Selling Products With Web Analytics

:: Three Web Analytics Insights to Help Merchants Sell More Products This Holiday ::

Website Magazine's upcoming edition (February 2010 - distributed in the first week of January) is all about Performance Analytics. While that's a pretty immense topic area, it's stands to be one of the more valuable editions we publish all year.

As you might guess, we're entrenched in all things "analytics" these days so we're taking a snippet of that pending issue today and showing merchants how to leverage three key Web analytics metrics and how to use the insights gained to position products on an ecommerce storefront.

Now that it has been at least one week since Black Friday and Cyber Monday have concluded, if we've been receiving good quality traffic we should have some good data to work with. There is often so much information available in analytics however that it can be difficult to determine what would be appropriate to let users see.

If you're struggling with what analytics data will help you sell products this holiday, here's a hint: make available the information that will help you sell more products. Let's look at few topic areas of analytics which will help merchants build trust with their users (and of course make the cash register go cha-ching).

Best Selling Items by Category: You might think you know what products are "hot" right now in the minds of consumers but it's only the buying visitors that can provide you with accurate data in this regard. Presenting three to four of the best-selling items by category (perhaps in the past day or week) applies a bit of pressure to the shopper as they can clearly see what others are purchasing and want to get in on the action. While many will argue that using social media to identify what items are flying off the virtual shelves, these resources are often a bit misguided. Only your analytics account won't lie.

Top User-Rated Items by Category: It's never too late to make modifications to your landing pages. One of the most profitable changes I've discovered in my conversations with merchants is enabling users to rate items and showing those ratings to other visitors. While showing the best selling items acts as pressure, showing top user-rated items relieves some of that pressure by building trust. It's the "if they like it, I probably will too" sort of feeling that showing items with the highest number of ratings or comments can provide. You'll clearly need to force registrations and actively pursue former buyers to be able to display this type of information but we all should realize how valuable that is. If you don't just think about the term "lifetime value."

Best Value for Buyers: Everybody loves a discount and savvy merchants know that showing items which have the greatest price cuts are always going to spur buying. If you haven't considered running a deal-of-the-day section on your site and profiling that information on your site, outwardly through email notices, to your Twitter followers or Facebook fans, then you're going to have a very un-merry holiday season. While few merchants want to position themselves as purveyors of discount goods, if that's what consumers want, you'd be foolish not to offer it to them - at least in a limited way.

What analytics data do you use to help you sell more products?
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