June 7, 2005, 12:00 AM

Most online retailers don’t use analytics data effectively

Most online retail companies don’t use analytics data effectively because the information isn’t circulated often enough among different departments, says Eric Peterson, senior analyst with Jupiter Research.

Most online retail companies don’t use analytics data effectively because the information isn’t circulated often enough among different departments, says Eric Peterson, senior analyst with Jupiter Research. “You’re not doing enough to push the data you’re collecting about the conversion rate, your customer satisfaction, all of the important metrics out throughout the organization.”

Peterson spoke yesterday at the First Annual Internet Retailers’ Conference and Exhibition in Chicago.

“If you’re not effectively communicating this data, if people aren’t integrating this against their database, it just falls off top of mind,” Peterson says. That means retailers can’t deal effectively when problems crop up on the web site. “If you’re not watching, you’re not going to notice.”

Peterson cites a recent Jupiter survey that found that most senior executives are disconnected from the web analytic data. Only 29% of senior executives and 41% of executives review the data on a regular basis. “Once a week, you need to push the data out so everybody thinks about it and keeps an eye on the ball,” he says.

Jupiter also found that companies without staff dedicated to web analytics are least likely to make effective use of the data. Many companies assign the IT person or a marketing manager to keep an eye on analytic data, “somebody who occasionally pop in and out of the system, and figure out are we doing okay, where should we be looking,” Peterson says. “That’s simply not enough.”

“Companies that are not dedicating at least one full time employee to analytics analysis and data monitoring-53% are only looking at it and checking on an ad hoc basis-this is firefighting,” he says.

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