[Interpreting Your Data Story Series] Performance Snapshot Part 2

In the second episode of “Interpreting Your Data Story,” Scott Reid concludes by reviewing The HUB’s Performance Snapshot. The focus is on analyzing traffic via UTM parameters to track revenue impact, particularly noting Google paid traffic’s limited effect. The episode also explores product performance, identifying top and bottom performers through the product snapshot table. Additionally, it touches on session and revenue analysis by device and the importance of marketing strategies tailored to the primary purchasing gender. Engagement and the role of new users in business growth are highlighted, emphasizing data-driven optimization. This episode offers a succinct overview of key data insights for enhancing business strategies.

EPISODE SNAPSHOT

  • [1:43] Analyzing website traffic data to identify optimization opportunities.
  • [6:24] Analyzing product sales data to identify top performers and areas for improvement.
  •  [8:11] Website analytics and user behavior.
  • [11:40] Google Analytics metrics for e-commerce businesses.

EPISODE DESCRIPTION

In the second episode of the “Interpreting Your Data Story” series, host Scott Reid finishes his review of the Performance Snapshot page of The HUB.

We start by examining traffic sources using UTM parameters, highlighting the importance of tracking session source, medium, and the revenue they generate. A deep dive into the Hub’s user-friendly interface shows us how to easily identify trends and patterns, specifically looking at Google paid traffic (as an example) and its less-than-stellar impact on overall revenue.

Next, we explore product performance through the product snapshot table, which reveals insights about high-performing products and those lagging in sales. This part of the episode emphasizes the value of understanding why certain products perform well and how to investigate underperforming items.

We then shift our focus to sessions and revenue per device category, introducing a horizontal bar chart that helps identify potential issues or optimization opportunities across different devices, including the newly recognized Smart TV category.

The episode also covers revenue distribution by gender, stressing the importance of aligning marketing efforts with the primary purchasing gender and how this data can influence marketing strategies.

Finally, we analyze user distribution through a line chart, discussing the significance of active and new users. This segment highlights the importance of engagement in driving business success and the role of new users in sustaining business growth.

SPONSOR

This episode is sponsored by our very own Ecommerce Optimization HUB – your essential tool for enhancing traffic quality, reducing traffic costs, and refining the online customer journey. With The HUB, complex marketing data becomes easy to understand, helping you to clearly identify what’s working and what’s not throughout your traffic and website. 

The best part is that subscribers of The HUB also get access to on-demand support, feedback & coaching from Chief Optimizer (and show host) Scott Reid. You can take a test drive with our full access, 30-day free trial – no credit card is required. Get all the details by clicking here

EPISODE TRANSCRIPT

00:00
Welcome to the Ecommerce OptimizerS Show. I’m your host, Scott Reid. For a new listeners, I always like to start every show with a quick definition of e commerce optimization since

00:09
it means different things to different people. As a specialist in this field, I view optimization as a continuous and evolving process with three primary objectives, one, enhancing traffic quality to reducing traffic costs, and three refining the online customer journey. These aren’t just goals, they are the pillars for scaling your business effectively. And why does this matter? And why should you pay attention to it? It’s because when you blend these objectives together, you convert more visitors into customers grow revenue, cut costs and boost your bottom line. It’s all about getting more for less, more conversions more revenue at a lower cost, it just makes your business better and easier to manage and grow. So this episode is sponsored by our very own ecommerce optimization hub, it’s your essential tool for enhancing traffic quality, reducing traffic costs, and refining the online customer journey. I’m sure you can see some similarities between that and my definition. But with the hub, complex marketing data becomes easy to understand helping you to clearly identify what’s working and what’s not throughout your traffic and website and really your entire marketing strategy.

01:20
So the best part is that subscribers of the hub also get access to weekly optimization feedback and coaching from yours truly,

01:29
you can take a test drive with our full access 30 day free trial, no credit card is required. With this, you can get all the details at ecommerce optimizers.com. Alright, so let’s get started with today’s episode. This

