It’s been almost a year since the pandemic started and retailers’ business operations were affected: For better or for worse.
There are two main trends that increased exponentially: People were getting in touch with you through your website, chat, or social media channels more than ever and your online sales increased if you had your shopping cart function activated. You understand now that you need to be e-commerce active. You have an online store and that helped you navigate the first year of the pandemic.
How to read and apply any changes to your online strategy.
We get it! You are a small business owner and wear a lot of hats. Today you should wear the Online Analyst hat to see how to better use your website or increase your online visibility. Take 30 minutes and do this exercise:
Become a beginner analyst
- Start by signing into your Google Analytics account and review the most important sections: The Audience and Acquisition section.
2. On the Acquisition section change the dates of the report for the past year and start analyzing the main metrics:
a. Users = website visitors
b. Pages/sessions = This will help you determine if the products/services you are promoting are meeting the visitors‘ expectations.
c. Avg. Session Duration: average time spent on the website. This will help you see if the visitors are engaging with your website content.
d. Bounce Rate: Again, this will tell you if what you were promoting meets the visitors‘ expectations. Having banners with compelling offers on the homepage, keeping your website up to date, and having pricing will help decrease this rate.
Now that you understand the main metrics, compare them to previous years and see if you can find a trend or if the traffic behaved the same way, regardless of the pandemic.
The acquisition data will give you a glimpse on where your visitors were coming from. We call this a traffic source or Channels:
Based on the origin, you can see where you can invest your efforts. For example, working on your social media efforts or social media campaigns to increase traffic and engagement or making paid search campaigns to increase your online sales or leads.
Finally, verify the Ecommerce data within the Conversion section.
If you have a shopping cart function enabled on your website, you can see how your products were performing and the source (organic traffic, direct traffic, social, paid search, etc.) of those conversions, as well as your visitors’ shopping behavior. You can determine where to put your online efforts and how to allocate your online investment. What we suggest is having an advertisement budget that will cover all your bases: Google Ads, Facebook/Instagram Ads and, if you can, an SEO budget.
Obviously last year at the same dates, we didn’t know what to expect and didn’t know what was going to be the pandemic’s impact on your business operations. Comparing this data with the analytics from this year would be difficult. But if there is one thing you can do, it’s to use the data to work on your customer retention to improve your services and add-ons.