There is no avoiding eCommerce in the modern world. In 2019, global eCommerce sales amounted to USD 3.53 trillion, and that figure is expected to grow to USD 6.54 trillion by 2022.
It is a lucrative and essential marketplace for many businesses. But with such a dizzying array of platforms and marketing methods, how can you be sure that your chosen strategy is the best choice?
This is where analytics tools can be of huge benefit. They can analyze your methods and identify what is working—or not working—for your business.
Without the right ecommerce analytic tool, you can never be sure that your particular marketing strategy is working effectively.
Knowing which one best suits your business model and the platforms you utilize will reap dividends in sales conversions and increased revenue. But with so many to choose from, how do you know which one will be worth investing in?
We look at ten of the best eCommerce analytics tools available today.
What are eCommerce Analytics Tools?
Simply put, eCommerce analytics tools are software programs or platforms that will tell you how healthy and effective your eCommerce strategies are. They can track and report on a number of key metrics, including:
- Website traffic
- Page views
- Click throughs
- Marketing spend (overall and per customer)
- Marketing ROI
- Customer engagement
- Customer retention
There are other metrics and what you decide to track will depend very much on your own business model and needs. The problem that often arises, however, is that some people select a small number of simple metrics and may miss seeing trends and patterns in metrics they omit.
An efficient business will look at optimizing every area of their performance, from conversion rates to length of customer engagement. Choosing a good analytics tool should be part of any strategy. You want accurate reports, whether it’s a quarterly revenue report or a call center report.
To achieve success from data-driven marketing, a good business will be looking to constantly refine and tweak strategies in response to evolving markets and demographics. From how your website personalizes the customer experience to how your campaigns target certain groups, data will always underpin any marketing decisions you make.
Smart decisions are usually made on the back of a good analysis of the customers’ experiences and how they use and interact with any platforms you utilize.
Ten of the Best Analytics Tools:
- Heap Analytics
- Google Analytics
- Moz Pro
Mixpanel is one of the most popular analytics packages and is used by companies such as Twitch. Its price, however, is competitive enough to attract small and medium-sized enterprises. In fact, you can even try Mixpanel for free and get an analysis of a maximum of 25,000 data points per month to see if the service fits your needs.
This package is ideal if your business centers around website and/or app usage. It can give you a good general overview of how users are accessing and interacting with your site, or you can zoom in on more precise factors to see how they are performing. This ability is useful when introducing new features or products.
The other great thing about Mixpanel is its simplicity. It doesn’t need any level of technical know-how to access and understand the data provided. This means any of your staff can collate the required information and report on it.
CrazyEgg centers around the idea of heat maps. What are heat maps? Heat maps are a fantastic way to see a visual representation of how people are interacting with your portal. It’s a great way of taking complex data and presenting it in an easy to understand format.
You easily see what areas of your website or app are hot or cold, and this can guide you in any tweaks.
CrazyEgg can help improve your conversion rates. You actually see how the various components of your portals are working and can then make decisions regarding changes needed to make a particular component ‘hotter’.
If your sales approach includes direct contact by video, then you can examine the body language video call software reveals, but for a faceless user, you need good analytics.
It also highlights at what point on a page a user loses attention (the scroll depth). This can be especially useful if you have pages that contain a lot of information. If users are stopping reading too early, then the page needs to be split into smaller portions.
They offer a free 30-day trial so you can see if it fits with your needs and then there are various pricing packages to suit your size of business.
SEMrush has earned a great reputation based on its versatility and can cover almost all your eCommerce technology and data. At its core, SEMrush is a solid SEO tool that also offers highly capable analytics across all your platforms.
If keyword tracking, monitoring and reporting on relevant searching, and other crucial metrics such as referrals and campaign performance are all important to you, then SEMrush will be ideal. One added bonus is that SEMrush allows you to monitor your competitors too.
This great tool helps you analyze all your site content to see what is working and what is not. It will also analyze and audit your backlinks to identify any issues there. Reporting abilities include a range of visual options and the choice of customizing reports to your specific needs.
