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3. ACTION PLAN, SETTING PRIORITIES AND THE FULL CUSTOMER JOURNEY

Before attempting to work with Google Analytics you should develop your detailed business plan and clarify your objectives. This approach makes Analytics becomes less difficult and complicated and the relevant information start to be more available. Below you can take a look on my way of using the tool.

WHAT IS THE BUSINESS OBJECTIVE OF E-COMMERCE?

Each online store or commercial website has a purpose, even if it is not visible on the page itself, as indeed it happens relatively often. The aim of the e-commerce sites is:

  1. to sell something - lead to a purchase,
  2. gain access to a user - to communicate with him/her - e.g. via subscribing to a newsletter,
  3. inform, teach about something, influence the user opinion - to bring the user to the decision about buying,
  4. umaintain good relationship with the user – to make him come back and buy again.

It should be noted that each of these 4 situations deals with a completely different user. Users have different aims and intentions so be sure to diversify your messages among them. Users have to measured individually.

You've just expanded your horizons and this is why you'll never look at the Analytics report as it used to be.

This situation looks exactly the same from the client side:

Your business is to Customer wants to
sell something buy
gain access to a user commune with the offers and salesmen related with an interesting product
inform, teach, affect the users review know and understand the offer
maintain good relationship with a user enjoy the purchased item

Full Customer Jurney

junge frau lernt zuhause am laptop

Anne wanted to buy proper headphones. She didn't know the market at all. She knew not to buy Beats by Dre headphones because they are too trendy and pretentious. She knew how much money is in her wallet too. Anne didn't knew anyone who could be an authority in audio filed. She started to search rankings. She found numerous websites containing description of headphones models. This is how she got her first outline of what she's looking for.

TThis is how todays customer journey may look like. It happens a lot between the appearance of desiring an item until buying it. The entire process takes place mainly outside shops. It is a poorly researched and long-range area to be explored by shop owners.

In Google Analytics you need to detect and measure so called Full Customer Journey

If you have noticed up till now only total visits, income and traffic sources it means you've missed all the fun. Below I'm presenting a quite different approach that is covering and modeling the entire active purchasing process. I've listed the most crucial KPI' (Key Performance Indicators) for each of these four states where a customer may show up. By using these indicators and everyday struggle to improve them will certainly better your profits and change your approach to doing business.

1. THE EXPLORING PROCESS

Customer need and desire is arisen. Therefore, customer learns a offer, gains additional knowledge, develops his opinion.

Indicators to track:

  1. visits and page depth of the information section,
  2. Visit duration of the info section,
  3. bounce rate of the info section,
  4. number of social shares of the info section,
  5. number of queries about the offer details - goal conversion of the request form.

2. ACCESS TO A USER

Customer is ready to be bound with the brand, asks for offer, subscribes the newsletter, follows the fan page, he's certainly ready for marketing.

Indicators to track:

  1. conversion of newsletter subscription,
  2. inquiry conversion.

3. SALES

The customer buys, negotiate terms, compares prices and offers.

Indicators to track:

  1. income,
  2. e-commerce conversion rate,
  3. average order value,
  4. % of cart abandonments and other purchasing process abandonments.

4. RELATIONSHIP

Customer communes with a product, can be happy or bad about it, may have doubts, encounters issues, has a complaint, wants to buy more.

Indicators to track:

  1. the customer life time value
  2. visits at help and complaints section - specific for certain on-line store

Your Analytics dashboard should contain all above mentioned metrics. The rest of the information is usually redundant. Inquiring the remaining data will be a unique and rarely performed activity. Isn't it easier to track from 5 up to 10 important digits than their unlimited amount?

Of course, you should not forget about controlling the very general data such as: number of website visits, bounce rate or average time spent on a site.

HOW DOES SUCH AN APPROACH BENEFIT?

First of all, the major perk is a complete and realistic look of your business. Contrary to popular definitions, conversion isn't simply a balance of store visits and purchases. Visits differ a lot because each of them has a different reason. When not considering the long cognitive phase (every customer undergoes it before purchasing an item) and focusing on intense promotion directed only on the sales phase, cannot guarantee an optimum conversion. Neglecting a relationship and access to a user may result in rising the costs of sales. Being concentrated only on sales will limit overall abilities and your income. If your competitor will focus on discovering the phase and will make potential customers attached to his store, your marketing efforts wont be enough to get them back. Your dynamic business development requires to address each of the above mentioned steps of customers journey.

WHAT IS ESSENTIAL FOR MY STORE?

You know best. In this buying cycle each product requires individual stress distribution. As far as part of the sales will be the same for each product, the phase of learning may vary depending on the complexity of the offer. The relationship stage however, depends on purchase frequency and your supports quality. Customer access phase is always important regardless of what kind of product we offer.

WHAT SPECIFIC BENEFITS WILL I TAKE?

First of all, you shall focus on improving far-reaching aspects of your business because you'll learn how to get them objectively assessed. Secondly, you will be able to knowingly buy marketing for your shop via apt selection of its form and communication method to relevant phases of the procurement cycle. In total, you'll get a significant increase of sales effectiveness and at the same time you'll learn what are the causes. Remember that each phase of the buying cycle are linked together: a good promotion handout may obtain a positive result on sales, an excellent relationship with a customer may result in having him back for further purchases, moreover, newsletter subscription will allow you to promote new arrivals with no additional costs.

HOW TO SELECT CHANNELS OF COMMUNICATION FOR VARIOUS PHASES OF PROCUREMENT CYCLE?

As has already been mentioned, we should use different messages and channels of communication. Someone who does not know the offer of sports footwear rather wont buy any shoes by clicking on the banner that promotes them. Someone who knows exactly what model he wants to buy, wont read the guidebook addressed to novice runners.

A chart below prepared by Google shows the importance of various channels during different phases. This is an example of statistical approach and keep in mind that your business may require a totally different approach. What makes it so important is the awareness of these differences.

Full customer Jurney

More info available at: thinkwithgoogle.com/[..]

Write down what do you want to measure and why before proceeding to further chapters. What is most important in this business? Are the above mentioned phases of customer journey going to fit your industry?

Create a document that describes what you want to measure.

On the basis of this document we'll configure your Analytics. Pass the document to technical support that will help you implement appropriate improvements of your store. This will be your guide. There's no need to focus on giving proper names to these indicators. In the following chapters you will learn about their professional names. Now just write what is most important for you and what do you want to track and improve.

That's the theory. Let's move on to practice. I will show you a step by step instruction to implement everything you've read.

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