Top 5 Free eCommerce Analytic Tools for Growth
Owning an eCommerce store is hard work. There are many factors that need to be considered. Overseeing stock, optimising your website, growing sales and managing customer service among other things.
Whether you have staff in these departments or not, as an owner you still need to keep track of everything. But, the most important focus of a store owner is scaling the business.
So, what's the best way to get all the data you need in order to make informed decisions and grow the business? The answer is to use eCommerce analytics tools.
Depending on the size of your store and the number of data points you need analysing, different analytics tools may be more suitable for helping you reach your goals. In this blog I will look into the benefits of using analytics for your store and breakdown some of the best tools to use.
What is eCommerce Analytics?
eCommerce analytics is the process of discovering, making sense of and communicating data patterns related to your online store. This data helps you understand changes in customer behaviour, performance trends and ROI.
Analytical tools for the eCommerce industry cover a wide array of different data points that, together, cover all aspects of the customer journey. Having this data can help you improve customer acquisition and retention, user experience, shopping cart abandonment and much more.
How Use Analytics To Grow Your Business
Improve Your Conversion Rate
The main goal of most eCommerce stores is to increase conversion rates, and this is where analytic tools provide the most value. Analytic tools will provide you with data driven insights on how visitors are interacting with your website. Having insights such as where average order value and identifying the source of sales helps you understand where to focus your efforts.
Analytics tools help you to study your customers' behaviour. Tracking metrics such as marketing funnel performance provides valuable data for Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO).
Analytics data lets you perform A/B testing with things such as product images, website copy, checkout process, among other things. You can see how these changes affect the number of people abandoning their shopping carts or viewing products without taking any action. Improvement in these kinds of metrics leads to improvements in conversion rates.
Segment Your Audience
Audience segmentation is such a powerful tool in eCommerce that is often overlooked or poorly done. Being able to segment your audience means you can personalise to individual segments which means you are tailoring your website/offers/products to the most relevant people.
Segments can be based on site activity, browsing habits, personal attributes or even better, demographics (I will show later on how Bazar can help with this).
Audience segmentation is effective on all marketing channels from email marketing to paid advertising. In fact, one study found that campaigns delivered to a defined customer segment generated a conversion rate increase of 200%. You should be segmenting as much of your marketing channels as possible.
Enhance Your User Experience
User experience is important on so many fronts. A good user experience is what keeps users on your website, it is what keeps your customers coming back and it is what helps your customers refer your offering to a friend.
With 50% of users saying they are willing to pay more for a better online experience, it should be a priority to get your user experience right and analytics can help you achieve that.
Data from analytics is a good way to help personalise your user experience which is a tried and tested way to improve your user experience for individual users. Things like personalised product recommendations can be made by the use of analytics.
Now the benefits of using analytics have been made clear, let’s look into some of the tools you can use for your eCommerce store.
The Best Analytic Tools for eCommerce
Google Analytics is the most popular analytics tool used amongst eCommerce stores. Mainly because they offer a wide selection of actionable insights for free. Because of this it is a great place to start for smaller and newer eCommerce stores.
As well as the abundance of free features they have, they also have Google Analytics Advanced Ecommerce that provides advanced analytics that allows users to track traffic at each stage of the funnel.
What Does Google Analytics Do?
Identify the source of website traffic and how these people convert
Identify user drop off points e.g. shopping cart abandonment
Identify pages with long view times or pages with high bounce rates
Downsides: Google analytics does have a bit of a learning curve for first time users, with a lot of people finding it time consuming and difficult to learn. If you are strapped for time with other duties perhaps hire an experienced freelancer to manage it or opt for a simpler tool.
I am not going to write a blog about eCommerce analytic tools without singing some praise for our very own.
What you will notice about all the other tools mentioned in the blog (and I'm sure from your own research) is they are all providing quantitative analytics. It’s not to say that quantitative analytics don’t serve a purpose, they do, and should definitely be used. But the problem they give is that they leave a lot to speculation. Continuous A/B testing helps provide greater insight into your customers but it takes time and a lot of guesswork in the process.
Bazar is different. Bazar provides qualitative data about the most important people, those with high purchase intent.
Bazar works as a pop up that is activated when a user adds something to their cart (i.e. demonstrates purchase intent). The pop up gives the user the ability to answer questions in return for a discount code to be applied at checkout.
What Does Bazar Do?
Decrease shopping cart abandonment rate (through use of discount promotion)
Provide qualitative feedback from your target customer (through survey data)
Obtain email address and demographic information of your customers
Downsides: (For the moment at least) Bazar is a standalone tool. This means to get more value from the survey responses, data analysis will need to be done in conjunction with the quantitative data you are collecting from other tools.
Hotjar helps you visualise how your users interact with your website. They do this via heatmaps that help you see where your users are spending their time on your website by showing you ‘hot’ and ‘cold’ spots. They also let you collect feedback from your customers and view real-time recordings of your users to help you with CRO.
What Does Hotjar Do?
See what areas of your website could be improved
Evaluate the success of your copy and CTA’s
A/B test different designs to see which performs better and improves user engagement
Downsides: Hotjar isn’t exactly an all in one solution and because it doesn't integrate with google analytics its metrics will need to be analysed individually or combined with other data points manually.
Price: Free + starts at $39 p/m
Woopra focuses on customer journey analysis with the main goal of decreasing shopping cart abandonment. Woopra offers three main products: Journeys, Trends and Retention. The idea behind their analytics is to track, analyse and optimise every customer touchpoint.
What Does Woopra Do?
See how long it takes the average customer to buy
Spot different drop off points throughout the sales funnel
Look at abandonment rates in different scenarios e.g. selecting shipping methods or adding payment details.
Downsides: Woopra has a lot of features that are accessible and although this may be seen as a good thing it creates a steep learning curve. Understanding what the tool does and how to use it will take time and getting proficient enough to get meaningful insights from the tool will take even longer.
Price: Free + starts at $349 p/m
Matomo offers many of the same features as Google Analytics as well as a few additional features that can be used by eCommerce stores. It is very similar to setting up with Google Analytics with the main difference being that you own the data.
What Does Matomo Do?
Review sales reports in depth. Look into sales by product, marketing channel or geolocation.
Reports can be automated to see things such as conversion rate and average order value.
Look into issues that cause things such as shopping cart abandonment.
Lets you own your data
Drawbacks: Matomo’s User Interface is not that user friendly and therefore it can sometimes be difficult to make sense of the data quickly. Similarly the reports provided are difficult to make sense of due to the amount of raw data provided. If you have the technical expertise to make sense of the data it provides a lot of value but for someone more novice it may be difficult to extract value.
Price: Free (if you provide the server) + starts at $29 to host data on Matomo servers
eCommerce analytic tools are very useful in helping your store understand what is working and what is not. From understanding the success of your marketing campaigns to tracking your customer journeys, analytics provide the means to make adjustments and improvements with the end goal of increasing sales.
Use analytic tools to help formulate an effective growth strategy. They will help inform you on your strengths and weaknesses and by leveraging your strengths and improving your weaknesses you should start to see results. You want a growth plan to improve your user experience, increase your conversion rate and better segment your audience.
Tools such as Bazar can help you get direct feedback from your target audience which can help you get insights on your target audience's social media preferences, content interests, purchase intent, products of interest, and much more. You can use these insights to optimise your funnels, or even better, create more niche funnels based on demographics (think segmentation). The use of tools such as Google Analytics or Woopra will help you quantify the impact these changes have had on your customer journeys.
Feel free to get in touch with us here to book a consultation and see how Bazar can help you get more value in your analytics journey.