Advanced Analytics for E-commerce Brands

analytics for e-commerce

Attention E-commerce Managers: Is Your Data Letting You Down?

Are you making important business choices based on incomplete data? Do you struggle to keep up with the fast-changing world of e-commerce? If you want to boost your online sales and give your customers an amazing experience, this article about analytics for e-commerce is a must-read.

As an e-commerce manager, you know that data is key to growth and success. But basic analytics can only do so much. To succeed, you need advanced tools that can gather all customer data and provide actionable insights.

This article dives into the world of advanced analytics for e-commerce brands. It shows you the hidden costs of relying only on basic analytics and the power of tools like Customer Data Platforms (CDPs) and better data visualization.

Imagine having a complete view of your customers, understanding what they like, and giving them personalized experiences that make them want to buy more. Imagine being able to confidently track how well your marketing is working and make changes for the best results. With the strategies and tips in this article, you can make this a reality.

We know the challenges you face as an e-commerce manager – the pressure to get results, the trouble bringing data together from different places, and the need to justify spending money on advanced analytics. That’s why we wrote this article to speak directly to your concerns and give you a plan for success.

Don’t let basic analytics hold you back any longer. Keep reading to learn how you can use data to create personalized experiences, improve the customer journey, and ultimately, reach your business growth goals.

The Crucial Role of Data in E-commerce 

E-commerce businesses are recognizing the immense value of data for gaining a competitive edge. However, the e-commerce landscape presents unique challenges, such as fragmented customer journeys and complex product data. 

Overcoming E-commerce Data Challenges 

  • Fragmented Customer Journeys Complicate Data Collection
    E-commerce brands encounter scattered information across various channels due to how customers interact with them. Unifying this data paints a clear picture of the customer journey, allowing brands to understand customer behavior on different devices and platforms.
  • Data Volume and Variety Overload
    E-commerce transactions generate a vast amount of data, from clicks and views to abandoned carts and purchases. Each data point provides insights into the customer story. However, without sophisticated tools and strategies, this wealth of information can become a burden instead of an asset.
  • The Attribution Conundrum: Tracking Conversions
    Attributing conversions accurately is difficult due to customer movement across channels and devices. Traditional attribution models (last-click or first-click) fail to capture the entire sales journey. This hinders evaluation of marketing effectiveness and budget allocation.
  • Personalization at Scale: A Hurdle to Overcome
    Personalization, considered the holy grail of e-commerce, faces challenges in execution, particularly regarding data management and integration. Offering truly personalized experiences requires robust infrastructure for handling and activating data across touchpoints. Outdated systems and technical limitations often impede this.
  • The Privacy Tightrope: Balancing Compliance and Consumer Expectations
    Navigating complex privacy regulations (GDPR, CCPA) is increasingly challenging for e-commerce brands. Transparency, consent, and security are paramount as consumers become more vigilant about data usage. Failing in these areas can erode trust and loyalty, impacting the bottom line.

For e-commerce marketers, the stakes for mastering data analytics are higher than ever. In today’s competitive landscape with ever-evolving consumer behaviors, leveraging data effectively is a key differentiator. Brands that unlock the insights hidden within their e-commerce data gain a significant advantage, driving efficient acquisition, higher conversion rates, and increased customer lifetime value. 

However, the path forward isn’t always clear. Many e-commerce brands lack the tools, expertise, and strategies to transform raw data into actionable intelligence.

Keeping Up and Standing Out: Tackling Today’s E-commerce Challenges 

Here’s how successful e-commerce businesses are staying ahead of the curve:

Creating a Stellar Shopping Experience 

Customers crave a seamless and enjoyable shopping journey. This translates to:

  • Fast and User-Friendly Websites: Easy navigation and helpful features like chatbots for real-time assistance.
  • Informative Product Pages: Product videos demonstrating gadget setup (e.g., an electronics retailer offering video tutorials).


  • Enhanced customer satisfaction and reduced frustration.
  • Encourages repeat visits to the website. 

Fostering Customer Loyalty 

With numerous online options available, retaining customers is paramount. Effective strategies include:

  • Loyalty Programs: Reward repeat customers.
  • Personalized Marketing:Recommend products based on past purchases (e.g., a beauty store sending birthday offers and product recommendations).


  • Builds stronger customer relationships. 
  • Increases the likelihood of repeat purchases. 

