Web analytics is can be defined as the process of collecting, reporting and analyzing web data to understand and optimize a website. Web analytics is a tool for analyzing the website traffic and is also very effective tool for market research. It enables companies to create campaigns and advertisements based on the analytics results. Web Analytics considers the unique visitors, site uptime, bounce rate, new and returning visitors, average page view durations, clicks.
An example of web analytics tool is Spring Metrics. It is a free analytics tool that provides robust web analytics for web data.
2. GA Benchmarking
Google allows comparing data of a website with other industry aggregated data; the process is known as Benchmarking. In order to use this feature of Google Analytics, GA asks for sharing the data anonymously with it. The report from GA Benchmarking is through Industry Verticals, country region specific or by volume of daily sessions. GA provides channel benchmarks, location benchmarks, and devices benchmarks.
E-commerce application must use GA benchmarking feature as it enables to compare the website performance with other applications in the industry. Benchmarking also enables to locate performance problems and provides an estimate as well of how to improve the site metrics like user visits, page views, site uptime and returning users.
3. Travel Website Benchmarking
Travel Website: http://sauditourism.sa/
The above mentioned travel website is a popular tourism website that provides a lot of information about Saudi tourism. The below Google Analytics benchmarking can be done on this website.
In Email channel benchmarking, an email campaign newsletter is generated with the purpose of producing traffic and click-through rates. The data is then analyzed over industry benchmark to provide results.
In Social Benchmarking, Google Analytics benchmark the website against information from various activities and data from social media. This information will enable the sauditourism.sa website to understand its web presence on social media against other travel websites in the industry.
4. GA Metrics
There are four types of metrics provided by Google Analytics as part of its benchmarking results. The types of metrics are
Session: The session metrics enables to understand the new sessions created on the website, this information gives an understanding of new users coming on the website and also the total number of users on the website. The percentage of sessions is also provided as part of the analytics.
Page Visits: This metric defines the number of pages visited on the website.
Average Time on Site: This metric defines the average time spent on the website. This is a key indicator in defining the performance and usability of the website. The data is benchmarked against information from other web data of the travel industry. It will enable the sauditravel.sa website to understand its response time and get other valuable insights with respect to site response time and user interaction.
Bounce Rates: Bounce rate gives an understanding of the number of people that visit the website, but do not visit any other page. This comparison is benchmarked against other websites in the travel domain based on the benchmarking type selected.
5.Visitors: The visitor's section indicates the number of unique and new visitors on the site.
Traffic Sources: The traffic sources section from google analytics is a very useful tool in analyzing the various traffic sources and beneficial for e-commerce sites to plan their content and advertising based on these results. There are three indicators of traffic sources
Direct Traffic: This is an indicator of those users that are coming directly on the site. It is through typing the URL on their browser, clicking on a bookmarked link in their favorites, or clicking on the link in an email or message. This kind of traffic indicates that the offline marketing is successful.
Referring Traffic: Referring Traffic is an indicator of the website traffic from other sites. It is a good indicator of social media presence and back links and popularity or presence of the website on other websites.
Search Engine Traffic: Search based traffic is the one that results from search results on search engines like Google, Bing, AliBaba, Yahoo or any other similar search provider. This kind of traffic can be either organic or non-organic that is non-paid traffic or paid traffic. This kind of traffic is an indicator that the website has good content and an excellent software platform.
The analytics provide information about new and existing visitors. A visitor is considered to be a new visitor if he or she visits the website first time. All other visitors are considered to be existing visitors. The prospect management is identifying the prospective visitors from the new and existing visitors that may be converted into customers. The conversion rate is to identify the visitors that end up doing some site specific activity like clicking on an advertisement or purchasing a product. The indicators useful to manage prospects are Visit Duration, Repeat Visitor and Page Views per visit.
The measurement of stickiness of a website is done by using KPI (Key Performance Indicators) like Visitor Loyalty, Average Pageviews per visit, New and Returning Visitors percentage and Bounce Rate. The outcomes of the analytics reveal the overall performance measure of the website, if analytics reveals that the site has low stickiness score that means people are staying less on the website. The analytics would force the site administrators to change their content and other feature to improve the site performance.
