the nuggets of information that will help guide e-commerce design and decisions, and ultimately drive profits.
When Forrester Research recently polled members of its Web Analytics Peer Research Panel, 53 percent responded that taking action on analytics findings was the most significant nontechnical hurdle they faced. At the same time, Forrester says analytics was the top spending category for research professionals in 2006. That’s because there is a proven business case for investing in Web analytics. According to Forrester, analytics can improve the ROI from redesign projects by 10 percent to 25 percent by identifying problems with site design, such as drop-off at checkout. The same report shows analytics can improve the ROI of marketing efforts by 10 percent to 30 percent by identifying campaigns that are underperforming and highlighting those campaigns that yield higher results.
So how do you map analytic metrics to strategies that drive revenue? Let’s consider the conventional data marketers usually examine to assess Web site performance, and then explore some overlooked findings that might point to a concrete plan of action that yields real returns.
What’s Wrong With Conversion and Abandonment Rates?
Traditionally, retailers have used two basic metrics to gauge success: conversion rate and shopping cart abandonment. While these provide a good macroview of online retail performance, they only provide a speedometer that tells you how fast you’re going. To give online merchants a look under the hood, MarketLive recently compiled the first MarketLive Performance Index, collecting key metrics from leading e-commerce providers to generate benchmarks for a range of analytics, and highlight which metrics are worth tracking for real insight.