March 9, 2006, 12:00 AM

How Discount Tire boost sales with Google Analytics

Using Google Analytics, Discount Tire has used data on customer activity to increase sales and reduce site abandonment, the retailer says.

Paul Demery

Managing Editor, B2B E-commerce

Using Google Analytics over the last several months, Discount Tire has leveraged data on customer activity that has led to increased sales and fewer customers leaving its site without making a purchase, the retailer says.

Discount Tire used Google Analytics to determine, for example, the most effective language to use in its checkout process. By replacing the note on its checkout button from “Purchase and make a reservation” to “Check out and make a reservation,” it led to a 14% increase in sales in a single week, says e-business supervisor Mike Bolland.

In another case, Discount Tire discovered that some visitors were abandoning their shopping carts if items were not available for pick-up in their local store. But by adding language in the checkout process stating that Discount Tire would locate the desired products and make them available in a particular store, abandonment rates decreased and sales rose 36%.

Earlier attempts at using analytics programs made it too difficult to get usable data, says Bolland. “We wanted sophisticated analytics and reporting, but found that the tools we tried required too many modifications for each web page.”

Discount Tire, which operates 600 stores in addition to, does about $50 million a year online out of total sales of $2 billion.

Travis Unwin, a former Discount Tire executive who now provides it with e-commerce consulting as managing director of Blue Ribbon Consulting, says Google Analytics provides for a simple means of coding web site pages to produce results that drill down into consumer click behavior. “Other analytics programs have been either too basic, or had a huge amount of data that we coudn`t act on,” he tells

Google Analytics, which Google Inc. is making available for free as an application that it hosts, can be used to analyze clickstream data from its Internet source, such as Google, Yahoo or other search engines, as well as throughout a retailer’s site to the point of a visitor’s exit.

While offering its analytics program for free, Google is gathering more data on consumer clickstream behavior that can make its search advertising products more valuable, Unwin says. “We signed agreements with them to make sure we’re comfortable in how they use that data,” he says.




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