Ensuring a Smooth Omnichannel Experience 

Consistency across all shopping channels (online, mobile, physical stores) is crucial for a seamless customer experience.

Example: A bookstore ensures a customer’s cart contents are accessible across devices (mobile and desktop).


  • Convenience for customers regardless of the device used.
  • Strengthens brand loyalty through a unified shopping experience. 

Emerging Solutions and Best Practices

Here are some of the emerging solutions and best practices that are empowering e-commerce businesses to leverage their data more effectively:

  • Unified Customer Data Platforms (CDPs): These platforms act as a central hub, eliminating data silos and providing a holistic view of the customer journey. This enables real-time personalization for a more relevant shopping experience.
  • Enhanced Data Visualization Tools: Sophisticated data visualization tools allow brands to interpret complex datasets more efficiently. By identifying trends and patterns, these tools make data-driven decision making more accessible and intuitive for businesses.
  • Automated Data Cleansing and Management Systems: Implementing automated systems for data cleansing and management ensures high-quality data. This reduces errors and inconsistencies that can skew analysis and lead to poor decision-making.

Beyond Technology: A Data-Driven Culture 

It’s important to remember that technology itself isn’t a magic solution. True success in e-commerce analytics hinges on cultivating a data-driven culture within your organization. Here are some key aspects to foster:

  • Experimentation: Don’t be afraid to experiment and test different approaches to data analysis. This allows you to discover what works best for your specific business.
  • Proactive Data Utilization: Move beyond reactive data analysis. Develop a proactive approach where data is leveraged to anticipate customer needs and inform strategic decision-making.

By combining these emerging solutions and best practices with a data-driven culture, e-commerce businesses can unlock the true potential of their data, gaining a significant competitive advantage in today’s dynamic marketplace.

How Customer Data Platforms (CDPs) Unify the User Experience in E-commerce 

CDPs act as a central nervous system, unifying customer data from disparate sources to create a single, holistic customer profile. This empowers businesses to deliver a seamless and personalized user experience across all channels.

How CDPs Unify the User Experience 

  • Centralized Customer Data Hub: A CDP acts as a central repository, consolidating customer data from various sources like website behavior, purchase history, email interactions, and social media engagement. This eliminates data silos that often plague traditional marketing strategies.

Example: Imagine a customer browsing for athletic wear on a sporting goods website. They abandon their cart but later engage with a social media ad for the same product on their phone. With a CDP, the brand recognizes this customer across touchpoints and can send a targeted discount code via email to incentivize the purchase.

  • Unified Customer Profiles: By stitching together customer data points, CDPs create a unified customer profile. This profile includes demographics, preferences, purchase history, and past interactions. This allows brands to understand their customers on a deeper level.

Example: An online beauty retailer leverages a CDP to understand a customer’s preferred makeup brands and past purchases. Based on this data, the brand can recommend complementary products via personalized email campaigns or suggest similar items on the website.

  • Real-time Personalization: CDPs enable real-time personalization across all customer touchpoints. This means brands can tailor website content, product recommendations, and marketing messages to individual customer needs and preferences.

Example: A customer browsing a furniture store website has viewed several mid-century modern coffee tables. The CDP recognizes this browsing behavior and triggers personalized product recommendations for other mid-century modern furniture pieces the customer might be interested in.

  • Omnichannel Consistency: A CDP ensures a consistent customer experience across all channels, online and offline. This is because the unified customer profile is accessible by all departments within the organization.

Example: A customer interacts with a chatbot on a clothing store’s website to inquire about sizing for a particular jacket. Later, when the customer visits the physical store, a sales associate can access the customer’s previous interaction with the chatbot and provide personalized recommendations based on their size inquiry.

Why Use a CDP for User Experience 

  • Increased Customer Satisfaction: A unified user experience reduces customer frustration by ensuring consistency across channels. Customers appreciate the feeling of being recognized and understood by the brand, regardless of how they interact.
  • Improved Customer Retention: Personalized experiences driven by CDPs foster stronger customer relationships. Relevant product recommendations and targeted marketing messages lead to increased customer engagement and loyalty.
  • Enhanced Conversion Rates: By understanding customer behavior and preferences, businesses can leverage CDPs to personalize product recommendations and offers, ultimately driving higher conversion rates.
  • Optimized Marketing Spend: CDPs allow for targeted marketing campaigns based on customer segments. This eliminates wasted ad spend and ensures marketing efforts reach the right audience with the right message.

