The Website Analytics Guide That Doesn’t Suck: How To Boost Sales With Data-Driven Web Design
Which products should we feature on the Home page? Where should the CTA button go? What should our live chatbot say? When should this discount pop-up appear?
Without website analytics, you’d probably just make an educated guess or go with your gut, right?
Your success in driving sales hinges on the online shopping experience you create for customers. So, why would you leave your success to chance?
This is where data has the answers.
By simply knowing where to look and how to use website analytics tools, you can make data-driven decisions that get results. And by results, we mean more sales, less wasted time and money, and seriously impressed customers.
So, what’s holding you back from learning about website analytics for your eCommerce site?
“It’s boring.” “It’s hard.” “It sucks.”
True – until now. We created this useful guide to break this thing down without boring you to death. Who knows, this might even be fun.
Let’s get into it.
Website Analytics Should Drive Your Design Decisions. Here’s Why.
Let’s start with two stone-cold facts:
- eCommerce sales are set to skyrocket – from 3.5 trillion US dollars in 2019 to 6.5 trillion US dollars in 2024
- Good web design can boost your conversion rates by up to 400%
There’s a tsunami-level surge of online sales happening right now, but only the best eCommerce websites will catch the wave. The rest, well…
Website analytics brings order to the chaos of design decisions facing you and your team.
By tracking, grouping, and analyzing the trail of digital breadcrumbs left by your visitors, website analytics tools give you insights in just a few clicks.
You’ll have instant answers to those big questions:
- What products are the most popular?
- Which pages get the most traffic?
- What CTA’s trigger the most action?
- Where are visitors coming from?
- How long people stay on the page?
With website analytics at your fingertips, you can create a site that is built on the tangible evidence of your customers’ preferences. That’s powerful.
You don’t need us to tell you that customers crave personalized experiences. With access to the data behind your audience’s behavior, you have the intel you need to tailor your website to increase engagement and conversions.
To summarise, website analytics helps you –
- Get a crystal-clear understanding of how customers interact with your site
- See which web design strategies are working and which ones to throw in the trash
- Make data-driven decisions to maximize sales – spending time and money on the things that actually work
Now that we’ve covered the what and why of website analytics, let’s dive into the how. This is how you can use website analytics to improve your website and drive sales.
8 Metrics You Can Track Today To Help Drive Sales On Your eCommerce Site
When using website analytics, A/B testing will give you the most accurate results as to which strategies and design elements are most effective.
- First, choose two variations of a design choice, such as a landing page, a CTA button, some website copy, or a checkout navigation flow.
- Divide visitors randomly into two segments, each segment seeing one of the two versions of that design element.
- Test the two variations and compare the results.
Now, you have clear data that demonstrates which variant gets the best response from real users.
1. Click-through-rate (CTR)
To get the full picture of your website’s performance, you need to understand what messages are attracting customers to your site in the first place.
Click-through rate = Total measured clicks/Total number of impressions x 100
You’re probably using a combination of email drip campaigns, Google AdWords, social media posts, and paid social media ads to drive traffic to your site.
By measuring the CTR of each campaign, you can see:
- Which channels are most successful
- What messages get the most engagement
- What design choices get the most clicks
With this information, you can start making strategic, data-driven decisions based on the results.
Instagram performing better than Facebook? Allocate more spend to that channel.
Are customers engaging more with ads that showcase your product features than your product discounts? Highlight your product’s benefits in both your ads and your website content.
Do customers respond better to animations and videos than text posts? Incorporate more graphic design into your ads.
2. Shopping cart & checkout abandonment rate
This is a powerful metric for eCommerce businesses. Almost 70% of shoppers abandon their carts (come on, we all do it).
Tracking the fluctuations in this metric will help you ascertain what design decisions can help you recover important revenue opportunities.
First, set up a tool that captures the abandonment rate in two places – pre-checkout and post-checkout.
|Abandonment Metric||Potential objections||How to solve with web design|
|Pre-checkout||Purchasing the item isn’t a priority, they’re looking for a cheaper deal elsewhere, they’ve changed their mind.||Pop-ups that indicate scarcity (eg. only ten items left in stock!), a price guarantee, a sale countdown|
|Post-checkout||Shipping is too expensive, the checkout flow is too time-consuming, delivery takes too long.||Upsell opportunities in exchange for free shipping, simplify the checkout workflow, send remarketing emails|
As you can see, the two metrics reveal different objections that can be tackled with different web design strategies.
Tracking abandonment and using that data to drive your design strategies is a powerful way to retarget customers and drive sales.
Remember, half of cart abandoners will make the purchase when asked. If you haven’t started sending cart abandonment emails, make it your priority right now.
3. Conversion rate
Conversion rates are like the litmus test for eCommerce web design and development. If you implement a new feature and see a bump in conversions – congratulations, you’ve just won at web design!
To truly understand which aspects of your website are working effectively, you should test conversion rates on your:
- Landing pages
- Product pages
- Checkout pages
Once you’ve established your conversion rates for these pages, you can start experimenting with different design strategies and then re-test to see what gets results.
Here are some kickass tactics to maximize conversions:
- Use clear, action-oriented, personal CTA’s (Buy Now, Reserve My Copy, etc.)
- Create urgency with sale timers, stock indicators, and next-day delivery timers
- Offer instant check-out options
- Provide alternative payment options (and display them on the Home page)
- Showcase reviews and user-generated content
Remember, using A/B testing will give you a clear view of which web design element gets the most conversions.
4. Bounce rate
Everyone starts somewhere. Even the hottest brands in the eCommerce game had cringe-worthy web design moments.
And when you’re building the greatest eCommerce website in history, you need to know when your pages are just, well, crap.
What’s the easiest way to tell if your web page is crap? Well, people take one look and…
Yeah, it’s not every day Urban Dictionary correctly defines a website analytics term – but here we are.
High bounce rates are a tell-tale sign that your landing pages or sales pages aren’t working because people are immediately clicking away.
Bounce rates are a powerful way to identify that there’s a problem. But, finding the solution to this will be more challenging and often depends on what you’re trying to achieve with the page.
Let’s take a look at some tried-and-tested strategies to minimize bounce rate on your eCommerce website:
- Increase page load speed – eCommerce sites lose $2b every year due to slow load speed
- Ensure mobile responsiveness
- Fix 404 errors
- Ensure the website copy aligns with the traffic source
- Integrate a survey that asks users questions when they scroll – was this helpful? Do you have any suggestions? What do you need from this page?
Once you get over the initial cringe of a high bounce rate, this is a powerful metric to drive your web design strategy.
This is where it’s crucial to have a results-driven web design agency on your side. They’ll create a clear process to tackle the barriers preventing visitors from navigating your site and making a purchase.
5. Average order value
Unlike some website analytics terms, this one does what it says on the tin. By knowing your average order value, you can direct your web design strategies to bump those rookie numbers up.
To maximize your average order value with web design, present upselling opportunities that are highly convenient to your customer.
Here are some clever ideas:
|Offer product bundles and advertise the discount compared to buying them separately||Manscaped offers men’s grooming kits with ‘free gifts’, highlighting the value that the customer gets for free.|
|Recommend complementary items when a product is added to the cart||When a customer adds an item to their bag, Sephora immediately recommends similar products to complete a makeup look.|
|Provide free shipping or discounts for a higher total purchase||Daniel Wellington’s home page immediately offers 20% and 25% off at higher purchase thresholds|