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Data Analysis

Check Out These Tools If You're Looking for Truly Actionable Ecommerce Data

Information overload is a real thing, so choose your analytics tools carefully.
Check Out These Tools If You're Looking for Truly Actionable Ecommerce Data
Image credit: Atit Phetmuangtong | EyeEm | Getty Images
Guest Writer
CEO of Integrity Marketing & Consulting
5 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Knowledge is power -- until that knowledge becomes noise: From big data to Google Analytics, entrepreneurs have access to more information than ever before but often struggle to separate out the data that is important from the stuff that doesn’t matter. And this isn't necessarily easy: Many people struggle and simply give up.

Related: To Better Understand Your Users, Learn About These 4 Categories of Marketing Analytics Tools

Information overload is real, which is why some entrepreneurs don’t bother with tracking or analyzing key data points. In fact, Econsultancy found that only 50 percent of ecommerce businesses surveyed said they tracked main conversion points; and over 70 percent didn't track key website analytics at all.

To make matters worse, the study found that 80 percent of online retailers surveyed used Google Analytics incorrectly. This means that these entrepreneurs were using bad data to make important decisions.

Given these challenges, some solutions are in order. Below are some suggested tools for gathering, analyzing and deliving the actionable information needed for a thriving ecommerce business. Here they are by category:

General and multi-channel commerce

When maximizing revenues from your ecommerce store, Shopify is probably the best choice on the market, but its capabilities go well beyond that venue. Shopify also delivers real-time insights on sales, trends and other data across all revenue streams including brick and mortar stores, social media platforms and even craft shows or other events.

Related: When Selling Online, Make Decisions Based on Data, Not Your Emotions

The site provides great data visuals and detailed reports and even allows you to customize reports so you can do a deeper dive on the information that matters most. With Shopify, you always know where you stand regarding sales, visitors, trends and orders across all sales channels. The fact that this system is accessible on any device is a bonus. Even if all you have is an ecommerce store, this is a great platform.

Multi-device commerce

For businesses that have both a website and an app, Heap helps owners maximize results by capturing and analyzing data from the web and from mobile and cloud interactions.  Each platform utilizes different engagement tools, and with Heap, you can identify funnels, track product engagement and conduct A/B testing across each storefront.

The system’s behavior analytics let you dig deeper into your customers’ behavior to analyze an event or problem. With this information, you can modify your app and website to ensure maximum customer satisfaction. This data also allows you to adjust the metrics so that every important data point in your app or website is measurable and ready for analysis. This ability to choose additional data points makes Heap unique and perfect for multi-device ecommerce.

Customer-driven data

When customer information truly drives most aspects of your business, Metrilo is a great option for data management. Metrilo co-founder and CEO Murry Ivanov created this platform to deliver actionable ecommerce analytics to other entrepreneurs using data gathered directly from their customers.

At a single glance, you can view all of your business’s most crucial reports and performance insights. It also alerts you to relevant data, such as past customers who haven’t purchased in the last three months, so you can take appropriate action.

These alerts allow you to take your customer retention activities to a new level. You can also receive metrics about your cart-abandonment rate, revenue per visitor, conversion rate by the device and checkout completion. Metrilo goes beyond data analytics, linking this information to its email marketing, commerce CRM and retention platforms, all of which can truly transform your data from numbers to actions.

Website optimization

When you know you aren’t getting the most from your website and A/B testing isn’t producing the results you need, Crazy Egg is the answer. In addition to standard website analytics, this program delivers “heat maps” that use colors to show the areas of your website receiving the most -- and the fewest -- customer interactions. This information shows you where you need to make adjustments and what’s working well.

The heat map, combined with A/B testing and side-by-side comparisons of reports over time, allows you to truly see what works and what doesn’t, which helps you plan the next steps. This platform also takes real-time web visitor behavior to the next level by providing recordings of actual mouse movements so you can track critical user interface issues and expose user frustration points. With Crazy Egg, you always know what’s happening on your site and what you need to do to kick things up a notch.

Industry specificity

For those who need to understand their data within the context of a specific industry, Looker is a great choice. This powerful tool lets you do a deep dive into your data by asking sophisticated questions and placing answers into an actionable context. Looker also has great dashboards and easy-to-read reports, and its extensive collaboration capabilities allow it to integrate with other applications such as Excel, Google Docs and other custom and third-party systems.

While Looker offers many great features, it isn’t for everyone. Newbies to data analytics and those who don’t need industry-relevant information will do better to look elsewhere for their analytics.

Related: Want to Be More Like Amazon? Start By Making Your Startup More Data-Driven.

Bottom line

Information is meaningless if it doesn’t drive actions for improvement. Ecommerce success requires access to accurate and actionable data, and there are many tools available. If you pick the right ones, you can eliminate the noise and focus on what matters most.

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