Step one


eCommerce Analytics 101

The good thing about eCommerce data is there’s lots of it. Sales trends. Shopping cart activity. Marketing performance. Customer demographics. Browsing and buying behavior. The list goes on.

The bad thing about eCommerce data is there’s lots of it. And data generates more data, which in turn generates even more data. And it can be unwieldy – in some cases, it can be outright intimidating.

Nonetheless, when you manage to gather, visualize, and analyze all of your crucial ecommerce data, it becomes an unparalleled tool for growth.

So, what exactly is eCommerce analytics?

Simply put, it’s the process of gathering all the different information related to your ecommerce activities and placing it under a microscope.

It involves integrating all your data into one place, building dashboards and reports so you can visualize the data, and then analyzing the data to gain actionable insights into your business.

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What do we mean by actionable insights?

Well, a bunch of random numbers shown in a nicely designed dashboard won’t help you win more customers. But, by understanding what the numbers are telling you, you can make timely effective decisions that will support the growth of your business.

For example, with the right data at your fingertips you can:

Understand which channels are bringing the most customers – and optimize your marketing budget accordingly.
Learn which groups of customers spend the most and what they are spending their money on – and target them with specific offers and sales.
Reveal which customers are least likely to make a second purchase and why – and develop an appropriate customer retention strategy.

Most importantly, all of these insights will be based on real data. Hard numbers and facts instead of costly guesses and estimates.

To achieve all this, however, you first need to identify which metrics are the most crucial to your eCommerce business.

Step two


Gather metrics for every stage of the customer journey

Before you start trying to integrate all your data in one place, it’s important to work out what data you actually need. As an eCommerce business, one of the best ways to do this is by looking at your customer journey and identifying the crucial data points at each stage.

There is a lot of data out there and each business will want to approach this stage slightly differently, depending on their goals and strategy. However, the following is a good starting point for the majority of eCommerce businesses – remember, you can review this and change it in the future!

Key metrics in the customer journey

Discovery

Website traffic, Organic search impressions

Acquisition

Ad spend, CPM, CPC, Customer acquisition costs

Engagement

Sessions, Session duration, Page views, Bounce rate

Retention

Customer satisfaction, Churn rate

Checkout behavior

Abandoned cart value, Drop-offs, Cancellations

Advocacy

Net promoter score, Product reviews, Social media sentiment

Conversion

Total sales, Click-through rate, Cost per acquisition, Return on ad spend

Either you’re analytical and data-driven, or you go by what you think works. People who go by gut are wrong.
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Stuart McDonald

CMO at FreshBooks

Step three


Visualize your KPIs

Key performance indicators (KPIs) are measurable values that show how effective you are at achieving your objectives, and these are going to be built on the metrics you have decided to track.

KPIs can be as simple or sophisticated as you like and, again, will come down to your particular business and what you are trying to achieve.

With these KPIs you can build a visual dashboard that lets you easily stay on top of them, without getting lost in a vast sea of data.

 

1. Customer lifetime value (CLV)

Existing customers often spend more than new customers and are more likely to try new products. So, calculate their CLV to track the average amount of money customers pay as their relationship with your company grows.

 

2. Revenue breakdown by channel

Different customers approach eCommerce in different ways. Tracking revenue breakdown by device lets you see how your customers are buying your products letting you fine-tune your communications and optimize sales.

 

3. Customer retention rate

Customer retention rate gives you the percentage of customers your business has retained over a given period. You’ll want to watch this closely, as well as paying special attention to certain touchpoints or a particular offer.

Step four


Integrate the data behind the KPIs

There is a huge amount of data available to you as an eCommerce marketer, however, they are in data sources that are separate, and formatted differently.

So, before you can do anything with them, they need to be collected (integration), stripped of all formatting (transformation), and then tagged so that different data sources can be compared to each other (harmonization).

Only then will you have a ‘clean’ and unified data stack, enabling you to start analyzing data.

Integration

Bringing all your data into one place. So, for example, Adverity’s automated data integration technology collects data from virtually anywhere. It uses data connectors and APIs to fetch any type or format of data.

