You have probably thought of ways to improve your website. We’re sure you’ve even heard about the various metrics that can help you measure how your e-store is doing. However, knowing how to choose the most appropriate tool for your e-store may not always be instinctual. We’ve become closely familiar with the most popular and commonly used tools for tracking web metrics and formed a list of which we think are the best. Take a look, and perhaps you’ll find the answer to the tool that will perfectly meet your current business needs!
Analytics tools help you measure your online business performance with the following metrics: sales conversion traffic, value per visit, cart abandonment rate, average order size, average order value, customer lifetime value, and many others. There is a range of analytics tools that can fulfill the needs of any business.
The most popular analytics tools for online stores:
- Google Analytics is the most commonly used service, not only by e-commerce websites. Coupled with its exceptional traffic measurement capacity, Google Analytics also has no competition when it comes to tracking funnels (referred to as “goals”), that help track any changes in users’ statuses during their journey through the e-store. On the downside, when it comes to tracking events, this tool leaves much to be desired. For basic needs you can use the free version, but if you need to process big data, you should use the premium version.
- Kissmetrics is considered to be a perfect choice when it comes to the e-commerce sphere. Like Google Analytics, it is useful for funnel tracking, and like the more e-commerce-focused analytics tools – it is good in tracking events. In comparison with other tools, Kissmetrics allows you to edit and tune funnels much easier and faster, as well as create reports with its intuitive report builder (this is a real treasure if you are non-techie). The report builder uses only exact metrics, without any history limits or data sampling. Nevertheless, you shouldn’t rely on Kissmetrics if you need traffic analysis, because that is its weak point.
- MixPanel is a close alternative to the above-mentioned Kissmetrics, but more developer-friendly. Unlike Google Analytics, MixPanel provides real-time data. MixPanel functionality also includes A/B tests and user-survey forms. This tool is the perfect solution for you if you’re mostly interested in clear customer segmentation, retention analysis, and tracking events.
- Clicky is an affordable web-based analytics tool, very similar to Google Analytics with its set of functionality, but with fewer features. Though Clicky is one of the most user-friendly tools, it doesn’t go deep into data collection. Instead, it provides a quick overview of essential data. Clicky is good for traffic analysis, but it is not the best option for measuring funnels.
- CrazyEgg provides users with its famous heat, click and scroll maps – a specific sort of visualization of the collected data. It measures the amount of the customer’s actions within a specific page and then shows user behavior on different areas of the page, coloring the most and least popular areas. You can see a sample of Heatmap in action below. CrazyEgg is amazing for tracking events, but poor for measuring funnels.
- Adobe Marketing Cloud (AMC) is a complex product with six separate solutions that can manage virtually any task. AMC is one of the more costly products on the market, so Adobe focuses strictly on large companies who they believe need to get only the best solutions for their business
You can learn more about useful analytics tools right here.
Business Intelligence Tools
Business intelligence (BI) can help you answer crucial questions such as: where your best potential customers are located, how you can retain more customers, when the best time to reach out to past connections is, what your best products are, and many more.
Intended to help you make decisions, in addition to collecting and visualizing data, BI tools also help you to interpret it. Along with the main functionality – providing various reports in many options such as ad hoc reports, dashboards, etc, this group of tools can offer you profitability analysis, budgeting and forecasting, predictive analytics, and much more.
Though much in line with other analytics tools, BI tools go deeper in the work with data. Besides gathering raw business data from various sources and structuring it in order to provide you with insights, it also has predictive capability, which allows it to determine the likelihood of future events using online analytical processing (OLAP), data mining, data modeling, and forecasting.
At Whidegroup, we build e-commerce solutions on Magento, so we would like to draw your attention to Magento’s BI product. It provides you with more than 100 various reports that can be edited in just a few clicks. Easy to use – you have no need to alter your code or install any extensions. The only thing you have to do is to sign up, which takes less than one minute.
