June 5, 2014, 9:55 AM

Good data feed good decisions

E-retailers need to properly set up site analytics and know how to take action on the data they collect, IRCE speakers say.

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How consumers arrive at an e-retail site, the actions they take there and what triggers a sale or departure are at the core of e-retailers’ understanding of online shoppers. Having an analytics system set up from day one to record this information is important, as is the ability to modify and build upon these basic reporting metrics as business grows.

Two presenters at the Internet Retailer 2014 Conference & Exhibition taking place next week in Chicago will explain how to set up web analytics reporting structures that are flexible and that scale as sales grow. Danny Gavin, director of marketing at online jeweler Brian Gavin Diamonds, and Jesse Nichols, a Google Inc. representative for analytics solutions and partnerships, will co-present the session, “Building a web analytics framework that grows with you,” June 12 from 2:30-3:15 p.m.

“The presentation will explain to retailers how to take Google Analytics, or any analytics platform, and set it up on the site, pointing out what the business metrics to implement are and how to reach those goals,” Gavin says. “Even if you aren’t going to use the data right away, we’ll say ‘these are good things to be tracking.’”

BrianGavinDiamonds.com, which saw its web sales grow in excess of 40% between 2012 and 2013 and is ranked No. 700 in Internet Retailer’s 2013 Second 500 Guide, uses the free version of Google Analytics. Gavin says he checks it at least every other day, using the data collected there to inform his digital marketing activities, such as paid search and search engine optimization activities.

BrianGavinDiamonds.com is also  experimenting with a new reporting tool Google Analytics launched last month called Enhanced Ecommerce. Enhanced Ecommerce is supposed to make it easier for e-retailers to track and report e-commerce activity data. The service is currently in test mode but will be rolled out over the coming weeks and months to other e-retailers, Google says. “I’ll point out the key features and functions [of Enhanced Ecommerce] briefly in my talk,” Nichols says.

Google Analytics is by far the No. 1 web analytics tool used by the largest web retailers in North America, with 673 of the 1,000 retailers ranked in Internet Retailer’s Top 500 and Second 500 Guides using it to track performance statistics like time on site, clicks and referral traffic sources. 

(The July issue of Internet Retailer magazine will feature a survey about e-commerce technology trends. Please click to take part in the short survey.)

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