Advanced Analytics Setups for E-commerce

Advanced analytics setups empower e-commerce brands to unlock a treasure trove of insights, propelling them towards significant competitive advantages. Here’s how:

Deep Customer Understanding: Beyond Demographics

Advanced analytics go beyond basic demographics, delving into the world of customer behavior. These setups capture a wealth of data points, including:

  • Clickstream Analysis: Tracks a customer’s journey across your website, pinpointing areas of interest, hesitation, and ultimately, conversion (or abandonment).
  • Product Affinity Analysis: Identifies products customers frequently view together, uncovering hidden purchase patterns and informing product placement strategies.
  • Sentiment Analysis: Analyzes customer reviews and social media mentions to gauge brand sentiment and identify areas for improvement.

Benefits for E-commerce Brands:

  • Hyper-Personalized Recommendations: Advanced analytics unlock the secrets of customer preferences, enabling highly personalized product recommendations that drive conversions.
  • Frictionless Customer Journeys: By understanding customer pain points through clickstream analysis, brands can streamline the shopping experience, reducing cart abandonment rates.
  • Data-Driven Inventory Management: Product affinity analysis reveals buying patterns, allowing for optimized inventory management and preventing stockouts on high-demand items.

A/B Testing on Steroids: Optimizing Every Click

Advanced analytics elevate A/B testing from a rudimentary tool to a strategic weapon. These setups allow for highly granular testing, going beyond basic page elements to test:

  • Product Pricing Strategies: Test dynamic pricing models or personalized discounts to identify price points that maximize customer value and revenue.
  • Promotional Offers: Compare the effectiveness of different discount structures and messaging to optimize marketing campaigns.
  • Product Search Functionality: A/B test search algorithms and user interfaces to ensure customers can easily find the products they’re looking for.

Benefits for E-commerce Brands:

  • Maximized Conversion Rates: By pinpointing the most effective website elements, pricing strategies, and promotional offers, brands can significantly boost conversion rates.
  • Improved Customer Experience: A/B testing search functionality and user interface elements leads to a more intuitive and satisfying shopping experience for customers.
  • Data-Driven Marketing Optimization: Testing different promotional strategies helps e-commerce brands allocate marketing budgets more effectively for maximum return on investment (ROI).

Building Your E-commerce Analytics Arsenal

Now comes the crucial task of understanding your customers and optimizing your online store for success. While the specific platforms you choose may evolve, establishing a solid analytics foundation is key. Here’s a roadmap to get you started, focusing on the essential metrics and setup for a thriving e-commerce business:

Step 1: Define Your Goals & KPIs 

Before diving into data, take a step back and define your e-commerce goals. Are you aiming to increase website traffic, boost conversion rates, or maximize customer lifetime value? Once you have your goals, identify the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that will track your progress. Here are some e-commerce-specific KPIs to consider:

  • Website Traffic: Unique visitors, sessions, traffic sources (organic, paid search, social media).
  • Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC): Marketing spend per new customer acquired.
  • Conversion Rate: Percentage of visitors who complete a desired action (purchase, sign-up).
  • Average Order Value (AOV): Average amount spent per order.
  • Customer Lifetime Value (CLTV): Total revenue a customer generates over their lifetime.

Step 2: Choose Your Analytics Weapons

While specific platforms may change, the core strategies remain the same. Here’s a breakdown of essential tools and their benefits for e-commerce brands:

  • Website Analytics: This is your ground zero. Tools like Google Analytics 4 (GA4) provide insights into user behavior on your website. Track page views, product interactions, and identify areas for improvement in the user journey.

Example: Using GA4, you can see which product categories are most popular and which ones have high abandonment rates. This allows you to optimize product placement and address any pain points in the checkout process.

  • Email Marketing Analytics: Platforms like Mailchimp offer detailed reports on email campaign performance. Track open rates, click-through rates (CTRs), and conversions driven by email marketing efforts.

Example: Mailchimp analytics can reveal which email subject lines resonate best with your audience and which types of offers generate the most sales. This allows you to refine your email marketing strategy for better results.

  • Data Warehouse : For more advanced setups, consider a data warehouse like Google BigQuery. This platform allows you to centralize data from various sources (website analytics, email marketing, CRM) for deeper analysis.

Example: BigQuery can help you identify high-value customer segments based on combined purchase history and website behavior data. This allows for targeted marketing campaigns with a higher chance of success.

