Web Analytics in the omni-channel world

Aah, Analytics – that poor orphan. Left by Development and Business; struggling in a custody battle between of Marketing and Sales. Everybody gladly says it’s theirs, but no one is able to cope with that kid’s puberty and the independence it has.

On the other hand, we have Ecommerce – another child of Development and Sales, who grows rapidly, but everybody thinks it’s still a baby and should be treated as such.

No surprise that Ecommerce and Analytics get along well and that most grown-ups don’t understand neither what those two teenagers are talking about, nor how they behave. Even though, every now or then, they produce some understandable figures and charts, most of their talks generate data pukes we think are useless. 

How’s that? How come in the business world, where everyone talks about data-driven decisions, the more data we get the less information we see?

It’s not only due to a lack of education, but because we love our comfort zones. We tend to use new technologies in an old way just because we feel safe and are afraid that we will break something. It’s like using a brand-new iPhone for voice calls only, and not having the time or will to learn how all those applications can help us solve problems we didn’t know we even had. Or using your car computer just to know the outside temperature.

Using web analytics in your web shop just to know the revenue it generates is a good example of using the complex technology for one simple thing, but it’s the thing we understand. We don’t have the time to figure out that web analytics data can help us solve many issues we are facing while dealing with the offline world or how. 

Enhanced Ecommerce is a rather new module of Google Analytics and, in my opinion, it’s one of the most powerful modules that can give us valuable information on our visitors’ behaviour. Even more – it can give us detailed information on how our buyers behave before the purchase, which is something we usually don’t think is possible in the Ecommerce world. Enhanced Ecommerce can give you accurate data on which products people would like to buy but don’t for some reason. If you know how to read the data to find that reason, you will get useful information on how to sell some products you thought your buyers are not interested in. Even more – you can prepare your retail store floor plan based on Enhanced Ecommerce data! Not sure which visual elements to use in the retail store? Well, if you test them on your webshop, the Enhanced Ecommerce will get you that exact information. You “only” need to know where to look for that information, and that’s what web analysts are for. Not for just counting the number of likes, users or transactions, but for more useful information that may help your shop grow in a way you couldn’t even imagine a couple of years ago. You don’t have a web analyst dealing with your webshop data? Still?!?

Having a webshop is no longer a posh thing. It’s almost an obligation. Having Analytics on it is no longer an obligation. It’s a necessity. And, having a money-generating webshop with proper analytics that can help you earn more money, well, sadly, that’s only a privilege these days. 

I did some research on the usage of Analytics on Slovenian webshops and the current situation doesn’t look promising. We think we have a lot of data, but, usually, there’s not much useful information there. It’s not because there’s no information, but rather, we often don’t know how to transfer the data into information. Fortunately, it’s not rocket science and it can be easily achieved, as easy as understanding those teenagers from the beginning of the story on how they use those new social networks these days.

If you want to know more details about the current state of Analytics on Slovenian webshops, as well as to learn how you can use Enhanced Ecommerce to beat them all, feel free to come to my lecture on Thursday afternoon at the Ecommerce section. See you there! 🙂