8.A few important factors resulting in high bounce rate are
- Lack of an attractive and coherent website design including the landing page and page content.
- Incorrect implementation of site tracking code which results in missing the analytics
- User behavior, where a user bookmarks the website, visits and leaves it without any action.
On visiting http://markavip.com below observations, were found that explains the high bounce rate.
- The website has a slow response time.
- Content is not search oriented, a lot of clicks is required to reach an interested page
- The UI design is old, and it is not using best features of HTML5 and CSS
The analytics are categorized into various market segments that relate to site metrics like location, gender, visitor profile, age. The available segments for analysis are user type that is returning user or new user, country or territory and e-commerce conversion rate.
The analytics data can help determine the visitor traffic sources. The sources can be search engine, direct, referring sites or any other type like email or social media and instant messaging. The knowledge of traffic sources would help determine the strategy for creating a viral marketing branding campaigns, it would give a direction if search engines should be focused or email campaigns. The SEO (Search Engine Optimization), SEM (Search Engine Marketing) and social media can help create branding and increase website traffic. The goals need to be set in terms of increasing the website presence on these marketing tools.
Google Analytics provides an effective way to manage and set goals. These goals can be set inside the analytics account and monitored from there itself. The goals can be of different type like destination, duration, pages per visit or event goals.
A ecommerce sales funnel can be defined as a system or a process that is designed to increase the traffic on the site and thereby its sales. The goals for a sales funnel include increasing website traffic, sales lead, new and return visitors, new subscriptions and memberships and increased repeated purchase. An important aspect of sales funnel is to increase loyalty as well by enhancing repeat visitors.
A marketing sales funnel strategy for ecommerce website is:
- Set up blogs, referrals and advertisement for the website
- Enhance SEO optimized content on the blogs
- Setup an Email and password page to optimize the registration part.
- At the point of customer exit put a tracking cookie to track repeat customers
- Send automated follow up emails to visiting customers
- Setup exclusive and attractive deals for customers
Auto-tagging is a feature that helps to track ad performance by creating automatically custom URLs through Google Analytics. This is very beneficial in performance tracking of pages and ad words. The feature is turned off by default and requires to be set manually in order to activate it. In order to enable Auto-Tagging, go to Account Settings, preferences page and enable the feature from the Tracking section.
Transaction tracking in ecommerce sites is the tracking of a particular transaction till its completion or the last state. The ecommerce transaction tracking also gives information about user behavior and activities on the website. The transaction tracking method enables to derive information like number of transactions done, products purchased by user, time taken to purchase products. The information is beneficial in determining the best selling products, categorization of product selling by direct or referral sites, revenue per transaction and time taken by customer to complete an order.
1.Social media marketing is the strategy for brand development of a website utilizing social media and networking websites. SMM is focused on creating content that can be shared over social media platforms and liked and further shared by users.
Some examples of great social media marketing are
a. Oreo. The cookie company Oreo has creating an attractive twitter account. The account is well managed and actively updated. Pictures and short video are used to make the account interactive.
b. Eat24. Eat24 is a food delivery service. It is a coupon site and has made itself very active on social media sites like twitter and facebook. The site actively engages its audiences through tweets, images and videos.
c. CrazyEgg.com. The website has a powerful social media presence it has been able to increase its user base high amount by use of social media tactics. It has a high visit rate.
d. Delta Airline. The airline company has employed several people to manage and maintain the company’s social media accounts. It ensures to pacify customer feelings and complaints through effective interaction over the social media sites.
Social media marketing goes hand-in-hand with corporate social responsibility. SMM can be used to enhance the social awareness on various sensitive topics. A few examples in KSA where CSR has been benefitted by SMM are
a. Soft skills training through social media campaigns to enable the labor force of Saudi Arabia. This is done by a training company Al Saud that prepares trainees to deal with unsupportive customers.
b. Awareness campaigns of enabling people through social media.
3.The two types of social media participation for a business are
- Social Media Presence: Create social media presence on various platforms like twitter, facebook and linkedin.
- Social Media Engagement and Participation: Engage existing and new users through interactive videos, company information, images and tweets and posts.
