E-Commerce Analytics Requires Some Web Soul Searching First
Bill Bruno, principal at the Web analytics and marketing consulting firm Stratigent, offered myriad tips on how to promote and grow e-commerce operations through analytics in a presentation at last week’s Annual Conference for Catalog & Multichannel Merchants in Kissimmee, Fla.
Chief among those tips: Establish the purpose of your data first — what do you want to know? “Establish the purpose of the Web site and its pages first,” Bruno said. Then once you have that purpose, requirements for your metrics can take shape.
Here are some more takeaway tips from the session:
* Investigate whether the technology you currently have is what you really need to properly analyze Web metrics. “Never let the technology determine what you’re going to learn,” he said.
* Identify and broadcast all individual successes. Send company-wide reports and e-mails detailing positive data that’s been uncovered, Bruno advised. This will aid your attempt at getting the all-important executive buy in, which is critical for further funding of analytic testing.
* All Web analytics tools must be scalable, and each page of the Web site should be tagged.
* Evaluate three key areas of e-commerce operations: strategic foundation, operations infrastructure and value-creation tactics.
* Develop a plan for the strategic foundation of your Web site, Bruno said. Provide for the use of financial resources, requirements of staff and goals for the program.
* Validate your data. Ensure that your data is accurate, timely, relevant to what you’re trying to determine and all-encompassing, he said.
* Establish key performance indicators, or “success metrics,” Bruno noted.
* Leverage custom dashboards, and perform proactive data analysis.
* Optimize Web analytics with data collected through online surveys, call-center tracking and usability tests, among others, Bruno advised. “Bringing in offline data is just as important as the online data,” he noted.