The Importance of
Ecommerce Analytics

Ecommerce analytics refers to any tool or strategy designed to analyse large amounts of data to produce actionable insights. Because it exists in an almost entirely virtual space, ecommerce generates complex, comprehensive datasets — particularly those related to client behaviour. With an increase in digital purchases of 200% in essential goods between March 2019 and March 2020, we now have more consumer data than ever to measure, parse, and analyse. However, finding the right data analytics for retail and ecommerce can offer your brand an immeasurable advantage over your online competition.
With this in mind, the most important question then becomes: What are the key performance indicators (KPIs) you need to stay ahead of the curve, and what retail analytics tools can you use to measure them?

Grow your customer base with SEO, SEM, and email campaign insights

Many potential customers begin their shopping experience by performing an online search. As a result, any business that is not focusing on search engine optimisation (SEO) is missing out on a huge chunk of the consumer base. Effective SEO optimisation begins with research into search volumes, competitor rankings, and searcher intent. It also includes understanding your search engine results page (SERP) rankings, creating superior meta tags to your competitors, developing accurate site maps, and constructing effective, consumer-friendly URLs. Many SEO analytic tools can help you accomplish these goals, but we recommend looking for those that include keyword planning, ranking trackers, and the ability to track bounce rates and conversions.

SEO optimisation should not be your only focus for new customer acquisition. Paid search engine marketing (SEM) campaigns can edge you ahead of the competition and help you win more shoppers. To succeed in this area, you will need analytic tools that measure search volume, cost per click (CPC), average ranking position, click-through rate (CTR), and, again, bounce and conversion rates.

In addition to SEO and SEM, email marketing campaigns can help you reach new prospects and boost traffic to your ecommerce website. To track email performance and develop informed campaign strategies, look for retail analytics tools that measure the number and source of your email subscribers, total sales made from email campaigns, conversion rates, open rates, click-through rates, and unsubscribe rates.

Reaching new customers is important, but holding onto them is crucial

New customer acquisition may give your business legs, but customer retention is truly the backbone of your brand’s sustained success.

84% of customers say the experience a company provides is as important as its products and services. Customer loyalty is driven by excellent experiences. So, if you want to drive repeat business, you must deliver great customer service. Once you succeed at this, you’ll see the results in your data — and your bottom line.

To understand and cultivate customer relationships, consider tracking KPIs such as overall lifetime value, returning visitors, purchasing behaviour, social shares, subscription renewals, and upgrades. Beyond click tracking, conversion tracking, and social media tracking tools, we recommend using a comprehensive customer relationship management (CRM) solution.

CRM platforms will provide all of the tracking mentioned above, with the added benefit of sophisticated audience segmentation, customer targeting, and AI-driven analytics that aid in marketing decisions.

Salesforce Customer 360 is the world’s #1 CRM solution. As an integrated platform, Customer 360 gives all your teams - including marketing, sales, commerce, and service - a single, shared view of every customer, helping you to deliver the personalised experiences today’s customers expect.

Armed with these insights, you will know how to reach the right people with the right deals at the right time, using the most appropriate channel.


Optimise your website with data-driven insights

Effective website design, UX optimisation, and streamlined checkout flows help you connect shoppers to products and boost conversion rates, but how do you know what’s working and what’s not? Ecommerce analytics can provide you with data-driven insights into how shoppers interact with your site — both the good and the bad. These insights take the guesswork and subjectivity out of website optimisation, and uncover opportunities for improvement and innovation.

Key focus areas include:

  • A user-friendly checkout flow.
  • Optimal product presentation and recommendations.
  • Overall usability.

To truly maximise the effectiveness of these areas, we recommend tools that enable conversion rate optimisation (CRO) testing,  A/B and multivariate landing page testing, heat mapping, click tracking, visitor recording, and more.

Don’t be afraid to talk directly with your customers

In many ways, there is no substitute for the oldest form of customer data: direct feedback. You can collect as much data as you want — and use it effectively — but if you are not listening to what your customers are saying, you will have a hard time giving them what they are looking for — and they may end up going elsewhere to find it. Directly engage with your users across all touchpoints with handy feedback tools like voice of customer (VOC) online surveys, live chat, review programs, and social media trackers.

Capture customer data no matter how or where they shop

As the lines continue to blur between shopping channels, brands are turning to cloud-based unified commerce to deliver seamless, holistic customer journeys across every touchpoint — mobile, social, web, and store. Ecommerce analytics must also evolve to track shoppers wherever they may be, whether they are purchasing a product on Instagram, discovering a brand on their phone, or cashing in a gift card at a pop-up shop. We recommend adopting tools that integrate with your unified commerce platform and keep up with the rapidly evolving customer journey.

State of Commerce report

A dramatic shift from physical to digital browsing and buying

Did you know that digital purchases surged by 200% between March 2019 and March 2020? Understand recent shifts in consumer (B2C) and business (B2B) buying behaviour in our State of Commerce report.

That’s a lot of info!

Here’s what you should take away from this article:

  • How can SEO tools grow your customer base? Almost 40% of online shoppers start with a search. Today, ranking highly in the search engine results is vital. SEO tools can grow your customer base by helping you optimise your content, which will improve your search engine rankings.
  • What makes repeat business so valuable? Most future revenue comes from repeat business, so analysing customer behaviour as part of effective customer relationship management is crucial.
  • How can ecommerce analytics optimise your website? Ecommerce analytics provides comprehensive data-driven insights from shopper interactions to take the guesswork out of optimising your website’s functionality.
  • Is direct customer feedback still important? Direct customer feedback – such as online surveys, live chat, reviews, and social media trackers – is irreplaceable, even in today’s data-driven world.
  • How is ecommerce analytics evolving? Ecommerce analytics is evolving to keep pace with customer journeys, tracking purchases across every touchpoint – mobile, social, web and store.

    Frequently Asked Questions


    What is ecommerce analytics?

    Ecommerce analytics refers to any tool or strategy designed to analyse large amounts of ecommerce data in order to produce actionable insights. Datasets relating to client behaviour are vital for creating effective ecommerce strategies, and employing the right analytics tools will offer your brand a strong competitive advantage.

    How do you analyse ecommerce data?

    To analyse ecommerce data, it is important to identify the key performance indicators that will help you stay ahead of competitors. The next step is to invest in analytics tools for measuring those KPIs: ideally, the tools must integrate with your unified commerce platform and keep up with the rapidly evolving customer journey.

    What are KPIs for ecommerce?

    Ecommerce KPIs relate to customer acquisition (e.g. bounce and conversion rates, search volumes, costs per click, click-through rates, average ranking positions) and customer retention (e.g. overall lifetime value, returning visitors, purchasing behaviour, social shares, subscription renewals, and upgrades).

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