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Why Ecommerce Companies Need Ecommerce-Specific Marketing Measurement

June 5, 2023

If you’re like most early-stage ecommerce companies, you’re using Google Analytics or similar basic tools for attribution. These tools allow growing brands to understand site traffic and begin to map out where their customers are coming from. But these website traffic tools, while free and easily accessible, do not provide the ecommerce marketing analytics essential to drive the growth of an ecommerce business.

Google Analytics, for example, tracks visitors (new users), not customers (purchasers). While they may help brands understand traffic sources, they don’t provide the ecommerce marketing analytics needed to guide future strategies that, for example, will transform initial purchasers into repeat customers.

Brands relying on free traffic tools may be leaving money on the table. Here’s why ecommerce companies should rethink tools like Google Analytics that aren’t designed specifically for ecommerce. And how ecommerce marketing analytics tools purpose-built for ecommerce sites open up many new opportunities for growth.

Widely-used metrics aren’t necessarily the most helpful metrics

Many early-stage ecommerce companies rely too heavily on vanity metrics (such as email opens or bounce rates) that are easy and cheap to access but don’t actually tell you how your business is performing. 

Performance indicators like website traffic, social media following size, email list volume, or page views can give you a sense of how many people are superficially engaging with your brand, but brand awareness is just the starting point of ecommerce marketing. 

For instance, Google Analytics is good at showing how many visitors a site is getting, which could help a media site just as much as an ecommerce site simply wanting to understand how many people are checking out its store. But for an ecommerce brand, what good is that information if you don’t know what led visitors to purchase and how likely they are to make a future purchase? 

How deep is the intelligence that visitor numbers provide? And what would you gain by going deeper?

Google Analytics in particular also offers ecommerce sites limited control over measurement. For example, Google recently said it would kill several of its attribution models, including first-click. Companies who use attribution tools like this are ceding an enormous amount of control, relying on another company’s judgment as to what models they should or shouldn’t have access to. In other words, relying on free tools like Google Analytics means giving up options to understand what’s happening on your site.

Can you afford to have shallow intelligence on your customers that is also out of your control?

Purpose-built ecommerce marketing analytics software provides greater value

Ecommerce companies need measurement tools that give them access to their customer data and allow for a holistic picture of your first-party customers and their conversion behavior, not just visitor numbers. 

One service ecommerce marketing analytics software should provide is to help you identify your customers and how they found you. The tool should be able to separate visitors from customers (i.e., visitors who actually make a purchase). Even better, it should be able to tell you the percentage of visitors from each marketing channel who made initial and subsequent purchases.

Another crucial aspect of analytics purpose-built for ecommerce is the ability to measure the value of customers over time. Such tools help you track the time between subsequent purchases, giving you insights into customer loyalty and opportunities to improve retention. 

Ecommerce marketing analytics allow you to adjust your marketing and customer engagement strategies, ultimately driving long-term growth. For example, if you know customers who come in via paid search tend to drop off and never make a second purchase after 60 days, you can retarget those customers before that point to reduce churn.

How Dimensions helps with ecommerce marketing attribution

Dimensions is one example of a marketing attribution tool built specifically for ecommerce companies. Dimensions allows you to do all of the following, none of which is available via Google Analytics:

  • Access machine learning-generated revenue forecasts and marketing recommendations
  • Measure the weight (credit for a conversion) of each marketing channel
  • Assess the probability of purchase for customers who come via each channel
  • Follow an individual customer’s journey to purchase and their subsequent interactions
  • Configure the attribution lookback window for up to 600 days
  • Use multiple attribution models and compare reports from any two models

By taking advantage of services like Dimensions, you’ll be able to better assess your site’s performance and truly measure the efficacy of your marketing campaigns.

Why ecommerce marketing analytics make a difference for growing brands

No matter the stage it’s in, any ecommerce company has to make difficult decisions about where to allocate their business’ resources, so the allure of free marketing measurement tools is obvious. However, if you’re relying on measurement tools that aren’t purpose-built for your ecommerce brand, you run the risk of throwing away money on marketing channels that aren’t pulling their weight. 

Being able to identify your customers and how they found you, what channels bring the highest-value customers to your sites, and how much time passes between subsequent purchases are among the ways you can best optimize your marketing efforts.

Too many tools and platforms claim to give you all the info you need but fail to address these questions. 

If you’re a scaling ecommerce business and want to determine which marketing channels will generate the highest returns, book a call with us.

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