Ecommerce Expertise / Ecommerce Marketing

Ecommerce Analytics: 3 Quick Tips to Help You Sell More Online

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In this series, we’ve covered why you need analytics and what ecommerce analytics can tell you about your customers. In today’s installment, we’re going to show you exactly how you can use your analytics to make your marketing efforts more effective and sell more products.

1. Find out what social networks drive the most traffic

In Google Analytics, look for the menu called “Acquisition.” This is one of my favorites because there’s so much to be learned here. It tells you what sites—including social networks—drive traffic to your store. This helps us view social networks and compare them to each other.

For example, if you look at this and notice that you get three times more traffic from Facebook than from Twitter, it probably means that Facebook is a more effective place for you to market your business.

That’s not all you can learn from this: In addition to helping you find out what social networks to use for your business, you can also use your incoming traffic to measure advertising effectiveness. By comparing traffic from two advertising sources, you know which one is the best place to keep advertising. And if you get a sudden traffic spike, you can find out where it’s coming from, which in turn, lets you do things like thank a blogger who may have recently featured your products.

2. Find out what percentage of people are actually buying

Wouldn’t it be nice to know exactly how many people are buying your products, as compared to total website traffic? That’s what a conversion rate is. To get this information, you’ll have to put a small piece of tracking code onto the page that the viewer sees after they complete checkout. (You can find more on how to do that here and here in the Bigcommerce support forums.) Once you’ve done that, don’t freak out if your conversion rates aren’t very high, the average e-commerce conversion rate is 2-3%.

If this isn’t the single most useful metric for marketing, it’s pretty dang close. By looking at these numbers, you can see who buys your products and where they’re coming from. Once you know that, you can get more targeted with your marketing.

In the example above, we saw three times more visitors from Facebook than from Twitter, and decided Facebook would be a more effective place to focus our social media marketing. But what if, after you set up conversion tracking, you realize that even though you get more traffic from Facebook, people who find you through Twitter are more likely to buy? That means that Twitter is actually the more profitable place to focus your marketing efforts.

As you can see, it’s definitely worth the extra effort to have that information available!

3. Find out the best place to put email forms

In the first post of this series, we mentioned CrazyEgg, an analytics tool that creates heatmaps that show you how visitors interact with your site, including what areas they look at and click on. Another popular analytics tool, Clicky, has heat maps as an option on some of its plans. Having heat maps or click tracking set up shows you how users interact with your site.

By using heat maps and click tracking, you can easily see exactly how people are using your site, and modify your site design accordingly. If people tend to click on something that isn’t “clickable,” you should make it clickable or add an email sign-up form in that area. By arranging your site in a way that works naturally with your customers’ current behaviors, you can increase your conversion rates, get customers to take action, and encourage visitors to stay on your site longer. And the longer they stick around, the more likely they are to buy something—or at least sign up for your email newsletter.

This is post three in the “Crash Course on Business Analytics for Ecommerce” series. Next time, we’ll be talking about how to set up your first split test (and why you’d even want to). Stay tuned! In the meantime, you can view the first post (about why exactly it is you need analytics anyhow) here, and the second post (about what analytics can teach you about your customer) here.

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  • Sorry about this confusion Jonathan, this is actually a Google Analytics feature. I’ve clarified in the post to avoid any future mix ups. Thanks for the heads up!

  • Jonathan Jumps

    where is the “incoming traffic” menu?

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