Remember: While we’ve used GA4, Mailchimp, and BigQuery as examples, there are many other excellent tools available. Choose the ones that best suit your budget and technical expertise.

Step 3: Implementation and Tracking

Follow the instructions for your chosen platform to set up tracking codes and configure the essential metrics you defined earlier. Ensure proper data capture across relevant touchpoints like website pages, product listings, and shopping carts.

Connecting Your E-commerce Analytics Arsenal 

While the specific platforms might differ based on your needs, here’s a general overview of how to connect the tools mentioned earlier to create a more robust e-commerce analytics ecosystem:

Connecting Mailchimp to GA4

There isn’t a direct, built-in connection between Mailchimp and GA4 at this time. However, you can achieve data integration through a custom development approach or by leveraging third-party connectors.

  • Custom Development: This involves writing code to export data from Mailchimp (e.g., email campaign performance metrics) and import it into GA4 as custom events or parameters. This solution requires technical expertise.
  • Third-Party Connectors: Several third-party connector services can bridge the gap between Mailchimp and GA4. These services typically involve setting up an account with the connector platform and following their instructions to connect your Mailchimp and GA4 accounts. They might involve fees depending on the chosen service and data volume.

Connecting GA4 to BigQuery

Here’s where the magic of data warehousing comes in! Thankfully, connecting GA4 to BigQuery is a relatively straightforward process:

  1. Enable Data Export in GA4: Within your GA4 property settings, navigate to “Data Streams” and then choose the relevant data stream (e.g., your website). Under “Manage data destinations,” choose “BigQuery.”
  2. Configure BigQuery Connection: You’ll need to create a BigQuery dataset within your Google Cloud Project. GA4 will guide you through the connection process, granting BigQuery access to your GA4 data.
  3. Schedule Data Exports: Define the frequency (e.g., daily) at which you want GA4 data to be exported to your BigQuery dataset.

Once the connection is established, GA4 data will automatically flow into your BigQuery dataset at the designated intervals. This allows you to combine website behavior data from GA4 with other data sources (e.g., Mailchimp campaign data if integrated) for more comprehensive analysis within BigQuery.

With both GA4 and Mailchimp data flowing into BigQuery, you unlock a treasure trove of insights to optimize your e-commerce strategy specifically for campaigns like coupon offers. Here are some powerful examples:

  • Measure the effectiveness of your coupon code: Analyze which products were most popular with your coupon code promotion (GA4 data) and segment this by customers who opened your email containing the code (Mailchimp data). This allows you to see if the discount drove sales for targeted products or if it needs to be adjusted for better performance.
  • Identify abandoned carts with coupon potential: Leverage GA4 data to pinpoint customers who abandon carts with specific products. Combine this with Mailchimp data to see if these customers have recently opened emails about relevant promotions. You can then trigger targeted email campaigns reminding them of the abandoned cart and highlighting the available coupon code, potentially salvaging lost sales.
  • Personalize future coupon offers: Combine website behavior data (GA4) on product category preferences with email open rates for specific coupon types (percentage discounts vs. free shipping) from Mailchimp. This allows you to tailor future coupon offers to individual customer segments for higher engagement and redemption rates.

Step 4: Data Analysis and Action 

Don’t get bogged down in raw data. Focus on actionable insights. Schedule regular reporting cycles (weekly, monthly) to analyze key metrics and identify trends. Ask questions like:

  • Which marketing channels are driving the most traffic and sales?
  • What products are performing well, and which ones need improvement?
  • Are there any drop-off points in the checkout process?
  • How can you personalize the shopping experience for different customer segments?

Based on your findings, implement data-driven changes to your website, marketing campaigns, and product offerings. This continuous cycle of analysis, testing, and refinement is the hallmark of a successful e-commerce analytics strategy.

Remember, the power lies in the strategy, not the specific tools. By focusing on the essential metrics for your e-commerce business and establishing a culture of data-driven decision-making, you’ll be well on your way to building a thriving online brand.

The Hidden Costs of Basic Analytics in E-commerce

Without advanced analytics to translate the story, valuable customer insights remain hidden. While basic analytics might offer surface-level data, the lack of deeper analysis can lead to a multitude of problems that go beyond simple frustration. Here’s how an e-commerce brand reliant solely on basic analytics can suffer hidden costs:

Missed Opportunities and Wasted Resources

  • Blind Spots in Customer Behavior: Basic analytics might reveal overall website traffic, but they lack the granularity to understand customer journeys. This can lead to missed opportunities to personalize the shopping experience, recommend relevant products, and ultimately drive conversions.

