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If you’re an e-commerce site, increasing your conversion rate is key to running your business. But making blind changes to your site or marketing campaigns can be counterproductive. You first need to understand your users:
In this post, we’ll discuss four methods you can use to better understand your users: Session Analysis, Aggregate Analytics, User Studies, and Surveys. Each method has different strengths and weaknesses, so you will likely want to try a few of these in concert to best understand your site and your users.
The Four Methods for Understanding Your E-Commerce Users:
Session analysis is an evaluation of site data (i.e. “time on a page” and “navigation flow”) for a select number of users.
Spring Metrics, other analytics tools, or your server logs.
This is a quick and easy first step that will get you started within just a few minutes. While you should be able to target individual user data, you won’t be able to ask “why” to your user. You’re also limited on how many users you can realistically analyze.
Aggregate analytics is simply reviewing all of your site data and metrics to help identify user trends.
Analyzing your global, overall web data can help you determine high-level user trends. For example, you should be able to pinpoint where most of your visitors come from, and which of your marketing efforts are most effective.
User studies are observations of individuals using your site. In most cases, the users are speaking out loud as they browse your site so you gain insight into their thought processes.
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A User Study in Action:
Hearing users’ uncertainty and confusion when they hit one of your pages is invaluable. In addition, having them tell you what they don’t like, what they would prefer, and what they expected (compared to what they saw) is an eye-opening experience.
A survey is generally a collection of responses tied to specific questions or tasks that are asked to a large audience.
In some situations, a survey can be helpful because it can address topics that may not be directly site-related. Sometimes the problem might be more product or policy related.
Each method of analysis helps you to better understand nuances related to user trends and behavior—and each brings additional feedback that helps you figure out how to serve your customers best. Generally, you will want to choose several methods to get a well-rounded perspective before you dive into changing your site and campaigns. If you do the analysis work ahead-of-time, you can save time in the long run and gain more satisfied customers.
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