01:43
is the second episode of the interpreting your data Story series. Our first episode of the series was episode seven, that was a couple of days ago. And that was entitled six key metrics to keep your eye on. And what I would recommend is that if you haven’t listened to that one yet, I would go back and I would listen to that when I’m doing these series, they’re gonna build upon each other. That’s one of the reasons why I’m breaking up some of these topics into series so that you can follow along based on your level of interest with a given topic. Alright, so I’m in the hub, and I’m still on the performance snapshot page, we’re continuing our discussion about some of the tables and scorecards and ways to interpret your your data story, based on this first page of the hub, the performance snapshot, okay. And again, I’m going to reiterate it, you can do all of this in GA for it’s just a lot more challenging, you just gonna have to invest a lot more time, you can still do it, it’s just a choice of if you want to do it. And you can follow along with exactly what I’m looking at, as I talk through this, by taking advantage of your 30 day free trial of the hub, you can get that as I said earlier, at ecommerce optimizers.com. One of the things that you should always have your eye on is your traffic in terms of the traffic source, the traffic medium, the sessions and the revenue. Okay, so I’m using UTM parameter terms there, I’m not going to go into what those are, if you don’t know them, just look it up online, I’ll have an episode at some point in time in the future. But I’m always going to want to look at and I strongly recommend that you look at the very, very least in terms of your traffic, your session source, your medium, the volume in terms of sessions, and the revenue associated with that traffic source. Okay, so in the hub, there is a table that just does that on the performance snapshot, and it breaks it down into a very easy to understand and interpret manner. Put your eyes on it on a regular basis, in an attempt to identify trends and patterns that may either be a positive trend or something that might be negative. So a lot of times with this data, it’s easy to if you just put your eyes on it, it’s easy to pick things out without doing all sorts of crazy analysis and wasting all sorts of time. So easy way to do that is to look at the total. So in this case, it’s sessions and revenue. So I’ve got 100,000 sessions, and $162,000 in revenue. And then you look and see where the bulk of your sessions are coming from just like look at your top five as a for instance, here I’m seeing that there are three traffic sources direct non Google organic and Google CPC that are delivering about 85,000 of those 100,000 sessions. And then the corresponding revenue to that’s about, I don’t know, maybe like 120 grand 118 $120,000 in revenue out of 162. But interestingly, as I look at this, is that the Google paid traffic, which is quite ironic that for the Google merchandise shop that Google paid traffic is really underperforming, that really jumps out at me, actually, is that the Google paid traffic has 21,000 sessions, so it’s 21% of the sessions. But there’s only $5,600 in revenue as compared to the whole of 162,000. So that really jumps out at me. And then when I compare that, that 21,000 sessions, and 5000 in revenue to Google organic at 24,000, sessions and $58,000 of revenue, that’s a huge swing is a huge disparity between those two. And then when I go down to the newsletter at 4200 sessions, with $20,000, in revenue, it jumps even more. So how would I use this, I would go in and I would say, Well, what is going on with Google paid traffic, okay? Because that really jumps out at me. And so then in the hub, which you can do is you can just click on Google Pay traffic, and then you can filter everything else on the page just for that traffic. So this is a lot harder to do with GA four. But in the hub, it does make it pretty easy. And one thing that I did notice right out of the gate, was that the E commerce conversion went from like 1.1, for all traffic to point to 4%. So there’s something going on with that Google paid traffic. In that event, I could talk for a long time about troubleshooting that, but the point is, is that that’s how you would use that traffic snapshot page to identify optimization opportunities. And this is definitely an optimization opportunity. Moving on to product performance with the product snapshot table. This table has the item name, the number of items purchased for each item, and the associated item revenue. So each item in your inventory tells a story through its sales data, and everything that goes into creating that sale. And with this table, the report shows you which products are flying off the shelves and which ones are lagging. So it’s not just about ordering more stock for high performance, it’s about understanding why they’re performing well, or perhaps why they aren’t performing well. So there’s a couple of ways that I would use this table. Number one, I would not only use it to just quickly see what’s selling and what’s not. But I would also use it to drill down deeper in terms of products that might not be selling as well as I anticipated them to sell. So as a for instance, if I was promoting a given product and putting some money behind it through some dedicated advertising, and it really wasn’t performing, I could then click on that item name. And then everything on the performance snapshot page will recast based on the associated metrics with that given product. Okay, so in other words, if I wanted to look at the performance of Google bike socks, which is my top performer, I can see all the traffic that created all those sales, I can see the associated ecommerce conversion rate with all that traffic, the transactions, average purchase revenue revenue sessions, it’s a great way to understand and drill down into what’s working, and how are those metrics performing and how’s the traffic performing around best sellers and things that aren’t selling quite as well. Moving on to the next topic is sessions and revenue per device category. So the way that I have this structured in the hub is a horizontal bar chart. And what it shows you is the distribution of sessions and revenue across different devices. So now with GA four, you may be aware that we have smart TV as a new device. So now we have desktop, mobile tablet and smart TV. And then if you visualize this a horizontal bar chart, it’s going from left to right. And you definitely want to keep your eyes on this because it can quickly show you that