A Kent based business and customers without borders…Google Analytics and supermarkets?
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Google analytics is a powerful, simple to use and most importantly free to use package, providing huge insight into your business both on and off line.
Knowing your business means knowing your customers, where as an established Kent based business you will have demonstrated a level of success at a local level, whatever your product or service happens to be. However, the internet represents the opportunity to engage customers without borders. To do so both successfully and cost effectively requires new ways to understand not just your customer, but how that individual customer will come into contact with your business, and what will make them ultimately convert to a sale.
I would suggest Google analytics is a very good place to start understanding, how your customers find you online, and what they do once they’ve found you. A great way to explain analytics is the real world analogy of the supermarket:
A real world example
Consider the planning and accumulated knowledge that has shaped the real world shopping experiences we all endure at the hands of the big supermarkets. Every detail, no matter how abstract or seemingly insignificant is planned to maximise the revenue they can extract from your pocket once you’re through the door. The more obvious such as the loss leading promotions, BOGOFs and “free gifts” are useful, but the real science is much more subtle. Much is based on the proven principle that the longer you remain in the store, the more you will buy, which is why dairy and skin care, things you may just pop in to buy are located at the rears of the stores. Similarly, the layout and placement of every product on the shelves is designed such that you will scan the high margin products, and be led towards complimentary purchases (wine and cheese for example). Special offers fill the valuable positions at the end of the aisles, and discounted, so called excess stock, stacked high with purposefully hand hand written signs lure you into impulse purchases. Does anyone actually pay full price for the bottles of wine that are only sold at full price for a couple of weeks, before being almost permanently discounted? Supermarket “scientists” don’t purely base these marketing ploys on the sales figures, but carefully watch and analyse the actual habits of the shoppers, as they scan and meander through the shops, poking and pausing to consider what next to place in their baskets.
An Online translation…
Essentially, this is what Google analytics allows you to see, from where and when the customer enters your website, what and how long they spend looking at the pages, and when and where they leave from. At a top level, the information is very clear and can be viewed in various charts and graphical interpretations. This is the great strength of Google analytics, that once you’ve established which metrics are relevant and actionable to you as a business (total visitors, location of visitors, conversion etc.), you’ve the ability to delve into a not insignificant level of detail. The level of detail is astonishing, and frankly, occupies a vast amount of time and experience to really understand, however, when expertly interpreted can play a huge advantage in defining your business online.
The internet, much like a horse race, often only requires the smallest of advantages as a business to succeed. Staying even marginally ahead of a competitor may mean you get the first and only chance to close a customer. With limited resources, as any company has, making well informed decisions as to where to apply them is critical, and I would suggest Google Analytics provides a fantastic place to start.
I hope you’ve found this article useful, and would love to hear any thoughts or questions you may have on getting started, or developing your business online.
We’re just passionate about what we do, and who we do it for!
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