How is analytics used in business strategy? What are some best practices?
Companies today cannot possibly underestimate how analytics is used in business strategy, especially when it comes to data collection, and generating traffic & customers. In this blog, we will discuss how companies can harness analytics data to drive traffic to their website and increase their customer base.
What are analytics?
Before we get started with discussing how to best utilize analytics, it pays to understand what analytics are in the first place.
By definition, analytics refers to the analysis of a data population in order to obtain insights on your customers. This insight can, subsequently, be used to improve your business''s performance (be it in the sense of improving productivity internally, or improving such things as inbound marketing techniques), as well as to maximize business value (by improving how you, as a business, interact with your customers).
How are analytics collected? There are three ways in which analytics are collected and analyzed:
- DESCRIPTIVE: this is the stage of analytics when data is reported on, in order to understand what has happened either in real-time or after the fact (though it''s preferred that it happens in real-time, just so that the data is "clean" and accurate).
- PREDICTIVE: once the data is reported on, and an accurate trend is observed, this stage will be conducted in order to see what will happen in the future.
- PRESCRIPTIVE: after the trends are observed, if there is anything that needs to be corrected (such as a change in a marketing approach), the prescriptive stage will be undertaken in order to improve performance.
How can analytics help e-commerce companies?
All of the above analytics collection methods are ways to collect the most accurate data -- and these analytics are best known as actionable analytics (which are data that you can use to take action), and serve in direct contrast to vanity analytics (which are data that are collected and don''t provide any insight to your customer base -- for example, the total hits to your website can be seen as a vanity analytic, but the number of hits to your website that are actually from new and/or returning customers can be seen as an actionable analytic).
Let''s take a look at some ways an eCommerce company can use analytics to drive traffic & increase sales:
Take note of the KPIs (key performance indicators) that are on your site. Some of the KPIs include, but are certainly not limited to, the following: social media traffic referral, the average time people spend on your site, and the number of unique views on your site (and, more specifically, which page gets the most unique views). Once you have an idea of the KPIs, you can then tailor your site (including your shopping cart) to those needs.
Consider creating a landing page so that when people search for your site on Google, they land on this page first and foremost. On this landing page, you can put a "Buy it Now!" incentivization button, or something else that will drive people to utilize your e-commerce site.
Track your click-through rates for every single link on your site. See which ones are getting the best traffic, and why...and use this observation to tailor the other, lower-traffic pages to those parameters in order to drive traffic. You want consistency across your site, as much as possible.
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