Planning in business is important, there’s no doubt about that. Whether it’s in marketing, logistics, human resources or even innovation. But what’s more important than laying out one plan after the other is listening to what’s really happening in reality. For instance, the products you thought will fly off the warehouse in days, are they actually selling? Are the ad campaigns paying off? Which social media channel gives you the most sales? Which has zero return on investment and needs to be shut down immediately? That’s why monitoring and optimizing is a deal-breaker for any successful business. Especially in eCommerce! with dozens of marketing channels and hundreds of different factors that can affect the bottom line. Your eCommerce needs to run on real-time insights and actual data instead of mere hypothetical plans and projections.
That’s where Google Analytics comes to the rescue. With its sophisticated algorithms and its access to trillions of data points on billions of users around the world, it can help you determine who your visitors are, their interests and even their behaviour.
Well, that looks a bit strange. How does Google having access to data points about the online behaviour of people around the world, relate to my store? Well, it directly relates. Since Google Analytics is made by Google, the data used in deriving insights about your online store’s performance are not only about your online store.
Google has the unmatched privilege of knowing everything about your visitors! From data points on their previous behaviour online and personal search queries on Google itself and its applications, Google knows a lot. What happens is that Google Analytics merges the anonymous data previously collected from your visitors through their online activity with their behaviour in your online store. That’s what makes Google Analytics so powerful. It can provide you with real-time insights that can help you take your online store to a whole new level. Here are 3 ways in which Google Analytics directly helps you maximize sales and conversion in your online store.
1- Know what your customers want
What does the customer really want? Unfortunately, the answer is sometimes based on untested assumptions. In fact, without solid data, you can’t know for sure what your customers are looking for.
Google Analytics solved this too! The Search Term report provides you with a list of the search terms that visitors searched for on your website. Thus telling you exactly what your customers were looking for when they landed on your website. That way you can optimize the customer experience around what they want. Whether it’s about which products you put on the homepage, your marketing message, all the way to changes in the business model to fit the customers’ needs. This way the changes you’re making are not about your assumptions, it’s about what they’re are actually looking for on your website.
2- Know who your actual customers are
The first step in setting your marketing strategy is to know who you’re talking to. It’s the basis on which you make all the marketing moves. From choosing the marketing message, which channels or marketing platforms to use, all the way to the color palette and font that will be used on the marketing material.
The problem is that a big part of the process of sketching your ideal target customer is built around assumptions. Even if the choices are based on statistics, there’s that inevitable part of guessing how the person that you’ll target behaves and wants. I many many cases, those assumptions aren’t that correct. You work for 6 months straight targeting single professional ladies only to realize one day, and thousands of marketing dollars later, that the people who are actually taking out their credit cards and ordering your products are moms in their early thirties! It hurts, we know.
With the digital nature of online stores, you can’t see who’s buying the product neither can you hear the in-store side talks that your customers are having. What Google Analytics does in this situation, with the help of the data it gathers about your visitors’ previous online behaviour, is that it tells you from day one what are the kind of people buying your products. Not only that but also their interests, affinities, gender and age. This way you’re able to identify winning markets to optimize your product for them or fine-tune your marketing work to attract the market you want.
3- What’s about their behaviour?
There’s usually a gap between how you want, plan or expect your customers to behave on your online store, and how they actually behave. Maybe you want them to go check the latest collection once they land on your homepage. So you make its banner bigger and even add a mouth-watering discount. But what happens is that they’re more seduced with the clearance tab instead.
You might see the problem is that their behaviour doesn’t match what you wanted them to do. But what is way more problematic is when you don’t know what your customers do on your website instead. All that you’re able to see is that sales on the new collections are weak for no apparent reason. Add to this a store with high-traffic and things can get really messy.
Google Analytics gives you a backstage look into the actual customer behavior by showing you how they navigate your website and for how long. Providing you with detailed data and analytics of how your customers do on your online site, starting from behavioural flow diagrams that show you where your website visitors go and in what sequence to analyzed reports that provide you with real-time insights. So that instead of wondering why the sales on this collection are low “for no apparent reason”, you’ll know that the clearance tab is getting all the clicks. Thus helping you set the right expectations and take the right decisions to get your business where you want it to be.
The following screenshot from Google Analytics shows a behavior flow report. It illustrates how your customers navigate your site and in what percentage.
If you're not on Google Analytics yet, then it's time to start using it. The insights it will provide will give you a better understanding of your customers and their needs. And if you're already using it then tell us your opinion on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. we would love to hear it.