 

Transformation

Cleaning, normalizing, and unifying the data. The Adverity platform does this through a powerful transformation engine that joins data from different sources, strips out the formats, and enriches it with additional info and rules that make analysis easier to carry out.

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Harmonization

Further transforming the data into one cohesive dataset. This involves thorough and automated meta-tagging so data from different sources can be effectively analyzed alongside each other.

 

= A Clean Stack!

Having a clean data stack and trustworthy data will make data visualization more accurate. This enables dashboard users to discover actionable trends, patterns, anomalies, and opportunities to make real-time decisions.

Step five


Build sophisticated reports

Now that you have successfully collected your preferred metrics and KPIs in one place, you need to start building reports.

eCommerce analytics reports provide useful summaries of your past and current data, giving you the opportunity to identify opportunities for improvement, as well as errors in the past.

A good report will enable you to easily demonstrate your success and quickly provide the important answers you need to upscale your operations. And that means having the right metrics and KPIs ready for each report.

The goal is to transform data into information and information into insight.
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Carly Fiorina

Former CEO of HP

6 common eCommerce reports you should have

Sales Reports

  Sales by channel

  Sales by product line

  Sales by customer location

Conversion Reports

Online store conversion rate by device or geography

Returning customer rate

Cost per conversion

Marketing Reports

Cross-channel marketing channel performance

Revenue generated from email marketing
  • Traditional ads measurements (impressions or CPC)
 
Audience and Behavior Reports

 Age

 Gender

 Geography

Cohort Analysis Reports
Acquisition cohorts based on when customers made their first purchase
Acquisition cohorts based on what customers are buying with their first purchase
Behavioral cohorts that group customers according to how they came to your site.
A/B Testing Reports

 CTRs for email or online ads

 Cost per Click
 Cost per Conversion
 RoaS

Step six


Stay ahead with augmented analytics

Once you’ve integrated multiple data sources, established key metrics and KPIs, and built a visual dashboard with effective reporting, congratulations – you can now start driving your eCommerce business forward with data-driven decisions!

This is, at its most basic, what ecommerce analytics is – analyzing data to discover trends and draw conclusions to improve your business. That said, the complexity and volume of data mean that manual analysis is a labor-intensive business. And, this is where augmented analytics comes in.

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Augmented analytics is the use of artificial intelligence (AI) technology to significantly improve data analysis – and this has a number of benefits for eCommerce businesses.

 

1
Data analysis is significantly faster and more powerful
2
Otherwise hidden insights and trends are revealed
3
Decisions can be made proactively rather than reactively
4
Staff time can be optimized

 

Simply put, when it comes to data, AI can do it faster and better than humans. Augmented analytics means you can leverage that power of AI to your advantage.

Conclusion


Choosing the right tools

How do you stay ahead as an online retailer?
The answer is effective eCommerce analytics.

To this end, there are several different types of free and commercial eCommerce analytics solutions on the market.

For example, some focus on data integration only while others focus entirely on data visualization.

Other solutions, like Adverity, are end-to-end eCommerce marketing analytics platforms which means they provide the full suite of solutions in one place so that businesses can avoid having multiple tools and vendors.

Each approach has its pros and cons, features and functions, and it’s important to find the right solution for your business.

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If you’re in any doubt, feel free to reach out to us to request a demo and we’d be happy to talk you through the different options that are available and which is the best fit for your company.
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Adverity received the highest score when it came to implementing our feature requests during onboarding. Our expectations for highest data quality and maximizing analytics have been exceeded.
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Maximilian Nierhoff

Head of Marketing Technology

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The team and the Adverity platform have provided a solution for every challenge we have faced them with, so you could say that everything is possible with Adverity, at least when it comes to data.
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Clarissa Amrein

Performance Marketing Manager

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When I started working at IKEA a couple of years ago, not even 10% of what we can achieve now with our data was possible. I believe that Adverity was one of the key contributors to this improvement.
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Maimuna Mosser

Chief Business Development Officer

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