Driving consistent online growth is the gold standard for any eCommerce business, however, achieving this success and rising above the competition isn’t easy. As a business owner you need to be primed with the right information, so you can lead the business where you want, instead of feeling like you are merely spinning faster and faster on a hamster wheel but getting no-where.
To move forward in eCommerce and not have it consume every waking hour of the day requires investing in the right foundations, and one of those foundations is your data.
Data drives almost every business decision. Most businesses look at the profit, revenue, and sales as indicators of success, but seldom can real growth decisions come from such high-level metrics. It’s is only when businesses start to harness the power of more granular data that they can make the right calls consistently, more often, and with better results.
Ultimately, if you don’t have clarity on the lower level detail, it will lead to poor decision making and a misalignment of priorities when it comes to growth activities.
In this article we explore 6 insights (based on our experience) that are often overlooked by store owners. Some of these tips are general, while others will focus on dealing with the Neto platform specifically.
The key thing to remember is that these tips will help you set the right foundations for growth. Unfortunately, capturing the right data, isn’t retrospective. If you don’t take the steps to invest properly in your data now, you won’t have it available later.
1. Search Insights In Google Analytics
Search insights will allow you to report on all internal user searches that have been performed on your website. Users will often use the internal search feature to help navigate the site, or if they can’t find what they are after. Turning on search insights in Google Analytics is a simple setup, but invaluable when it comes to understanding your customers intent.
Analysing these search terms can uncover valuable information about what your users are looking for, including products that you don’t stock, or clues into whether users can navigate your site properly.
To turn on search insights, go to the Admin section of Google Analytics and navigate to your Master view. Select ‘View Settings’ and go to the ’Site Search Settings’ section. Turn ‘Site search Tracking’ on, and enter ‘kw’ in the query parameter. This is the URL query parameter that Neto uses to identify a search term on your website.
2. Enhanced Ecommerce Setup
Google’s Enhanced Ecommerce provides valuable information when it comes to understanding your customers, we would almost say it is a must.
Google’s Enhanced Ecommerce reports track the users shopping experience and measures how they interact with products on your website. This includes measuring product impressions, product clicks, product details view, products added to cart and users initiating the checkout process.
These insights can be incredibly valuable when it comes to understanding which products are doing well and which aren’t. Simply analysing sales won’t give you the full picture. Low sales may result from users not finding certain products, not adding them to cart, users abandoning their carts or more. Without understanding how users interact with the products on your website it is difficult to answer these questions.
As of this writing, Neto has no way to easily turn on Enhanced Ecommerce analytics, which is a missed opportunity for an eCommerce store. Fortunately, this can be deployed by a Neto Partner familiar with the Enhanced Ecommerce setup requirements.
The following reports will give you a taste of valuable insights that will be at your disposal (or your marketing team). It is worth noting that the data below is obtained from Google’s demo account which you can browse to give you a better understanding of the Enhanced Ecommerce reports.
Enhanced Ecommerce – Product Performance
Enhanced Ecommerce will allow for analysis of product performance on your website. Additional insights include the ‘cart to detail’ rate, and the ‘buy to detail’ rates. These insights can point out issues with your product descriptions or product pricing based on your ‘detail to cart’ ratios. It can also help you identify your most viewed products which can direct your product pricing and promotions.
Enhanced Ecommerce – Shopping Behaviour
The shopping behaviour reports will show the shopping funnel for your visitors. This includes the number of sessions, visitors that viewed products, visitors that added products to their cart, visited the checkout and made a transaction.
Simply keeping track of this view at a high level can provide key insights into problem areas, such as the cart abandonment rate.
Being able to segment this view, create new segments based on shopping behaviour and use the data in custom reports is highly valuable. Being able to compare the shopping behaviour across different marketing channels will help any marketer make informed decisions earlier.
Having access to the number of product views, and add to cart rates means engagement rates can be compared much quicker across fewer transaction. You can simply compare the % of product detail views and get insights into whether the campaign is likely to result in a high conversion rate. This data alone is well worth the effort.
3. A Clear Reporting Hierarchy
Neto eCommerce allows for great flexibility when it comes to categorising products, this is fine if used correctly, however, misuse can cause problems when reporting.
