September 29, 2011, 4:18 PM

An upgrade for Google Analytics

Google adds a paid version of Google Analytics and speeds up reporting functions.

Allison Enright

Editor

Lead Photo

Google Inc. has announced two upgrades to its Google Analytics reporting tools. Yesterday the search engine said that the web analytics program now reports on how consumers interact with e-retailers’ online efforts in real time. Today it announced the launch of Google Analytics Premium, a paid version of the analytics program.

Google says companies that use the paid version of Google Analytics can access more data and work with advanced modeling and testing tools, and also access around-the-clock live account support.

Google says it will charge a flat annual fee for Google Analytics Premium. Google did not detail the fee amount, although Forrester Research Inc. analyst Joseph Stanhope, in a blog post today, pegged the cost at $150,000 annually.

Google Analytics is the second most popular web analytics program used by Internet Retailer Top 500-ranked e-retailers, with 161 e-retailers using it. The top provider of paid web analytics programs to the Top 500 is Adobe Omniture, with 217 Top 500 retailer clients; IBM Coremetrics is third with 103.

Google says it developed the paid version of Google Analytics to address demands from some of its larger clients. Google says the paid version has undergone testing from such companies as luxury goods manufacturer Gucci, travel and ticketing firm Travelocity and online dating site eHarmony.

Google’s entry into the paid web analytics market could put pressure on other vendors to lower their prices, says Forrester’s Stanhope. “Google Analytics Premium’s flat annual fee is less—in some cases a lot less—than many large-scale users currently spend on web analytics,” Stanhope wrote in his blog. “This gives users who are under pressure to contain costs a new option and puts pressure on established paid web analytics vendors to consider how their pricing can remain competitive under these conditions.”

The free version of Google Analytics used by many e-retailers will remain free, Google says. The real-time reporting function announced yesterday is included in the free version. Google Analytics lets e-retail marketers track consumer behavior in such online marketing arenas as natural search, display ads, affiliate sites, social networks, e-mail, direct traffic, mobile ads and video. A limited number of existing Google Analytics users can find the new reporting tool in the dashboards tab now, and Google says it will be available to all users in the coming weeks.

In August, Google Analytics moved from a reporting model that limited attribution to the last click a consumer made before completing a purchase to one that reports the full digital path a shopper takes before purchase.

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