Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Impact of web analytics on e-commerce


Impact of web analytics on e-commerce 
Introduction
It is not only enough to build an e-commerce engine and support it with search engines but also extremely important that to ensure that it is effectively complimented with web analytic tools. Experts in the industry are of the view that in order to curb online fraud and to ensure the success of the organization online wise, it is efficient that web analytics are incorporated. Different vendors using the system have been reported to tout their benefits in addition citing that the metrics are important in the reduction of click fraud, mainly perpetrated by scrupulous competitors and discontented former employees of the company. It is therefore vey essential that a business incorporates this tool in order to ascertain the how ell the business is doing in relation to numbers (Burby & Atchinson 2007). The aim of this essay in therefore centered to determine the importance of web analytics in the aspects of information technology, to the management and to the organization at large and how they help to improve the ecommerce function of the business.

Analysis
Web analytics is the process where internet data is measured, collected, analyzed and reported in order to understand the usage of the web and to be able o optimize its functions. This tool can be used in a variety of ways especially in ecommerce in the sense that it can be applied in business in order to conduct market research, through assessing the contents of its websites so as to improve their effectiveness. Web analytics is categorized into offsite and onsite web (Burby & Atchinson 2007). The offsite web analytics majorly deals with the analysis and measurement of the web content regardless of whether one has a website and whether they effectively maintain it. This is done through the measurement of a website’s likely viewers, voice sharing and the comments as displayed on the internet.
In on site web analytics, the behavior of a visitor to the company’s website is monitored and analyzed. This is through the assessment of the driving pages and the conversion pages of the website. By this we mean he process through which one page is related to the purchases of the company’s products. This means that the web tool helps in analyzing the position of the company in the commercial markets (Burby & Atchinson 2007). Most of the data derived from this source is helpful majorly in the process of determining the key performance indicators of a company and later assimilated to improve on the content of the website and to who the marketing strategy should be directed, preferably, in determining the target market. An example of the most widely used web analytic tool is the Google analytics on site web tool. Other tools like the heat maps and session replay are also just emerging in the industry to aid in the provision of more information.
On site web analytics technologies are divided into two main areas. The web server log files analysis and the page tagging tool. The web server log file analysis is appropriate in the sense that it helps to provide information stating the most popular sites on the web. In this aspect of web analysis, the amount of human activity on a web page is what is majorly measured, in regards to the page views and the number of the sessions by a client /customer. Page tagging on the other and was designed in order to help in rating the accuracy of the log file analysis, with the desire to out source the service. In this case when a user enters the web, they are assigned a cookie (Burby & Atchinson 2007). This cookie is what helps to identify them when they visit the site from other clients.
Web analytics are extremely important in ecommerce since they help in the proper sustenance of the business in many aspects like management, information technology and many more. The tool is extremely important to the management of accompany sine it help to them to compare the collective efforts of the Public relations in regards to the marketing function (Burby & Atchinson 2007). This is because it slows the traffic rates, conversion rates and other metrics to be collected from all the sources that can later be referred to like the paid searches, the advertisement industry, the earned media and the unpaid searches. In this case therefore, the management is able to easily measure the level of output achieved from the public relations perspective and from the advertising angle and determine the area with the most profound changes, in regards to the impact they have on the business (Burby & Atchinson 2007).
In the same aspect therefore, the management of the company is able to come up with the best strategies for the company since they mostly rely on the empirical evidence gathered from the performance displayed by the web tools that have been put in place. This is majorly so because the web analytics are able to rely on information regarding which type of media in terms of the traditional ones and the social Medias are helpful in assuring that the targets set by the organization are being met. Analysis and strategies are therefore implemented basing on facts and not just mere intuition and assumptions (Burby & Atchinson 2007). In this aspect therefore, the organization stands a better chance of effectively assign questions like whether to use corporate twitter to get customers to download white papers, whether to shift the attention of resources to cover the traditional or the social media, who are the online targets of the company and how are they responding to the media in effecting their purchase? These and many other questions that may affect the performance of the organization are effectively handled and solutions effectively arrived at. This way the management can be able to use the web analytic tools to be able to focus on derivation of the goals that have been set by the business (Burby & Atchinson 2007).
