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.
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.
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:
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.
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!
Website traffic, Organic search impressions
Ad spend, CPM, CPC, Customer acquisition costs
Sessions, Session duration, Page views, Bounce rate
Customer satisfaction, Churn rate
Abandoned cart value, Drop-offs, Cancellations
Net promoter score, Product reviews, Social media sentiment
Total sales, Click-through rate, Cost per acquisition, Return on ad spend
CMO at FreshBooks
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Former CEO of HP
Sales by channel
Sales by customer location
Online store conversion rate by device or geography
Returning customer rate
Cost per conversion
Cross-channel marketing channel performance
CTRs for email or online ads
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.
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.
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.
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.
Head of Marketing Technology
Performance Marketing Manager
Chief Business Development Officer