If there is a negative side to SEMrush, it is that it may not be as instantly user friendly as other tools. The user interface is a little complicated for novices and takes some getting used to. But its features and ability to integrate easily with all major social networks means it may well be a good long-term option.
Any business will always be looking at how to improve marketing messages, and SEMrush can help with that. Pricing plans begin at $99 per month.
4. Heap Analytics
Heap Analytics is a fairly recent addition to the market. Very similar in functionality to Mixpanel, this tool will automatically track all actions users take on your website or app. You can then pick and choose what type of actions you wish to look at closer and analyze.
If you wish, you can also focus on an individual user and analyze their behavior. You can use this to identify groups of users according to how they use and interact with your portals. And because of the way Heap collects its data, you can even look at how a particular event or feature has changed over time, all the way back to when you installed the software.
Business development is as important as your own professional development, and just as you would look for things to help with this, the same rule applies.
One current downside of Heap is that the software does not yet support Android apps so pass it by if they are a big part of your strategy.
There is a free plan available with limited features but this may be a good idea to get a feel for the software and see if it fulfills your needs. If it does, there are various customizable pricing plans where you can choose the features you need.
5. Google Analytics
A basic and free, but very widely used tool, Google Analytics may be ideal for a business that is not ready to invest in a more complicated program. It lets you track all the traffic coming onto your website as well as their point of referral. It will also show you how much time they spend on your website. Feel free to follow this guide to set up your Google Analytics in under 15 minutes.
One good feature of GA is that you can integrate it with Google AdWords so you can get a more in-depth analysis of how your campaign is working and what is driving—or not driving—it.
However, it can be quite complex when it comes to identifying and tracking any of your new conversions and it does not allow you to focus on the actions of individual users.
If you purely want to track your site or campaign’s traffic, then GA is a good tool. But if you want better snapshots of conversions, growth, or vents, then GA will not be enough. GA is one of the most commonly used project management tools but it does have limitations.
While the normal package is free, there are premium versions available for larger enterprises that have many more features.
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While social media provides a great marketing opportunity, it can also be extremely unpredictable. The great thing about BuzzSumo is that it is a fantastic tool for identifying what is trending across all relevant social media platforms and channels.
Its versatility allows you to analyze not only what is happening now but also in different time periods of your choosing, such as the last 24 hours or the last 12 months. This lets you see which industry-specific topics and discussions are generating the most interest.
BuzzSumo’s functionality is extremely wide-ranging. You can filter for content type and identify advanced keyword usage. Once you have collected the data you want, then you simply export it to a spreadsheet format to examine the data in more detail.
This tool is designed primarily for those who operate in the social media sector, whether content marketing, blogging, or social media advertising. It keeps you on top of what’s hot and what’s not and is essential if you want your content to stay relevant.
It could be pricey for smaller operations though, with monthly costs starting at $99 and rising to $999 for larger enterprises. However, it may offer a good ROI if you rely on social media for your revenue streams.
Matomo (formerly known as Piwik) is a free, open-source tool that offers you an alternative to Google Analytics. It can track all visits to your website but also allows you to generate customized reports that will show you data such as the source of traffic, users’ locations, how a user interacted with your site, and even the browsers or OS that they used.
Matomo has many attractive features that allow you to set goals with your marketing campaigns—thus letting you track their success. It can also keep notes on any variables you wish to customize and on data analysis.
While Matomo is free, they do offer a premium version specially designed for government departments and larger companies that provides full compliance with privacy laws and data ownership regulations.
We are including BrandMentions on this list because it offers something a little different, that many brands may find attractive. While you still get the focused data tracking you would expect from a good analytics tool, BrandMentions also looks at the emotional responses customers and viewers have in relation to your brand.
It offers a unique “sentiment meter” that gauges how users react to your posts and content across the various social media platforms. And you can set the meter to alert you if a specific post falls below a certain level response-wise. This allows you to edit or tweak content that is not performing well.
