Making sense of the data you get from your website.
Consumer website behavior provides much of the information you need to make better marketing investments. Website analysis can help you improve content engagement, boost sales, and drive traffic into your tasting room. And most importantly, it can help you build a better experience for your consumer before they even have one sip of your hand-crafted wine.
Many wineries wait too long to begin finessing the consumer’s experience. Your website is the best place to start because it’s one of the first places consumers visit along their path to purchase. But unlike other channels, you have complete control. A wine buyer’s experience on your site is an opportunity to bond with them by making it as rewarding as possible.
But how do you know if your website is delivering the best possible experience for your consumer? You need to understand the data footprints they leave behind. First, you need some technology tools. There are many tracking tools on the market, but the one that we recommend the most for our wine clients is Google Analytics. It’s not a perfect tool, but it does a good enough job of tracking traffic, actions and attributions on your website.
There are other more advanced, paid tools that will dig deep into individual actions on your site, heat mapping and a bunch of other cool things. But for most wineries, you won’t need a paid tool. At least to start with.
But all of that data you get from Google Analytics is a) overwhelming, b) in a bunch of different places, and c) inherently not visually-friendly How do you make any sense of it anyway?
The good news is that it is possible to reduce the noise in the data and retrieve the insights that will make a meaningful difference to your winery if you know what you’re hoping to achieve.
We are going to share a couple of tips that we use to help us sort through and make sense of all that data so you can confidently make more informed marketing decisions.
Most winery websites need to work overtime. They need to give people a general feel for the brand, entice consumers to visit the tasting room, make online product purchase easy, and provide consumers in a retail environment with the confidence to pick up your wine vs. the one next to it. There are no two ways about it: wine websites have a tough job. Most consumer packaged product websites don’t have as much heavy lifting. So unfortunately, wine analytics and analysis is going to be slightly more complicated.
To get a clear view, start with consumer intent. What does a consumer want to accomplish when they get on your website? A consumer who is on their mobile device in Dallas is most likely considering plucking your wine off the shelf. This user takes very different actions on your website vs. the consumer who is going to purchase via your website or the consumer who is looking for the tasting room hours.
If you look at all of your website data in the aggregate (without segmentation), your sales conversion rate appear to be appallingly low and you won’t geta clear picture of how your site is performing. However, when you segment consumers with ecommerce purchase intent from consumers with visit intent, for example, you’ll begin to understand how well your site converts would-be buyers.
This is the absolute minimum of segmentation we recommend for our winery clients: visit intent from ecommerce purchase intent. Further segmentation can allow you to dive even deeper. If you segment those consumers with purchase intent, you can examine which digital sources consumers originated from, how each campaign performed and whether email, CPC or organic posts resulted in more sales, which demographic had the best sales velocity, which cities had the best sales conversion rates, and more. If you see that women, aged 35 – 44 are most likely to spend more per visit, you can modify your advertising to appeal to that group.
GOALS & FUNNELS
One of the most effective tools in any web analytics program is goal tracking and the funnel path that consumers took to achieve that goal. An example of a goal is an email sign up, and the funnel would be what steps a consumer needs to take in order to successfully sign up. Many people skip goal tracking and dive right into ecommerce conversion tracking. And that’s fine, but if you set up goals and funnels, then you will have a better understanding of where along their path you might be losing them.
Goal tracking will help you understand if your website visitors are doing what you expect on your site. For example, if you see them loop back in the middle of their path to completing the goal, you can deduce that they probably have a different expectation of the content and aren’t getting what they need to make it over the goal line. With that knowledge in hand, you can start looking at optimizing the path for that goal conversion.
ENHANCED ECOMMERCE TRACKING
My favorite tracking tool in the Google Analytics arsenal is Enhanced Ecommerce Tracking. Why? Because in addition to seeing your overall ecommerce revenue, it extends the understanding of your consumer’s path to purchase and it will track just about any kind of interaction your user has on your site. For example, it will track how much content a user read on your website, where they originated from, and if it resulted in a goal or ecommerce conversion.
The report includes a “last action” attribution that provides a deeper understanding of what the user interacted with prior to the conversion event.
So you’ve got segments, you’ve got goals and funnels, and you’ve got Enhanced Ecommerce tracking. How do you manage all this data? They key is prioritization combined with a new product from Google: Google Data Studio.
First, start with prioritization. Google Analytics has hundreds of different reports you can create. But all that choice is overwhelming. To figure out what data actually matters to you, take note of the individual reports that you run frequently. Chances are some of these reports come from the Audience tab (data like number of Sessions, number of Users, and so on), some come from Behavior (most popular pages, landing pages, etc.), some come from Acquisition (campaigns, sources, etc.), and some come from Conversions (goals, ecommerce, etc.). Keep track of what you use, and don’t sweat (yet) all the things you’re not.
You can stop right here and you’re fine — you’ll know what data actually matters to you and what doesn’t. But to step things up a notch, try out Google Data Studio. Google Data Studio is a tool which allows you to set up your own custom reports. A complete how-to is much longer than we can go into here, but the bottom line is that if you create a report and connect your Google Analytics to that report, you can then pull all the different data that you’ve marked as a priority and visually arrange them into a single report. Gone are the days of having to switch from view to view in Google Analytics — you can have everything arranged on a single page exactly how you like it.
It’s also possible with some coding magic to include outside data, such as sales reporting from Vin65 or reservation reporting from a 3rd party provider into the report.
The key to making better marketing investments is to understand the data consumers give you every time they come to their website. Segment your consumers, track their progressions through your conversion funnels, study their behavior, and do it all by looking at a clear representation of only the data that matters to you.
Don’t wait until consumers get into the tasting room or pick up your wine in store to begin the brand experience. It starts with the analytics on your website.