How to know what your customers want? Web analytics

9 min read
Brian Pereira

Attending to customer needs has become a critical focus for businesses, as a “need” drives most purchases. So, it is crucial to pay close attention to customer requirements and deliver the right kind of products, backed by reliable service and support. This post will show you how to use web analytics to learn what your customers want, so you may adjust your products and services to better suit them.

Knowing what customers want cannot be left to guesswork and gut feel.

Instead, big online retailers and marketers use specific tools and technologies to track and analyze customer behavior and to gather useful insights. Based on the data collected, they decide what to sell and how much stock to order from manufacturers and suppliers. This blog post reviews some of those marketing and analytics tools.

The 5 big web analytics tools

There is a lot more to a five-star customer experience than data gathering and insights — you also have to get customers to interact with your website using good content, and provide top-notch shopping experiences for your customers. These web analytics tools can help you improve in all areas.

1. Google Analytics

Laptop with Google Analytics open on the screen

This is the most popular analytics tool. Google Analytics tracks the complete customer journey, from their first search to final purchase.

  • Shoppers are likely to look for products online by typing keywords<> into a search engine like Google or Bing.
  • Search results are shown on the search page, and one clicks on a link that leads to a shopping site like Amazon, Flipkar — or a small store like yours.
  • Once the online shopper arrives at the eCommerce site, they may also type keywords in the search box on that site – to refine the search.

Google Analytics captures those keywords or search phrases. Any online retailer can view these in the analytics report.

The goal is to find the terms people are using to search for products or services like yours and then add them to your website.

But that’s not all. Google Analytics can tell you:

  • Which pages on your website people most often view,
  • How much time they spend on each of your product pages,
  • Which links they click when on those pages.

When all the data is presented in a report, it offers rich insights into your customers' interests and products, which is invaluable for online retailers.

Google Analytics also captures demographic data such as:

  • Gender
  • Age
  • Which devices and browsers they used to access the shopping site
  • The regions from where customers came from

You can then modify your products and marketing tactics to more closely suit these buyers.

This tool shows the latest seasonal trends for a segment or category.

For example, Google Trends can provide details such as which features buyers consider essential in phones in the sub-Rs 15,000 category.

Google Trends report showing results for ‘Cosmetics’ search term
‘Interest by subregion’ allows you to target your social campaigns to people in those areas.

In the fashion or makeup segment, marketers can understand the latest consumer trends by using Google Trends – and then design their marketing campaigns around those trends. They can produce YouTube videos, Facebook ads and Instagram posts based on those trends.

For instance, comfortable pajamas are in, as we all work from home. Denim is out because we rarely venture out these days.

Likewise, Google Trends show declining trends, and retailers may want to remove or discount slow-moving products.

Keeping an eye on these trends tells marketers and retailers which products are in demand now.

3. Google Surveys

Closed-group surveys are another way to gather customer feedback. Google Surveys, (formerly Google Consumer Surveys), is one option for surveying likely customers.

Use this digital marketing tool to gain valuable insights about your target audience or customers.

These insights come back much sooner than the time it takes for traditional surveys. With these insights, you can align your marketing campaigns and product roadmaps in preparation for festive or big shopping days like Diwali<>.

  • When using Google Surveys, you need to define your audience (surveys can be tailored to region, gender or age).
  • When these surveys are posted online, they are answered by real people and not algorithms.
  • You can incentivize survey participants by offering valuable content like a whitepaper, eBook or videos in exchange for a completed survey.

With Google Surveys and the insights derived, one can provide a better shopping experience, which leads to more sales. The best part is that Google Surveys are conducted over the internet, so you get responses from diverse audiences worldwide.

Imagine trying to achieve the same thing with a traditional, paper-based survey. That could take months and an army of people to accomplish!

Related: Types of marketing research to learn about your customers

4. YouTube web analytics

YouTube videos are an engaging way to attract visitors to an eCommerce site. People love watching and sharing videos, especially if they feature celebrities and influencers who talk about the latest fashions and trends.

