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Web analytics: What you can’t measure, you can’t improve

10/19/2016 - Jordi Ordoñez

We’ve all heard that we need to measure our actions but do we really know what that means? Some beginners in e-commerce and a few veterans have maintained this story, but don’t know how it ends: there is life beyond Google Analytics.

Obviously, working with Analyitics gives us many advantages, the main one being that it’s better to have it than not.  But, without a measurement plan and without knowing what we want, we have no use for Analytics, meaning the following conversation is heard too often:

–  Do you have a measurement plan?
+ Of course.  We use Google Analytics.
–  Ok, but do you have a measurement plan?
+ Yes!. We have Analytics.

Honestly, 70 or 80% of the businesses that use Analytics don’t know how to work it or even look at it.  That’s the way it is and I can be blunt because I know it’s the truth.  I may even be a bit short with the 80%.

First step: Measure

We have to take it step by step and the first one is to define what we want to measure and why. For example, let’s say we have an e-commerce and maybe this is your case, dear reader: Do we want to measure the number of people entering our website? Possibly.  And the time they spend there? Possibly.  But are those business indicators?  No.  That would be the same as telling an auditor, “I don’t know how much I earn but a lot of people come through the door.”  Fail!

What we’re interested in measuring are the KPIs like:

  • How many sales do I have
  • What is the average cart price
  • What products do I sell most
  • What carriers are most used in my shop
  • What forms of payment are most used
  • What it is the main source of direct conversion traffic
  • What is the main source of traffic that starts a sale before passing through other traffic sources
  • Which pages are abandoned on my site
  • How many users end up on a product card who enter a category
  • How many abandoned carts do I have
  • Etc

 

Second step: Apply

And those, my friends, are indicators of business. What are they good for? So we know where we are at the business metrics level.  But they also help us improve.  And herein lies the crux of the post: what you can’t measure, you can’t improve.

If I don’t know what’s wrong with my website, how am I going to make it better? I should know things like:

  • Abandonment in the home and where it’s produced (this can be seen with Analytics and tools like Crazyegg or Hotjar and their scrollmaps)
  • Abandonment in the shopping process
  • Areas of focus in the shopping process, on category pages, the homepage, and on product sheets
  • Order returns
  • Positive and negative comments from customers (we can make a record of these with analytical services like Yotpo)

 

Without this information we won’t know how to improve.  And we’re not stopping with those data, let’s not forget to ask the client.  A customer’s response is worth a thousand times what we can deduct from combing through data.  We can use tools called VOC (Voice of Customer) like QualarooQeryz o Webengage.  Now that we have this multitude of data, let’s get organizing and improving!

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