Web Analytics For Beginner – Ecommerce

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In this article, we will cover everything you need to know about web analytics for Ecommerce.


We understand that planning for analytics can be overwhelming at times, especially without any proper guidance. It is common for your clients/users to not know what to expect from web analytics and leave all the planning up to you. So unless you ask the right questions, you’re probably going to hear “Just tag everything” a lot. And I mean, A LOT. But fret not! In this article, we will cover all the basics of analytics planning for a company in the Ecommerce industry. If you are new to all these, check out our guides on Adobe Analytics and Google Analytics to get yourself familiarized first.

Website Characteristics

Typically, a website for an Ecommerce company has the following characteristics:
  • Consist of many webpages
  • Has a login system for customers
  • Contain tons of products
  • Sales is one of the core KPIs
  • Has a clear customer journey
    • Visit > View product > Add product to cart > View cart > Check out > Payment summary > Thank you page

Why is Analytics Planning Important?

Like any good analytics planning, the first thing we have to do is to find out what are the important KPIs to the business. Often time, it is easy to ignore this step and go straight to “Just tag everything“. You might believe that the more data the better, but… there’s something bad about having too much data. Having too much data compels you to generate frivolous insights that are of no value at all. With the “Just tag everything” approach, it is common to miss out on collecting the relevant data that answers the really important business questions.

Important KPIs

Instead of asking a client what he/she wants to track, you should be asking, “What is the list of KPIs that are important to you?“. It is not uncommon for clients to not know what they want, granted that analytics is indeed an abstract concept to them. And if they can’t come up with a list of KPIs, don’t worry, we have got you covered. Let’s look at some of the most important KPIs that a company in the Ecommerce industry might have:
  • User return frequency
    • Improve user loyalty/retention rate to increase the probability of securing a sale
  • Interest level and sales performance of different products
    • Promote awareness for high performing products
    • Improve sales performance of products with high awareness
  • Demographics of users interested in the products
    • User segmentation for targeting
  • Sales conversion rate
  • Drop-off rate during the customer journey
    • Identify steps with high drop-off rate
    • Investigate the cause for troubleshooting and optimization
  • Optimization of additional components (eg. View More button, tooltips, comment filter/sort, etc)
    • Identify rarely used components for removal to declutter page
    • Identify commonly used components to improve the surfacing of information
    • Improve usage of crucial components through UI/UX optimization
  • Marketing campaign effectiveness

Relevant Data/Metrics

After understanding what we truly want out of web analytics, the next step will be to work backwards and find out what are the data required to answer the questions we have. Here, we will focus more on Ecomerce-specific data needs rather than the basic ones (e.g. page name, button name, etc):
  • Product-related
    • Name
    • Category (Sneaker, microphone, laptop, …)
    • Quantity
    • Price
    • Discount
    • Shipping
    • Order ID
    • Discount Code/Campaign Name

To Conclude…

Do keep in mind, every company might have slightly different analytics requirements. So it is up to us to provide the foundation and to cater for such differences in our planning. Just remember, always seek to understand the nature of business first, gather a list of important KPIs, work backwards to figure out what are the data requirements, and then plan accordingly.
About Zenny Tan Zhong Ming 32 Articles
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