Viral marketing is utilizing the social networks for promoting products, service or an idea. The information is spread through word-of-mouth as consumers talks among themselves. The viral marketing happens in FaceBook and LinkedIn as users share, like and comments on the posts. Through twitter it happens by liking, making favorite or re-tweeting tweets. Use of hashtag is also a popular way of viral marketing.
SMM has an important role in the success of e-commerce. Effective SMM strategies ensure that existing users are retrieved and new customers are generated. It is also an effective to approach people and generate feedback on the products.
The barriers of effective consumer interaction over the virtual world and customer loyalty are over passed through SMM. SMM allows for higher customer interaction and effective tool for online e-commerce business to reach out and pacify customers and bring them back to the site.
SMM generates a higher user base for e-commerce sites. Social Media Marketing is all about creating awareness campaigns and interacting with the user base. Social Media Presence is effective content creation and building a presence on major social networking platforms like Twitter, FaceBook, LinkedIn and Youtube.
A CRM system stores data in a central system. CRM provides a historical view of information for a customer. CRM also provides segmentation for a range of fields. CRM is beneficial for managing new business. CRM is cost-effective through use of technologies and easy to manage, reducing manual work. CRM enables efficiently managing customers and providing needed services thereby leading high customer satisfaction. Figure 1 shows interaction and integration path of social media and CRM.
Figure 1: Integrating Social Media with CRM (Crmsolutions.crmnext.com)
Social media gives effective tools to engage the existing and old customer based thereby increasing the chances of bringing back inactive customers. CRM provides the necessary customer information to engage them through social media.
11.The steps to an effective SMM plan are
- Define goals and objectives for a social media plan
- Conduct an audit of existing social media presence and engagement
- Improve existing accounts or create new accounts on social media.
- Create a content plan and a calendar of schedule.
- Launch, test and improvise the plan.
The nine e-commerce activities for an order fulfillment are:
- Order Booking
- Order Confirmation
- Invoice / Billing
- Order Sourcing
- Order Changes
- Order Processing
- Order Delivery
The problems in order fulfillment are
Updating Customer on Shipment
Both of these problems are inter-related and effective tracking mechanism is the key solution.
The important changes to supply chain industry are
a. Effective customer interaction and engagement
b. Updated information to all stake holders in short duration
c. Reduction of production cost and fast movement of products.
d. Enhanced market opportunities.
The problems of supply chain are:
a. Globalization of operation. The solution is to increase global footprint through effective partnerships.
b. Faster delivery and quality. Improve the delivery process and enhance accountability at every stage of the supply chain process.
RFID is evolving technology that enables identifying and tracking of products and related information. It is a major enabler for the supply chain industry and integrates technology.
Collaborative e-commerce is the combination of e-commerce knowledge management and social media to carry out activities with and across the organization. It is the new and emerging field of e-commerce.
The challenges adding e-commerce to existing business are:
a. Effective integration of technology
b. Interactive and appealing website.
c. Migration of all data
d. Management of shipment and delivery of products.
The road map for e-commerce:
- Identify the key business functions
- Identify the technology aspects, cost and budget.
- Get website domain and hosting
- Identify the IT partners for website development and payment integration.
- Create social media accounts and analytics accounts
- Integrate product information and supply chain system.
- Make the website live.
Steps for building an e-commerce website for EC:
a. Identifying website name
b. Get website domain name created and get hosting
c. Develop the website User Interface and backend logic
d. Integrate payment gateways
e. Integrate product images
f. Integrate delivery and shipment logistics
g. Promote site on social media
Choices of web hosting:
The main challenge for content creation for e-commerce websites should be SEO optimized and it should be regularly updated. The payment gateway should be secure.
6.Guidelines for a good web site design.
a. The website should have an attractive and easy to use User Interface
b. The website should have a easy to understand navigation flow
c. Search features should be strong and user friendly
d. Integration of payment gateway should be seamless and secure.
The types of e-commerce services are:
B2C: Business to Customer
B2B: Business to Business
C2C: Customer to Customer
C2B: Customer to Business
Burby, J., & Brown, A. (2007). Web analytics definitions. Washington DC:
Web Analytics Association.
Crmsolutions.crmnext.com. (2014). High Impact CRM Solutions: Social CRM.
Retrieved 14 December 2014,