After years of running full scale marketing campaigns for clients, analytics software soon became my best friend. One thing I came to notice is that despite how good you are with interrupting the data, if you don’t have a plan then it’s not worth very much.
Have a Hypothesis
There are times when you will stumble onto great data points in a very passive way but there are other serendipitous times when the planets align and everything just seems to go right. For a continuous stream of very useful information, you’ll want to start with a hypothesis and determine a way to measure it using your customer analytics. For example, if you believe a feature on one section of your site is the reason customers are sticking around then you may want to add it to other sections (while leaving a few without the feature). Check back later to see if there is a serious correlation between the feature and the length of a customer’s stay. That being said, always try to test in ways that prove causation, not just correlation.
Ask Your Customer Service Team
Relevant data isn’t always going to come from numbers. Often times, it will come directly from the mouths of your customers. If you’re seeing some inexplicable figures continually popping up and you can’t figure out why, simply ask your customer service and tech support teams. If they’re constantly getting the same questions, complaints, comments, or praises, then you’ll be able to deduce if it’s a good explanation for the data you’ve been watching.
Ask for Help from Outside Sources
This is an especially important tip for small businesses. You may not have the resources to read, decipher, and root through the huge amounts of data that you receive every day, week, month, or year. The good news is that there are companies that are dedicated to doing this kind of analysis. Asking for help would allow you to get the most from your analytics.
On Site Product Feedback
Have you ever bought a product, only to take it home and find out it was terrible? It’s most likely your customers have experienced this as well, potentially with your own product. Having on-site customer feedback has several purposes. It advertises good and bad products while allowing customers to make more educated choices, hopefully allowing them to leave your store happy with their purchase. It also lets you know which items you may want to consider ditching. But it can also help you personalize an individual customer’s experience. Think of Netflix or Amazon. When you’re logged in and they recommend things for you to watch or buy, the recommendations aren’t arbitrary. They are painstakingly calculated using people very similar and totally different from you to hone in on what you might like. Giving a customer something they didn’t know they wanted is a way to rack up sales and gain customer loyalty. After all, if they go to another online retailer they’ll just have to start the process of letting a store get to know them all over again.
Look Into Your Bounce Rate
Look at your bounce rate on certain pages. For those not familiar with bounce rates, it is simply the number of visitors who only visited one page of your site (those who arrived on a page and left without any further action). Your bounce rate can give you a window into your visitors’ behavior. Maybe they didn’t find the content they were looking for, maybe the page they landed on wasn’t relevant to the ad they clicked, or maybe it is some other reason.
Determine Their Browser
You may think that it’s not important to know what browsers your customers are using, just as long as they’re coming to your site. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Knowing the browsers your customers are using provides valuable customer information. For instance, you may have a customer base that is heavily loyal to Apple or Android and they may be largely mobile versus PC users. This information can help you make slight changes to customize and improve the customer experience.