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With retail eCommerce sales projected to surpass $735 billion by 2023, it is crucial for brands to utilize website data for marketing optimization to stay competitive in this rapidly growing industry. Not only is the industry growing in size, but its demographics are changing as well. The Gen-Z population will become 32% of the total population in 2019, surpassing Millennials. Gen-Z has a much stronger expectation and preference for personal, one-to-one connections and conversations as opposed to their millennial counterparts who were more accepting of mass communication tactics. Luckily, today’s digital world offers a plethora of tools, such as Google Analytics, to give brands insight into customer behavior and interests. If actively utilized, this information can allow brands to speak to the right audience, in the right way.

Here are 3 Google Analytics data points to access to enhance your marketing strategy:

  1. User Acquisition Source

The user acquisition source is a key metric when analyzing data for your eCommerce site. This gives you insight into how your users are finding your website – whether it’s through a PPC campaign, social media, email blasts, etc.

Google Analytics allows users to segment the view of user acquisition in a variety of ways, including by channel, source, and medium. Reviewing this data on a regular basis provides valuable insight into the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns, allowing you to analyze the quantity and quality of traffic from each of your marketing campaigns.

  • Quantity: Evaluate the quantity of traffic when looking at user acquisition source by the number of sessions, users, and new users over a given time period.
  • Quality: This can be evaluated by the bounce rate, pages/session, average session duration and of course, conversions. A lower bounce rate indicates more users were engaged with the content because they completed an action on the website. When the results show a higher number of pages/session and longer average session duration, this indicates users have a higher level of interest in the content.

Once you have determined the value of each acquisition source, adjustments can be made to optimize your marketing strategy. It is important to keep in mind these results can be influenced by a variety of factors. For example, if you find your February email campaign generated 50% more users than your March email campaign, compare the content, as well as the send day and time of each campaign to determine what caused the decrease in users. This information can be used to inform the strategy of your next email deployment to ensure you are achieving the highest ROI.

  1. Shopping Behavior

Shopping behavior is a specific data point included in Google Analytics’ suite of eCommerce tracking tools. Once enabled, eCommerce analytics will begin collecting information from your website as it relates to your sales funnel.

The shopping behavior analysis outlines the user progression from website sessions, to product views, to check out, to transactions. Google Analytics displays the percentage of users proceeding to the next stage of the process.

Once you begin to review this information, compare your results against the industry average for each stage of the process. Ask yourself, is your website performing above or below the industry average? At what stage in the process are most of your users dropping off? Once you have answered these questions, review the website content at each stage of the buying process. For example, if you have a below average drop off rate for “sessions with add to cart”, consider optimizing your product page to encourage users to add the items to their cart.

  1. Demographics

The “Audience” section in Google Analytics contains a long list of data to help you understand the qualities that make up your audience. “Demographics” and “Geo” are two key insights from this section to optimize marketing strategies. “Demographics” provides an overview of your audience’s age and gender, while “Geo” allows you to view the location of your audience, which can filter by country, state and city.

This information is both easy to understand and highly valuable when developing marketing campaigns. For example, say you are running a social media PPC campaign targeting college students in California to promote your active apparel brand. Despite these efforts, Google Analytics shows the age group with the highest number of sessions on your website is 35-44. You may consider adjusting the targeting and messaging of the campaign to speak to this older demographic.

Another approach in this scenario to optimize your campaign is revising the content and messaging to be more effective for the college student audience. Create a list of 20 universities in California you would like to target and develop 20 different ads with a specific offer for each of the schools. For example, use the message “UCLA students receive 10% off with promo code BRUINS” and target the ad exclusively towards the UCLA campus and surrounding area. This approach will allow you to stand out from the competition because the message is personalized to your audience.

As the eCommerce industry continues to grow exponentially, and Gen-Z’s increasing buying power drives the progression of personalized content, Google Analytics will be an essential tool to help brands thrive. Collecting accurate data and understanding how to evaluate that data is the first step to creating the optimal brand experience. User acquisition source, shopping behavior, and demographics are all key metrics to evaluate the effectiveness of your marketing efforts and identify where there is room to enhance your brand experience. Once you have covered the basics of data analysis, your brand can continue to evolve into more advanced tools of personalization such as Artificial Intelligence. To learn more about the ways AI is transforming the retail industry, click here.


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