Not only will it track your own social media content, but you can also direct it to monitor the content of specific competitors. This means you can see what they are doing right or wrong and allows you to try and make content that outperforms theirs.
BrandMentions is an ideal analytics tool if the majority of your focus is on social media. Its downside is that it does not have great integration options and you may have to use a 3rd party tool to help improve this and allow for real-time notifications. There is a 14-day free trial available and then pricing plans start at $49 per month.
9. Moz Pro
If your business relies heavily on traffic coming from search engines, then Moz Pro may be the perfect analytics tool for you. It can aid in your use of SEO words and terms and can help increase traffic to your site.
Moz Pro can not only provide data on how you are performing on search engines but also on how your competitors are doing. It can analyze links, look at the rankings of different keywords and terms, and also look at how trends change over a period of time.
With increasing marketing automation, the need for better analytics and reporting is also increasing and the two should go hand in hand.
This tool best suits SEO companies and professionals or digital marketing teams who focus on traffic from search engines. It is also suited to those starting out in this area of work as well as companies who have been doing this work for years,
Pricing options begin at $99 per month and there are various tiers up from that with the most extensive at $599 per month.
For many eCommerce businesses, web forms are an integral part of how they operate. But the fact is, some forms put people off and they abandon completion. Knowing at what point users abandon forms and why they do so can be a crucial component in improving both customer experience and conversion rates.
Improving conversion rates is a primary goal in any strategy. That can include learning best practices for video calls or how to offer follow-up support.
Zuko, formerly known as Formisimo, analyzes real-time web form data from your site and provides you with a report based on an analysis based on 54 metrics. This can help you identify if a particular part of your form has a high abandonment rate and allows you to change your forms to increase conversions.
Used by many larger companies, including Toyota, this tool can also help smaller businesses who are struggling with conversion rates.
Packages range from $50 per month up to $180 per month.
There is no ‘one size fits all’ solution. Which analytics tool you choose will depend on the type of eCommerce you do, how you market it, what platforms or channels you use, and even what devices your users access your site from.
Here’s your quick reminder for eCommerce analytics tools:
- Mixpanel – offers a simple solution for small and medium sized businesses as well as larger organizations.
- CrazyEgg – ideal for companies and marketers who like to see a visual representation of the relevant data.
- SEMrush – a hugely popular analytics tool that gives great analysis of your SEO results and can cover most eCommerce tech and data
- Heap Analytics – a relative newcomer to the game and is perfect for focusing on customer data and behaviour though it is not yet available for Android.
- Google Analytics – an old favorite and, being free, it is ideal for businesses on a budget or solo entrepreneurs.
- BuzzSumo – a very social-media focused so will suit businesses that rely on social media. It lets you analyze in real time as well as snapshots of any time period.
- Matomo – perfect for goal setting with your campaigns and you can also customize any variables you really want to track.
- BrandMentions – has a unique “sentiment meter” that tracks and analyzes how people respond to your posts as well as tracking competitors.
- Moz Pro – By looking at SEO words and terms it can increase traffic dramatically. It will also analyze your competition.
- Zuko – With a 54-metric analysis, it will tell you if particular sections of your forms are causing a high abandonment rate.
With so many systems automated these days, having performance checks makes good business sense.
Once you have whittled your list down to 2 or 3, though, it is worth investigating whether any of them offer free trials. This will give you a period—usually 30 days—in which you can see if that software’s analytics fits in with your needs.
Finding the one that best helps you improve results while remaining cost-effective can be an important decision.
About the Author
Richard Conn is the Senior Director, Search Marketing for RingCentral, a global leader in unified communications and inbound call center software provider. He is passionate about connecting businesses and customers and has experience working with Fortune 500 companies such as Google, Experian, Target, Nordstrom, Kayak, Hilton, and Kia. Richard has written for sites such as Right Inbox and Marketscale.