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Google Analytics: Web Intelligence tips for Online Retailers

Posted by Darpan Munjal On November - 10 - 2009
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If you have read my previous posts, I am a huge fan of leveraging web analytics to gain insights about your customers, campaigns and site usability. However, one of the challenges most online retailers face is how to gain actionable  insights from the analytics tool without getting lost in the sea of data that is being collected by the tool.

Google analytics recently rolled out a new “Intelligence” feature which is a great attempt to solve this very problem. Google analytics now keeps track of “expected” data patterns on your site and can notify you via email or online reporting if there are any significant changes on your site activity. For example, intelligence feature could alert you if there was a 200% surge in visits from Twitter referrals during last 24 hours or let you know that bounce rates of visitors from India jumped by 40% last week. Instead of you having to monitor reports and comb through all the data, Analytics Intelligence alerts you to the most significant information to pay attention to, saving you time and surfacing traffic insights that could affect your online business.

Take a look at the video below to learn more about this awesome new feature:

Excited? Well, there is more. Now you can also setup custom alerts to tell Google Analytics what to watch for. You can set triggers on pretty much any dimension & metric such as conversion or orders, and be notified by email  when the changes actually occur. If you don’t have these features in your account yet, you should see them in next few weeks. I think this is a great addition and will really help you operate your online store with lot more intelligence and insights that would otherwise have taken significant amount of time to analyze.

Here are some specific examples of how online retailers can use these intelligence features effectively:

  1. Understanding seasonality of the products – Setup alerts for changes in conversion rates for specific products or categories over a time dimension so that you can be notified when it is time to review your product assortment from seasonality and relevance perspective.
  2. Understanding changes in zero search results – You can setup alerts that would inform you if the % of zero search results spikes above normal. This is usually an indicator that more customers are not able to find the products they are looking for. You can then evaluate the top searched keywords to find assortment gaps.
  3. Understanding the effectiveness of PPC campaigns – Lets say you setup a PPC campaign that results in a drop in the conversion rate. This is typically an indicator that the PPC campaign is not driving productive traffic to your website. Setting up an alert in these cases would allow you to aggressively manage your Adwords and other marketing campaigns so that you can avoid throwing money on campaigns that are not very effective.
  4. Impact of social media – You posted a new story on Digg which went hot last night. It would be nice to get an alert if the traffic pattern on your site changes due to your social marketing efforts.
  5. Drop in conversion rate – Lets say your server receives a huge surge of traffic and the users are not able to complete checkout due to performance problems. Wouldn’t you want to be notified immediately so that you can take corrective action? You can setup an alert that notifies you whenever the conversion rate or the order volume on the site deviates from the expected range.

I think this is a great feature to provide you access to more real time, actionable insights that will not only help you make more informed decisions but would also point out operational problems on your website on a more realtime basis. And best of all, it is free!!

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3 Responses to “Google Analytics: Web Intelligence tips for Online Retailers”

  1. Vikram says:

    Thats an excellent update. thanks

  2. [...] 1. Understanding seasonality of the products – Setup alerts for changes in conversion rates for specific products or categories over a time dimension so that you can be notified when it is time to review your product assortment from seasonality and relevance perspective. 2. Understanding changes in zero search results – You can setup alerts that would inform you if the % of zero search results spikes above normal. This is usually an indicator that more customers are not able to find the products they are looking for. You can then evaluate the top searched keywords to find assortment gaps. 3. Understanding the effectiveness of PPC campaigns – Lets say you setup a PPC campaign that results in a drop in the conversion rate. This is typically an indicator that the PPC campaign is not driving productive traffic to your website. Setting up an alert in these cases would allow you to aggressively manage your Adwords and other marketing campaigns so that you can avoid throwing money on campaigns that are not very effective. 4. Impact of social media – You posted a new story on Digg which went hot last night. It would be nice to get an alert if the traffic pattern on your site changes due to your social marketing efforts. 5. Drop in conversion rate – Lets say your server receives a huge surge of traffic and the users are not able to complete checkout due to performance problems. Wouldn’t you want to be notified immediately so that you can take corrective action? You can setup an alert that notifies you whenever the conversion rate or the order volume on the site deviates from the expected range. I think this is a great feature to provide you access to more real time, actionable insights that will not only help you make more informed decisions but would also point out operational problems on your website on a more realtime basis. And best of all, it is free!! Learn More Here [...]

  3. [...] let you know that bounce rates of visitors from India jumped by 40% last week.Read it in full here:http://www.commercewiki.com/customer-experience/web-analytics-intelligence/ Categories: Uncategorized Comments (0) Trackbacks (0) Leave a comment [...]

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