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Ecommerce Analytics is About Asking the Right Questions

Marcell Ziemann

The importance of asking the right questions cannot be understated. Just like in Douglas Adams’ The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, where the world’s greatest computer failed to provide a satisfactory answer due to a lack of specific questioning, in ecommerce analytics, asking the right questions is the key to obtaining valuable insights.

Avoiding Narrow Questions

One common pitfall in ecommerce analytics is focusing on narrow questions that solely address ecommerce concerns without considering their impact on the overall business. While it may be helpful to monitor metrics like conversion rates, customer acquisition costs, or average order value, these transactional metrics may not pique the interest of company executives.

Understanding the Bigger Picture

Executives want to understand how these metrics affect overall business performance and profitability. They want to know which aspects of the ecommerce operation are driving higher conversion rates or customer satisfaction and why. They are looking for insights that will guide strategic decisions and drive future improvements, rather than simply recapping past data.

The Danger of Vague Questions

Furthermore, it is not enough to consider the bigger picture, but also to ask specific and targeted questions. Vague analytics questions lead to vague answers that do not provide actionable insights. Just like asking about the meaning of “Life, the universe, and everything,” asking general questions in ecommerce analytics will yield ambiguous results.

Integrating Context into the Questions

To ask the right question in ecommerce analytics, it is crucial to integrate it directly into the context of the business. Ecommerce cannot be viewed in isolation; it needs to consider market trends, customer preferences, and competitive forces that impact online sales. By understanding the business pain points, ecommerce professionals can identify where improvements are needed and determine the factors that contribute to success.

Collaborating with Other Leaders

Luckily, ecommerce provides a wealth of data, although there may be challenges ensuring data quality. With a comprehensive and well-targeted approach, interesting insights can be uncovered. However, ecommerce professionals should not tackle these questions alone. Collaborating with other business leaders, such as marketing or IT, can provide a holistic view of the ecommerce ecosystem and lead to effective problem-solving and performance improvements.

Example - Cart Abandonment

For example, if there is a high cart abandonment rate, ecommerce professionals can go beyond the numbers to uncover the reasons behind it. Are there specific product categories or pages where customers tend to abandon their carts? Can they gather feedback from customers or conduct A/B testing to understand the causes? Additionally, understanding the impact of marketing initiatives or website design on cart abandonment can provide valuable insights for improvement.

Presenting the Information Effectively

Asking the right questions is just the beginning of the ecommerce analytics journey. Presenting and communicating the information in a way that is business-friendly and relevant to ecommerce stakeholders is equally important. By doing so, ecommerce professionals can utilize analytics effectively to enhance the online shopping experience, drive customer loyalty, and ultimately achieve ecommerce success.

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