EcommerceBytes-NewsFlash, Number 3054 - April 30, 2013     4 of 5

New Google Analytics Tool Plots the Purchase Journey

By David A. Utter

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The axiom of knowledge equaling power has been trotted out a near infinite number of times, but when it comes to site analytics it's as close to a truism as anything. Understanding how the customer moves from landing page to a purchase gives ecommerce pros a way to determine how to bring in the next customer, and the next.

Part of a success strategy likely involves online advertising, a venue in which online sellers must consider Google among their options. Google knows this as well, making various tools available over time to help tie more people to their brand, hopefully to their main revenue stream, AdWords.

One of these tools, Google Analytics, presents the diligent seller with a way to make some sense of the data collected by an ecommerce site. It's in that vein that Google recently mentioned on their Analytics blog a new tool.

Called The Customer Journey to Online Purchase, this page lets the visitor see how various marketing channels, like email, social, and paid search, impact this voyage. One can see if a channel is more likely to be an assist, or a last interaction, during the trip.

One insight regarding US tech buying noted online purchases that take more than 28 days are worth about 3.5 times more than immediate purchases. Consumer packaged goods purchases tend to be quick, with little research being done by customers before making a buy.

After reviewing the tool and the various benchmarks mentioned, one may be able to see new insights in their analytics. "When you view your own data in the Multi-Channel Funnels reports in Google Analytics, you'll gain a better understanding of where different channels impact your conversions and what your typical path looks like, so you can adjust your budgeting and marketing programs accordingly," Google Analytics director of engineering Paul Muret wrote.

About the author:

David A. Utter is a freelance writer based in Lexington, KY. He has covered technology topics from search to security to online business and has been quoted in places like ZDNet and BusinessWeek. He considers his appearance on NPR's "All Things Considered" with long-time host Robert Siegel a delightful highlight. Send your tips to and find him on Twitter @davidautter and on LinkedIn.

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