Through the use of web analytics, the organization is able to come up with an appropriate marketing mix model. Initially before the discovery of the system, many organizations relied on the tracking of the activities covered by the media so as to be able to measure the effect of the public relations department on the profitability of the company (Burby & Atchinson 2007). However, since the discovery of the web analytic tools, it is no longer necessary to track the media for long period of hours and time in order to derive the metrics associated with the attainment of the organizational goals. In initially, it was very expensive for the organizations to effectively measure the behavior of the customers due to the large volume of information that was required in relation to statistical expertise. Additionally, through the use of the web analytics tool, it has become increasingly simple to effectively determine the behavioral patterns of the consumers in regards to traditional and social media (Burby & Atchinson 2007). Through the tools of the system, it is possible for the management of an organization to take in to consideration the needs of the market and customer.
In regards to aiding the functions of information technology, it is relatively easy for a business to conduct ecommerce functions since the tools help in the summation of valuable customer information. This is because the tools aid collection of a wide range of data in regard to the demographic information and the common sites that are referring their customers to the web site of their organization (Burby & Atchinson 2007). They are also able to obtain information about which posts are attracting people to view their organization profile and thus creating positive traffic. Through the use of web analytic tools it has become increasingly easy for organizations to be able to download the list of major sites that have helped in building up the organization’s traffic. Through the use of the web analytics options it is easy for the user to be able to download the necessary reports on the all the sites, therefore helping an organization to retrieve valuable information that can be relevant in aiding the e-commerce function through advertisement and popularization of their sites in order to gain more traffic (Burby & Atchinson 2007).
In another aspect altogether, since there are software’s in web analytics option that allow the users to be able to download the referring sites at the domain levels, and also at the URL levels. A good example is the post story of techcrunch.com. Through making this function of information technology easier for most of the users assessing the websites, the company is able to get an insight on what types of stories or information to post regarding their company in order to ensure that online customers are thoroughly engaged and that the level of traffic builds up on their site is immensely increased. In regards to e-commerce, for instance, through the use of the URL to post commodity updates and revised price lists of the company’s product, it makes it easy for the company to attain higher revenues and sales volume and also increase the number of transactions for their site. This also makes them more visible.
Web analytics has been extremely important in developing the commercial base of an organization especially in relation to other organizations. Companies that have integrated the use of this tool into their system can finally integrate it as a discipline to carrying out even more business in regards to developing their data processing entities (Burby & Atchinson 2007). Through the use of such log file functions, a company can develop brand of being the best vendors in regards to the provision of solutions through the analysis of a large number of data. In organizations today, many companies experience overwhelming stress in trying to sort out company data and information in order to improve on its functions. Through being a provider of such services a company can increase its e commerce profile and thus be able to expend its revenue base through diversification. Companies that have been able to do this are like Accrue, web trends and web side story (Burby & Atchinson 2007).
When a company chooses to use the unpaid media option as a web analytic tool then they can preferably be able to customize In order to be able to gain asses to the number of the new visitors they were able to produce in the day, the total sales that they have attained so far and also the conversion rates at which they have been able to operate (Burby & Atchinson 2007). This is possible through the use of a .CSV file whose function helps to aid in the purposes that have been mentioned. In this aspect therefore, it makes it easier for the company to integrate this information in their database applications. In e commerce the ability to determine the number of new customers for the day n the number of sales is particularly important. This is because the company can be able to determine what is selling and when it is selling. This way, they can be able to make more of what is selling and maximize in the periods as displayed in their CSV files (Burby & Atchinson 2007).