there might be a problem with one of your device categories, or a device category better said. So as a for instance, and this is a great example of the Google merchandise shop is that desktop and mobile have just about the same number of sessions. But desktop has like 95% of the revenue and mobile has about 5% of the revenue. So same number of sessions across devices, but there’s a huge disparity in revenue. That says to me using that as an example, that there might be a challenge, or it might be a problem or an optimization opportunity with the mobile experience. So something to definitely keep your eye on doesn’t necessarily mean that there is there could be a whole variety of different reasons for that. But in this case, if you were to take this example and apply it to your business, the first thing I would do is I would go into the mobile experience and I would test it and try to figure out where things are going wrong. I would look at other pages in the report more data in GA for filtering across the mobile device and an attempt to see what’s going wrong with the customer journey. There’s a lot of different things that you can do there. But it’s incredibly important because if one of your devices is They’re not delivering a good experience, that could just be like just massive amounts of money draining out of your business on a minute by minute basis. Next up, we have revenue by gender. So what this shows you is the amount of revenue based on gender. And this for some may be completely obvious, whereas for others, for other businesses, it may be surprising, and I’ve seen both across companies that I’ve worked with. Now, if it’s not surprising, and your marketing campaigns are designed for whatever gender is primarily purchasing from you, then great, but if you’re looking at this distribution in terms of revenue, per gender, and you’re surprised that you might want to shift some of your targeting your copy, or your creative to address that gender, and perhaps some of their unique attributes. So it’s just one of those things, again, to keep your eye on, and to ensure that your marketing campaigns are matching your target audience as much as possible. All right, moving into our final chart of the day user distribution. So this is a line chart that graphs, four different metrics, based on volume and date. All right, and those four metrics are really important to keep your eye on we spoke about two of them last session in the first episode of this series. And those were sessions and total users. And we spoke about the relationship of that at that time. In terms of sessions and total users, we define those. So definitely listen to that if you haven’t already. But there are two more that we’re introducing here, which are active users and new users. So I’m just going to really focus on that. More. So for this quick discussion. Because active users, clearly we want people to be as active as possible. Now, I think it’s important to understand what an active user is, as it relates to the Google Analytics for definition. An active user is a user who had an engaged session. And an engaged session is a session that lasted 10 seconds or longer, or had one or more conversion events, as defined in your GA for setup, or two or more page or screen views. Okay, so it basically shows a level of engagement that is higher than just coming to a page and and bouncing off, okay, or not engaging, per the definition. Either way, engagement is something that we want as much of as humanly possible. And the active user metric provides us with a window into a certain baseline level of engagement. So if you were to look at this chart, and you saw a decline in active users, that would create a red flag in my mind. And then I would drill deeper in terms of trying to identify what was going wrong so that I could proactively and not reactively address any issues that might be causing that drop in engagement. And why is this so important? It’s because engagement creates revenue, it creates transactions, it drives the business forward, the more that you can increase the number of active users as compared to total users, the healthier your business is going to be in a lot of respects. Alright, so definitely something to keep your eye on and make sure that there isn’t some type of an odd dip in that area. The fourth metric is new users. And I don’t have to say a lot about that I mean, new users as new users, you always want to be bringing in new blood into your business. And that new users metric is something that allows you to keep your eye on it to make sure that you’re feeding your business with users that will be purchasing from you in the future. Because as we all know, many people don’t buy in the first visit. So those new users are an indication in terms of the health of your business moving forward, it’s a leading indicator. All right, that wraps up our episode for today. It also wraps up our review of the performance snapshot page, or the hub and all of the associated metrics and tables and scorecards and all that good stuff. Again, you can get all this information in GA for All right, so we’re not talking about anything that is not 100% accessible in GA for because every piece of data that I’m talking about does exist in GA four, it’s just visualized in a much more easy to understand manner in the hub. So in the next episode of this series of the interpreting your data Story series, we’re going to start talking about traffic acquisition. So there’s this is a big section of the hub. And clearly it’s a big part of your business is traffic. And the better you understand how your traffic is performing, and the different nuances of that traffic through a variety of different lenses like engagement and revenue. And we can just talk about it for several episodes in terms of analyzing your traffic. That’s what we’re going to talk about next. And I have a request. Also, if you’re getting value out of these episodes, please leave a review. I’d really appreciate that. And if you have any feedback or the things that you would like me to cover to shoot me an email at Scott Out of E commerce optimizers.com. And I’ll make every effort possible to accommodate your requests. It’ll just make the podcast that much better if it’s as relevant as possible to the listeners, which is what this is all about. And don’t forget to take advantage of your free trial of the hub at E commerce optimizers.com. Thanks very much for listening to this episode. I really appreciate it again, I hope you got a ton of value out of it and I look forward to speaking to you on the next episode. Bye bye