You could post a simple video with something humorous or unusual, and thousands of viewers may share it.

Marketers use YouTube for product demos, customer reviews and testimonials. While an online retailer may have their own YouTube channel and post hundreds of videos, they also want to have insights into:

  • How many people watched their videos and from which regions
  • Did they watch the full video?
  • Which types of videos appeal to which age groups?

The YouTube Analytics tool uses a measure called 'retention rate' to gauge viewer interest in videos. This is the average watch time for the video. It’s an important metric for marketers because it tells them whether a particular viewer finds the content attractive or not. Then they can take specific actions.

If the retention rate for a particular video is less than 25% (low), they could shorten the video's length or look for ways to make it more engaging.

Editor’s note: Why not sell your products on the internet from your own eCommerce store? Try building it yourself with GoDaddy’s Online Store, as it includes a free trial.

5. Facebook Audience Insights

Kewal Kiran Clothing Limited Facebook page

Marketers use Facebook as a platform to launch new products. Companies establish Facebook pages and then run campaigns using innovative formats like videos and carousel ads to tell their stories.

Facebook can provide data about how customers react to these campaigns.

Audience Insights are different from Page insights. Audience Insights help you better understand your customers’:

  • Lifestyles
  • Likes
  • Interests
  • Hobbies
  • Professions

Audience Insights also offers demographic overviews that include age and gender breakdowns, education levels, job titles, relationship status, and more. You can build customer profiles with Facebook Audience Insights. Customer profiles are crucial for targeted selling. Armed with these insights, online retailers will have an accurate understanding of their customers and launch the right products.

Facebook Audience Insights gives you aggregated information about two groups — people connected to your Facebook Page and people on Facebook. Using these insights, you can create content that is suitable to audiences and find more people like those in your current audience. So, it helps you with leads and to gather prospects, which online retailers can use to sell products.

Gathering insight from social media

People discuss their experiences with brands and products on popular social media platforms like Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. This activity conveys how your customers feel about your products.

These are useful insights for small business owners.

However, it would be tedious to go to all these blogging and social media platforms and pull together all the reviews and customer comments one by one. Instead, there are social listening tools that scour the internet and do this task for you. These tools gather data using engagement metrics.

Here are a few such tools:

Social Mention

This is a social media search and analysis tool that pulls together user-generated content from across the internet into a single stream of information.

Social Mention monitors 100+ social media properties directly, including Twitter, Facebook, FriendFeed, YouTube, Digg, and Google.


Social media influencers have thousands or hundreds of thousands of followers. So what they say about your product matters. Klout is an excellent tool for exploring, identifying, and categorizing influencers. Using Klout, you can search for influencers in your niche.

Klout mainly uses Facebook, Twitter, and more than 35 different variables to measure your social media influence and reach. Your Klout score is grouped into three different metrics – Network Influence, True Reach, and Amplification Probability.

Instagram Analytics

Instagram gained immense popularity in recent times, especially among younger audiences. Naturally, online retailers run visually appealing and engaging campaigns on Instagram – to draw these (young) audiences to their sites.

There are many other social listening and Instagram Analytics tools, including:

  • Sprout Social
  • Iconosquare
  • Phlanx
  • TapInfluence
  • Curalate
  • Union Metrics
  • Bitly
  • Keyhole
  • Instagram Insights

Every online business needs web analytics

The key to successful selling throughout the years is to focus on your customers. If you do not know your customers well, then you will be shooting in the dark.

There isn't a single web analytics tool that tells you everything about your customers. You will have to use a combination of social listening tools, page insights, audience insights, and analytics to build customer profiles.

  • Where are your customers?
  • Which platforms do they use to read or write product reviews?
  • On which social media do they discuss products?

Once you have this information, you can create and run engaging campaigns on those platforms to draw potential customers to your shopping website.

Remember, it is not just about selling the right products to customers – it is also about creating rich and engaging experiences on your website. You want your customers to be loyal and come back to your site for more purchases in the future.

Use engagement metrics to understand how well your content worked to keep your customers engaged.

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