So, you’re on a mission to make food consumption more sustainable. You’re able to thrive in a 1,5-meter society and are ready to grow your business to the next level. You might be wondering, why is my business doing well? Or, how can I scale efficiently, targeting the right high-value customers via the best channels? Boy, do we have the answer for you. It all comes down to using data. Keep reading if you want to learn how to make the best use of your data.
Data provides answers to all the above questions. So what do we mean with data? It includes, but is not limited to, your website analytics, social media statistics, and sales results.
But, and this is a big one, for you to make use of this data, mould it into tools that accelerate your business, you need to make sure all the data you’re tracking is correct. So, let’s make sure it is.
This page provides a thorough guide on ‘how to track all data important to your business growth’ and is meant for e-commerce businesses that have seen a rise in orders in the last 2 months. It provides a roadmap to collecting all necessary data needed to make calculated decisions in marketing, sales and product development.
Browse this page
- Framing the 3 core questions to ask
- Learning about your most valuable customers
- Correctly tracking data from your acquisition channels
- Collecting customer journey data in Google Analytics
- Troubleshooting data tracking
- Answering the 3 core questions
1. Framing the 3 core questions to ask
The thing about data is that it can give you all and everything you are looking for, which gets overwhelming fast.
We’re not going to lie and say we haven’t gotten lost in the wonders of Google Analytics and realised after a while we’ve been clicking on flashy diagrams for hours without a purpose.
So let’s create some direction and prioritise so we can dive into the world of data purposefully.
Take a look at the below 3 questions. These are your new core questions to ask yourself repeatedly.
Print them in A3 or write them on a post-it note, stick them to the wall in front of you so they’re in your vision whenever you’re thinking: “Are we making the most out of our efforts?”.
- Who are your most valuable customers?
- With what content can you attract them? (WOW factor)
- Via which channels can you reach them best?
2. Learning about your most valuable customers
To determine who you should target at the moment, you need to divide your most valuable customers into two profiles: your customers with the highest Customer Lifetime Value and the lowest Cost of Acquisition, before and after your growth spurt.
- Customer Lifetime Value (CLTV) is simply how much revenue a particular customer will generate throughout their entire relationship with your brand.
- Cost of Acquisition (CAC) is the sum of all money spent on customer acquisition in a determined period of time divided by the number of customers acquired in that same time period.
Now, here’s where it gets interesting. If you were already doing well before your growth spurt, there’s a good chance you are acquiring customers from several different channels. Channels with varying degrees of cost of acquisition and conversion performance.
3. Correctly tracking data from your acquisition channels
To feed data to your CLTV and CAC, you need to have an overview of all your acquisition channels with their associated costs, and check if you’re tracking the customer journey from each of those channels correctly.
How do you know whether you’re tracking your acquisition channels correctly? Well, the most practical way is to be your own customer by making a few (real) transactions in your shop, one from each acquisition channel you have (e.g. Google, Facebook, referral).
Make sure you don’t have any adblocks or tracking blocks installed, that you are not logged in on your CMS (website backend), and that your tracking isn’t excluding your IP as admin.
If you don’t know how to do this, make these tests from a different internet connection than the one from your office, like the one on your phone, or at a friends’ house.
The below are just examples of channels and how they are tracked on Google Analytics, your CMS might have slightly different names.
- Organic: Google your company, click through the first organic link you can find and complete a transaction in the same session. This whole transaction should be tracked as ‘Organic Search’
- Google Ads: Google your company, click through the first paid link you can find and complete a transaction in the same session. This whole transaction should be tracked as ‘Paid Search’
- Facebook and Instagram Organic: Find one of your organic posts, click through there and complete a transaction in the same session. This whole transaction should be tracked as ‘Organic Social > Facebook, Organic Social > Instagram’
- Facebook and Instagram Paid: Find one of your ads, click through there and complete a transaction in the same session. This whole transaction should be tracked as ‘Paid Social > Facebook, Paid Social > Instagram’
- Referral: Find another website where there’s a link to your shop, click through there and complete a transaction in the same session. This whole transaction should be tracked as ‘Referral > [name of your referral domain]’
- Email: Find an email in which there’s a link to your shop, click through on the link and complete a transaction in the same session. This whole transaction should be tracked as ’email > email provider’
- Direct: Type in the link to your shop on your browser, and complete a transaction in the same session. This whole transaction should be tracked as ‘Direct’
4. Collecting customer journey data in Google Analytics
If the CMS system you’re using includes detailed analytics that can aggregate data from various channels, you may not need to use Google Analytics. If not, keep reading.