A major problem with assigning products to multiple categories is that any reporting will include the value of the sale in both categories. The total sales across all categories will sum to more than your total revenue, so it is hard to get a clear picture of what percentage each category is contributing.
Ideally when it comes to reporting, products should be put into a Mutually Exclusive, Collectively Exhaustive List (MECE list). This is just a fancy way of saying that each product belongs in one and only one category (mutually exclusive) and that all products should be classified (collectively exhaustive).
This structure will help you think about how to organise your site structure and make it easier for navigating. If you are adding multiple categories to products and reporting becomes confusing, it may be worth creating a separate category just for reporting purposes.
Our simple solution to this is to add a parent category called reporting and then create child categories that fit under this. Each product can then be assigned one and only one reporting category.
This setup will enable you to easily report on the categorisation that makes most sense to you, knowing you won’t have double-ups.
4. UTM Codes
Unfortunately, many people don’t use UTM codes because they have never heard of them or they simply don’t see their value.
UTM codes are used to substitute the default information that Google Analytics will record, such as where the user came from. If you post something on Facebook, depending on the user’s device or language the actual referral might be different such as facebook.com, m.facebook.com, etc. UTM codes also come in handy renaming the referrals to the same name.
Note, if you are using AdWords or Facebook ads, tagging your campaigns won’t be necessary as this is automatically done, but for all other channels, this is something worth setting up correctly.
For example, if you currently send a newsletter to your customers and someone uses a desktop email client such as Outlook, if someone clicks on a link without a UTM code, they might be counted as ‘Direct’ traffic (someone typing your domain directly in the browser’s address bar) which is not a clear representation of traffic sources.
So why is this useful? Well, if you are trying to maximise return on spend (and effort), you want to know what marketing campaigns are working. Tagging your major traffic sources will allow you to identify how each campaign is performing. This means, you can focus more on what is working, and drop what isn’t.
For example, if you run a summer sale and use different channels (AdWords, Facebook etc.) to acquire customers, using a campaign name ‘summer-sale’ in the links, you can easily understand the impact of the campaign as a whole, regardless of the channel used . The risk of not doing this would be not having clarity or accuracy on campaign performance.
There are many other scenarios when UTM codes are beneficial, a few examples include:
- Determining which Facebook posts or tweets generated the most traffic
- Determining which blog posts are giving you traffic
- Determining Google My Business traffic (local listings)
- Tracking SMS campaigns
- Tracking Email campaigns and newsletters
One thing to note is that Google Analytics can still track the referral domain of inbound traffic so it isn’t necessary to tag everything. However, if there are several avenues users can come to your website and you want to be able to distinguish which channel works best, UTM codes are the way to go.
To start implementing UTM codes, go to the UTM code builder and follow the instructions. You can then use the generated URL or short URLs in place of your current links.
5. Facebook Analytics
If you are using Facebook ads for any of your marketing, setting up Facebook pixel is a must. If you haven’t set it up already, you can easily follow these instructions for setting up Facebook pixel in Neto.
Unfortunately, the typical Neto setup has one major drawback, that is, tracking when users add an item to their shopping cart and sending this information to Facebook. Setting up this event is complicated and will take specialist expertise, so you will likely need to seek the help of an agency or capable programmer. This is something we can do for you.
So why is this so important? Well, without this event you are missing out on a major opportunity for more sales, that is, cart abandonment ads.
Users will abandon shopping carts for several reasons, sometimes they are still mulling over the decision and just need a little push. Enter Facebook ads.
A good Facebook setup will enable you to identify visitors that have added an item to their cart but haven’t yet purchased. You can then retarget these visitors specifically, either reminding them they have an uncompleted transaction or by providing a code for a shipping discount.
Cart abandonment targeting is now common among eCommerce stores and for good reason, so it is an opportunity you want to capitalise on.
Investing in this setup will help you plug those cart abandonment holes and get more sales.
The right analytics setup is like a platform for growth. Taking action and being able to measure the results effectively through analytics will help you make better decisions and faster.
For setups involving data capture, such as Enhance Ecommerce, the key to remember is that data collection isn’t retrospective. Even if you won’t use all the data immediately, investing in the right set-up now will ensure that all the data is available when you need it.
As competition among eCommerce stores heats up, online business need to stay ahead of the game. Ensuring you and your marketers have the right data at the right time will help you maximise your opportunity for success.