Any ecommerce store has the potential to be gathering data – which you’re missing out on unless you decide to track it. This data comes in many forms, including who’s visiting the site and when, what purchases are being made, and the details your customers enter to name a few.

When used correctly, this data can have a big impact on your business, from helping you understand your customers to directly influencing your conversion rate.

The beauty of ecommerce is that you can make changes rapidly for the most part – you just need to know what to change. There are a few straightforward ways you can start making use of your ecommerce data.

Use the right tools

By far the most popular tool for website data analysis is Google Analytics. It’s free and once implemented, you can start to track the crucial data your website produces.

As it’s powered by Google, it also ties in with SEO tools and benefits from Google’s deep-learning algorithms. Most popular website platforms include integration with Analytics, and it’s almost a must-have for any ecommerce website owner. Much of the advice here centres around how to use Google Analytics to make effective changes to your ecommerce site.

As well as using Google Analytics to view your website performance metrics, a good idea is to use a page optimisation tool like Crazy Egg or Hotjar. These tools allow you to take a deep dive into customer habits, and see heatmaps of where your customers are clicking. It tracks their path through the website, and how far they scroll down each page.

These metrics can help you make incremental improvements to your content, such as how long your content should be, and where your calls to action (CTAs) should be placed to get the most clicks.

Understand your audience

A key part of optimising your website content is understanding exactly who you’re optimising it for. You might have an audience in mind, but the best way to tell is to take a look at the demographics that actually visit your site.

Google Analytics can show you what demographics (age, gender, and interests to name a few) are visiting your website. This data is helpful as it allows you to create buyer personas based on your actual customers.

This gives you the means to tailor your content towards these personas – including advertisements, email campaigns, and even the products you list. For example, if a lot of your customers show sports as one of their interests, focusing investment into sports-related products, and creating marketing resources centered around sports is more likely to capture more of your customer base.

That’s a simple example, but once you have a handle on which personas make up your target audience, you can segment your site and marketing materials effectively to speak to the right group of people every time.

Conversions are key

One of the most useful pieces of information your analysis can provide is your conversion rate. This is the amount of visitors to your site that convert – in ecommerce’s case, that usually means to make a purchase.

Your conversion rate is your most important metric, as it directly correlates to the amount of money you make. While it’s obvious that a higher conversion rate is better, it doesn’t mean that the rate needs to be particularly high in the grand scheme of things. In fact, according to a 2020 report from Adobe, the overall average conversion rate for ecommerce websites is only around 3%.

You can sort this rate by product, which helps you make micro-adjustments to the way they’re presented. For instance, one page might be producing a 5% conversion rate, and doing well, while another might barely be selling at all at a 0.4% conversion rate. Using this data, you can take tips from the well-performing product to work out how best to market your worse-performing product to increase its rate.

Another way in which you can use your ecommerce website data is by watching overarching metrics, such as what your store’s peak times are.

Once you have a grasp of these, you’ll be able to encourage an even higher peak by running social media advertisements around that time of day to encourage traffic. Alternatively, you can try running these ads outside of your peak times to try and drive up purchases during the quieter times of day.

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