There are two versions – Essential and Pro. Both versions contain Magento and Google Analytics data source integration, SQL reports builder, email summaries, etc. In addition to the functionality listed above, the Pro version enables you to customize your offerings, get access to the data warehouse manager, receive additional support, and add unlimited data sources manually.
Usability Testing Tools Will Be Indispensable
Usability plays a very important role in customer retention. Unclear product descriptions, confusing interface, inconvenient product search, and long registration forms are all features of an online store delivering a poor user experience. Usability testing tools help you determine whether your store is user-friendly.
We have found that the following tools are indispensable when it comes to usability testing:
- Optimizely platform offers you an absolutely free basic plan. Its wide range of features includes mobile website testing, cross-browser testing, multivariate testing, geotargeting, visitor segmentation, etc.
- FiveSecondTest is a testing tool which takes only 5 seconds to run for every test. The whole process is very simple: you have to upload a screenshot or page mockup, then it is reviewed by random testers for five seconds before answering the questions, and then the answers are collected and displayed for you.
- Qualaroo is a tool that helps you build perfect usability by analyzing visitor response and then targeting them with tailored follow-up questions and real-time surveys. Integration with Salesforce and Marketo is also a good bonus.
- Usabilla is positioned as one of the most comprehensive packages for user experience research. Depending on the plan you have chosen, you can access mobile feedback, exit surveys, targeted feedback forms, and more.
Email Marketing Tools
Email marketing for e-commerce is considered to be one of the most cost-effective marketing methods. Email-marketing tools automate the process of sending emails, creating user segments, and analyzing the effectiveness of your campaigns.
We recommend that you draw your attention toward the following tools:
- MailChimp is a freemium tool for email marketing that provides you with in-depth reporting at the end of your advertising email campaigns. With MailChimp, it’s easy to create your own templates, or choose and customize readymade ones from a large collection.
- Zoho Campaigns enables you to interact with your audience via highly-personalized emails. It also includes individual solutions such as the integration of your apps to automate your email marketing process. Finally, it delivers the possibility to create custom reports containing only your needed fields.
- GetResponse is a user-friendly tool that offers unlimited mailing, Google Analytics integration, and a variety of other advanced features.
- Constant Contact provides their customers with affordable plans, great help materials, and numerous email templates that can be easily customized using the drag-and-drop editor. Constant Contact also strictly follows CAN-SPAM and CASL legislation.
- AWeber is email marketing software that stands out from other email marketing tools due to its splendid support model that includes a blog, phone calls, knowledge base, various guides, webinars and how-to videos.
Performance Measurement Tools
It’s hard to imagine something more annoying than a slow page load while visiting an online store. Maile Ohye from Google claims: “2 seconds is the threshold for e-commerce website acceptability. At Google, we aim for under half a second.” Moreover, for Google, page load speed is a factor that influences ranking in search engine results. To measure page loading speed and your website performance you may need performance measurement tools.
Here are some of them:
- PageSpeed Insights is a web-based tool, created by Google, that analyzes pages and its content by specified URL, shows results in points (max value is equal to 100), and then gives recommendations on how to optimize page speed. For Chrome users, PageSpeed Insights is a built-in feature.
- YSlow browser extension analyzes pages by URLs and then suggests various ways to improve their performance based on common recommendations and good practices of high performance web pages.
- GTmetrix is a tool that not only provides a standard function for performance measurement (such as analysis of website speed), but also allows users to create filmstrips of their page loads and pinpoint where exactly the bottlenecks and stoppages occur.
- Pingdom is a performance measurement tool that enables users with the possibility to test availability of a specific website from any country, and get immediate alerts about any outages.
We can help you implement any of the tools listed above, as well as many others. Among the most popular ones we are experienced with are PageSpeed Insights, MailChimp and Zoho Campaigns. We have integrated Google Analytics in every project we’ve worked with. For some projects, we combined it with other tools for a more detailed store performance analysis, and KPI tracking.
Having a variety of tools can arm you with easy-to-understand reports that illustrate your store’s successes and weaknesses, thereby showing you what fixes can be made. Just choose the tools exclusively for your business needs and take your website to an even better level!