Actionable metrics are like oxygen for your decision-making. The decisions you make obviously have a direct impact on your business.
Google Analytics has been the staple stats feeder for a gazillion marketers and business owners over the years. But does it actually give you all the data you need? In fact, do you even realize the different types and sources of data that are available to you and whether you have uses and applications for all of them?
Let’s take a closer look.
Related Article: 3 Easy-to-Use Analytics Tools (and it's not Google Analytics)
Real-Time Web Analytics
Google Analytics already provides you with real-time analytics built right into your default dashboard.
Image via Google Analytics
Your use for real-time analytics differs for each type of case. Live analytics is beneficial for:
- Monitoring live campaigns
- Gaining instantaneous insights into user behavior on your web properties
- Understand how each marketing channel works
- A/B testing better
- And much more.
Twiddy, a family-run vacation rental company, boosted revenue by 18.6 percent, increased their average order value by 11.9 percent, and saw a resultant enhancement of 7.9 percent in their conversion rate by using the Google Analytics Real Time API to query the number of active visitors.
Custom Web Analytics
A fantastic—and free—tool Google Analytics certainly is, but it doesn’t do everything. In fact, there could be a possibility that your data might be inaccurate as Russ Henneberry explains in his post on CrazyEgg.
So what other customizable options are there in the web analytics market?
Clicky has the unique distinction of offering you the very things Google Analytics fails miserably at. From offering micro-details and user history for every single visitor to real-time data for every measurable aspect of your site to even offering a range of customizable heat-maps, Clicky does not disappoint.
Image via Clicky
Woopra is an analytics suite that takes the stress out of website management. This versatile tool combines analytics for your app, mobile site, marketing emails and of course your desktop site all within the same analytics platform. Two aspects of Woopra make it a winner in my books:
- The richness of user data it offers by combining information from all connected apps and platforms.
- The ability to offer customized site experiences to individual visitors based on their user profiles and real-time actions.
Image via Woopra
Social Media Analytics
With all that action happening on social media, you’d need a lot more than the analytics provided by each social network (now, they do).
On social, Conversion, Amplification, Applause and Economic Value are the most important metrics you ought to be tracking, according to Avinash Kaushik.
Here are ways you’d be able to measure these:
In-Built Analytics from Social Media Accounts
Every social network today (at least the major ones such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ and Pinterest) have in-built social media analytics you could get basic insights from. These metrics are consistent with the fundamental social media stats your business ought to measure, according to SimplyMeasured.
True Social Metrics
Built on Avinash Kaushik’s best social media metrics to measure, True Social Metrics is a tool that gives you a dashboard that shows economic value for all your social media accounts, trends, and also gather content analysis, audience analysis, competitive analysis, engagement rate, and more.
Image via True Social Metrics
Related Articles: Which Social Media Metrics Actually Matter?
Social Media Energy
Social Media Energy offers businesses the Pulse Analytics platform, an excellent social media monitoring tool. Tune in to what customers are saying about your brand, discover market trends and unearth underlying product problems with Pulse Analytics’ superior listening abilities.
Image via Social Media Energy
For retail stores, it’s the Point of Sale (POS) where all the action happens. Retail is a brutal industry and that makes understanding customer behavior a lot more critical to help merchants maximize profits. A few nuggets of information a retailer can gain from their POS systems are:
- What time of the day is the busiest for the store?
- In a weekday, what days see better sales than others?
- What is the total number of transactions in a single day? How do the averages for a week or a month look like?
- For retailers spread out across multiple locations, how does one location perform against the other?
- How many credit card transactions happen at the POS?
Retailers also benefit from comparing one set of data against another, such as Sales vs. Profits, Price vs. Volume, etc.
Most contemporary ecommerce solution providers have POS hardware plugged into mobile and web-based payment processing solutions. A few well-known POS systems with built-in analytics along with pure in-store analytics tools that can help are:
Have an ecommerce store but ended up with a client on the road who wants to book orders? Do you have an ecommerce store and a physical store? You’d need a payment processing system or a POS that helps you integrate your business on all fronts. Shopify already allows you to build, run and manage an ecommerce store. Use its POS systems to set up mobile payments, anywhere POS and allow transactions to happen anywhere.
Image via Shopify
We have all the tools for analytics that we need for websites and ecommerce stores, but we rarely have much going for actual physical places.
Nomi gives you a fantastic repertoire of tools and resources to manage everything from In-store analytics to traffic management. Nomi's features allow you to:
- Count people
- Measure conversions
- Manage queues
- setup mobile-payment systems or POS
- Conduct behavioral analysis.
Image via Nomi
What if you don’t use any one specific ecommerce platform like Shopify or BigCommerce? What if you have a mix of ecommerce stores (various platforms) and physical stores? What if you were already using an old POS with existing barcodes, a set number of SKUs or products, and then want to use a mobile and/or web-based POS?
Vend plays well with almost any type of business. Of course, it does come with its own suite of analytics relevant to your business: product centric sales reports, trends, sales history, sales targets, etc.
Image via Vend
How much your analytics suite can help your business depends on what you set out to measure in the first place.
What do you to measure your data? What does your analytics dashboard look like?