Beyond the direct sales potential, the holiday season provides a rare opportunity to leverage the large volumes of traffic for consumer behavior analytics.
Collection of real-time data is essential to any eCommerce site. The more data we have the more insight we get into our shoppers’ experience, the more educated decisions we can make when optimizing our site.
Thus, the holiday season with its large pool of visitors is an invaluable test case period. Businesses can accumulate significant data which can be used for future optimization and achieve better results throughout the next year. Consider the following
Are you tracking relevant data?
First of all you need to make sure that you are tracking relevant data and that the data is properly segmented. We’ve encountered too many cases in which businesses turn for help because their site optimization efforts do not bear fruit, and it turned out that their optimization efforts were based on falsely interpreted data. So, make sure that you are employing proper conversion tracking tools and that the codes are properly integrated into the correct pages on your site. Consider Google Tag Manager and its auto event tracking capability. Be sure to test the tracking mechanism after implementation.
Concentrate your measurements:
It is recommended to focus your efforts on a set of pre-defined KPI. Consider a mix of new metrics (ones you haven’t analyzed before) together with the solid few metrics which are the core of your previous measurements. This will give you a wider perspective while confirming (or disconfirming) your previous findings and assumptions. Following are 3 analysis examples:
- Checkout Process: Clearly one of the most important stages in customer engagement and one which can boost conversion rates if analyzed correctly. For instance, shopping cart abandonment rate is a great indicator of plain user experience issues.
- Search Logs: Consider a thorough analysis of your site search logs. Gain insight to the most popular search terms and compare the findings to the products featured on your site. What is the click-through rate on the results pages? Do the users click through to the products or do they abandon your site?
- Conversion rate segmentation: The holiday’s large traffic volumes can serve as strong basis for segmentation and reveal much on the effectiveness of your marketing efforts. Most commonly the segmentation would be by keywords and/or by referral sources. Find out which referring keyword terms bear the highest conversion rates and what the conversion distribution is between the various referral sources (e.g. PPC, organic search, affiliates etc.).
A good time for testing:
If you’ve considered site testing mechanisms such as A/B testing or multi-variate testing, the holiday season presents an excellent opportunity. Again, the large pool of site visitors will provide a solid test case for determining user preferences.
Fetch direct customer feedback:
Shoppers are busy shopping, which is why many of them do not make use of site feedback tools. But some do, and during traffic peaks you may benefit from more submissions of user feedback forms, which can help you better understand your users’ requirements.