Web analytic is very important also to the functional process of an organization in relation to e-commerce. With the use of the IP geo-location, it is easy for an organization to be able to track the location of both visitors and the loyal customers in their business. This way they can be easily tracked in their city, region or even the country that they are based. Through IP intelligence, the organization can be able to manage the internet catalogues and the IP address of the customer in regards to where they have been located (Burby & Atchinson 2007). The information derived from this system can be used by the business to carry out online segmentation of the audiences when they want to carry out functions such as advertising, localization of content, behavioral targeting and even personalization. In the case of e-commerce this aids the business in the context that while designing their products; they can be able to determine which market locality to advertise in or to target. In the case of online fraud, incase the company is ever confronted with the problem of im-personification or any aspects of online crime; it is very easy to apply the software to detect and report even the exact locations of where the fraud took place (Burby & Atchinson 2007). This therefore makes ecommerce a very safe option for the company and helps to eliminate major risks associated in this mode of conducting business.
Through the use if a function under web analytics called the click analytics, it is very easy for a company to be able to keep track of the performance of the company’s site and thus determine the necessary actions/steps to implement for better results. This mode of web analytics is majorly focused on the number of clicks that the company’s website has received for the day or for the period stated (Burby & Atchinson 2007). The company’s editor can later review the clicks to determine the performance of the company. The company can then use their front page editors to optimize the content of their data in order to attract more clicks. This function is also important for the stakeholders, designers and editors involved in the company since they can be able to analyze the number of clicks in assessing the performance of the organization in regards to the various functions (Burby & Atchinson 2007). 
Through the use of the customer lifecycle analytics, it can be easy for the organization to be able to monitor the number of the customers in relation to the services provide by the organization. This way, the data collected in regards o the API calls, and access to the third party’s services can be used to offer insight to the behaviors of the customers. This way the company can be able to strengthen its marketing function and also be able to align to the needs of the customers or the changes that are taking place at the market place. This therefore helps to keep an organization on board and updated about issues that are taking place in the environment in which it operates (Burby & Atchinson 2007).Through the development of web analytic tools, the organization can be able to develop customer relationship management and also open dialogue with new customers especially through the use of the IP intelligence option that is able to identify the locations of their customers, regions and locations. It is also through the same mode that the organization can be able to associate itself with other organizations through affiliate marketing, through promotion of joint ventures in order to co-promote their services and their products to the online customers (Burby & Atchinson 2007). In this aspect therefore, the organization is able to reduce on the cost that it would have incurred thanks to the abilities of the web tools that allow for interaction and global networking.     
Through the use of web analytic tools the organization is able to eliminate the use of intermediaries and therefore effectively integrated first hand service in their line of business. This is because they are able to view the traffic on their sites and thus can asses the number of customers that they are generally appealing to. Secondly they are able to determine the content that is attracting more customers or more traffic on their page and thus base on that to improve the web structure of their organization even better (Burby & Atchinson 2007). Through analysis of the customer trends and regional location they are able to effectively determine the appropriate advertisements or promotional means to use in order to attract an even bigger market share thus be able to transact even more on their online site. Through all these mentioned functions, it has been determined that there is no need for intermediaries on behalf of the organistaion.It simple terms, all that the organization would require to know and implement would be portrayed in the data retrieved from their web page (Burby & Atchinson 2007).
Conclusion:    
Though the idea of web analytics is a relatively new phenomenon, it is rapidly gaining ground and more companies and professionals are adopting its usage especially due to the high degree of effectiveness associated with it. Due to the relevant information relayed in the tools through the analysis of the page views, traffic degree and the number of clicks among other issues, it is becoming very easy for organizations that have implemented on its usage to optimize the usability of their sites and to boost the company sales. It should b goal of every driven organization to come up with a web site that attracts new visitors, retains the old ones and optimizes the sales of the company. The tools will not only aid in reducing case of fraud but will also boost the image of the company in regards to security, efficiency and effectiveness.


Reference
Burby, J& Atchinson,S 2007.Actionable web Analytics: Using data to make smart Business         Decisions, New York, John Wiley &sons.