It time to bring data together in a platform that, when set up right, gives you an incredible amount of data and analysis that you can use to answer the 3 core questions — Google Analytics *cue heaven music*.
The most optimum use you can make of this badass data platform (did we mention it’s free?) is setting up Enhanced E-commerce. This function will tell you:
- How many people go from one step of the purchasing funnel to the next
- How many drop off and where
- How many abandon their carts
- Segment sessions with transactions to check what channel they originated from.
We probably don’t have to tell you that these metrics are crucial to determining the effectiveness of your online checkout journey, but I guess we just did.
Besides Enhanced E-commerce, there are more locations (and metrics) at each step of your customers’ journey that you need to check out. Let’s go through them in 4 steps.
In the below example, you set up a social media ad which led to your landing page via which customers purchase your product.
- Journey step 1: Customer clicks on social media ad
- Measure: click-through rate on Facebook pixel dashboard
- Journey step 2: Customer lands on landing page
- Measure: bounce rate, time on page on GA, check HotJar click map and session recordings to see what they check on the page before moving on to the next step.
- Journey step 3: Customer adds a product to cart
- Measure: time on page, cart abandonment, what products were in the cart, how long did the person spend in the cart before giving up or moving to checkout on GA. Check HotJar click map and session recordings to see what they check on the page before moving on to the next step.
- Journey step 4: Customer checks out the product
- Measure: How many drop off and at which point of the checkout on Google Analytics. And, segment sessions with transactions to check what channel they originated from on Google Analytics.
Make real transactions from each channel you are tracking and check if they appear on the report. You can see that in real-time on Google Analytics and/or you can use the debug tool from Google Tag Manager if you did the implementation with it.
5. Troubleshooting data tracking
If you are finding that any of these channels isn’t tracking your transaction properly, and by tracking the transaction properly we mean that you are able to see a report that shows the number of people at each step of the purchase funnel:
- Acquisition channel
- Add to Cart
- Checkout Steps
- Transaction Data
- Transaction Date / Time
- Transaction ID
- Customer ID
- Transaction value
- Transaction Products
Still running into challenges? Sign up now for an e-commerce tracking audit and we’ll check it for you and return it fixed within 1 week.
6. Answering the 3 core questions
Now let’s say you went through all that and found that, yes, you are tracking it all. Keep in mind there will always be a percentage of transactions not tracked because people have AdBlock or other anti-tracking tools installed.
This marks the moment that all the data you are tracking is now accurate (you can consider it live) and can be utilised.
So let’s utilise it. For you to learn why you’re doing so well at the moment, and what direction you need to move into to keep this line of growth going, let’s go back to the 3 core questions and answer them.
Keep in mind, if you had a sudden growth spurt in the last two months, answer the below questions once before the growth spurt and after the growth spurt.
- Who are your most valuable customers?
- The profile (persona profile is a whole other thing, please check it out here) of customers with the highest CLTV and lowest CAC per acquisition channel.
- With what content can you attract them? (WOW factor)
- What posts exactly on what channels drove these people to complete their transactions?
- On what platforms can you reach them best?
- Which channels are wielding your highest CLTV / lowest CAC customers?
We’re curious to hear how you did. Were you able to set up all the tracking to make it work? Did the data help you answer the 3 core questions?
The next step in growth hacking is to run experiments with various (data-validated) content on multiple (data-validated) channels reaching your (data-validated) best customers.
Happy growing !