Example: A clothing store sees high website traffic but low sales of a particular jacket style. Basic analytics wouldn’t reveal that customers are abandoning the product page due to a lack of size availability or poor-quality product photos. Advanced analytics could identify these pain points and allow for targeted solutions to increase sales.

  • Ineffective Marketing Allocation: Without a clear understanding of which marketing channels (social media, email, paid ads) are most effective, e-commerce brands relying on basic analytics risk wasting resources on channels that aren’t delivering results.

Example: A beauty brand allocates a significant budget to social media marketing based on follower count alone. Advanced analytics could reveal that email marketing campaigns are actually driving a higher conversion rate, allowing the brand to optimize their budget allocation for better ROI.

Customer Dissatisfaction and Churn

  • Friction in the Customer Journey: Basic analytics may not capture user experience issues like slow loading times, confusing navigation, or a cumbersome checkout process. This can lead to frustrated customers abandoning their carts and hindering brand loyalty.

Example: A customer browsing an electronics store website can’t find the “live chat” support option easily. Basic analytics wouldn’t reveal this pain point, leading to customer frustration and potentially lost sales. Advanced analytics with user behavior tracking could identify navigation issues and prompt website optimization for a smoother customer journey.

  • Generic Communication and Missed Personalization: Without in-depth customer data on preferences and purchase history, e-commerce brands struggle to personalize communication. This results in generic marketing messages that fail to resonate with customers, leading to disengagement and churn.

Example: A furniture store sends a generic email blast advertising a sale on all sofas. Advanced analytics could reveal customer segments interested in specific styles (mid-century modern vs. traditional) and allow for targeted email campaigns with personalized product recommendations, leading to higher engagement and conversion rates.

Inventory Management Mishaps

  • Stockouts and Overstocking: Basic inventory management based on historical sales trends alone might not account for sudden shifts in demand or seasonal fluctuations. This can lead to stockouts of popular items and an overabundance of slow-moving inventory, both negatively impacting revenue.

Example: A toy store relies solely on past sales data to predict demand for a new line of collectible figurines. Without advanced analytics that can analyze social media buzz and pre-order trends, the store might underestimate demand and experience stockouts, leading to disappointed customers and lost sales.

  • Inefficient Pricing Strategies: Basic analytics might not provide insights into competitor pricing or customer price sensitivity. This can make it difficult for e-commerce brands to optimize their pricing strategy and maximize profitability.

Example: A clothing brand sets a fixed price for all its T-shirts based on production costs. Advanced analytics could reveal competitor pricing and customer behavior related to discounts, allowing the brand to implement dynamic pricing strategies and promotions for increased sales.

In conclusion, the cost of basic analytics in e-commerce goes beyond the initial investment. The lack of in-depth customer insights can lead to missed opportunities, wasted resources, customer dissatisfaction, inventory mismanagement, and ultimately, lost sales. By embracing advanced analytics, e-commerce brands gain the power to make data-driven decisions, personalize the customer journey, optimize marketing strategies, and ultimately build a thriving online business.

Recommended Links

Discover more insights on advanced analytics for e-commerce:

Google Analytics Blogs

Simo Ahava’s Blog

Analytics Mania Blog

Related E-commerce Analytics Blogs

By exploring these recommended resources, you can continue to expand your knowledge of advanced analytics for e-commerce and stay up-to-date with the latest trends, strategies, and best practices in the industry.

Analytics Done For You

Are you an e-commerce marketing or brand manager overwhelmed by data but hungry for actionable insights? We understand the challenges of navigating the ever-evolving world of e-commerce analytics. That’s why we’re offering a complimentary consultation to help you unlock the true potential of your data.

During this free consultation, we’ll discuss:

  • Your current e-commerce marketing goals and challenges.
  • How advanced analytics can empower your brand to achieve those goals.
  • Specific strategies for leveraging tools like Google Analytics 4 (GA4) and BigQuery to gain valuable customer insights.
  • A customized roadmap to optimize your website, marketing campaigns, and product offerings based on data-driven insights.

Schedule your free consultation today and take your e-commerce brand to the next level.

Questions? Text 855.589.6150