E-commerce: Web Analytics System Gives a Clear Picture for Figleaves.com
Setting up the Coremetrics package took several months. The first step, Ross explains, consisted of strategic thinking about how to categorize products and pages within the site’s structure. And because the analytics package is an active server pages (ASP) service, there’s no software to install. The ASP model required that each page on the Figleaves site be tagged with Coremetrics’ code. Because Figleaves’ site is so complex, the implemention took quite a while, Ross says.
Now, when new customers enter the site, the Coremetrics’ code delivers a persistent cookie to the customers’ computers. This allows Coremetrics to track the customers’ behavior every time they come back to the site.
And because the Coremetrics’ reports are Web-based, Ross can create and download reports whenever he needs new information. Or, he can have specific reports e-mailed daily, weekly or monthly. Many of the metrics in his business are volatile, so an important aspect of Coremetrics service is the ability to trend these metrics over a period of time. “Trending metrics is pretty important,” Ross says, “because that removes some of the volatility.”
Not surprisingly, the conversion rate is one of the more important metrics Ross tracks. “But conversion rate on its own is pretty meaningless,” he points out. “If I tell that a Web site has a 20 percent conversion rate, that doesn’t tell me very much,” he says. So Ross breaks down his conversion rate by such channels as pay-per-click or organic search and such site entry points as the home page or product page. He also brreaks the conversion rate down by the route customers travel through the site, such as by internal site search or the established navigation. Being able to slice conversion rates into these pieces lets you see “what’s working and what’s not working,” Ross notes, “and therefore, you focus your effort.”