Web analytics tags are one of the many tags that can be managed easily with a Tag Management System, and we have noticed the diversity and growth of them as we implement new tags for our clients or help them switch providers. Here Erin Polka shares her research on the growth of clickstream analytics.
Guest Blog by Erin Polka, Marketing Director, iPerceptions
In November 2011, we at iPerceptions analyzed the top500 retail websites to determine how many were using web analytics tools. Online retailers are recognized leaders when it comes to integrating new web applications. A fast-growing, conversion-driven group, their choices often foreshadow those of other industries.
Our research found only 2% of IR500 is not using webanalytics tools with Google Analytics is still the major provider. But, interestingly we also found, the use of other, lesser-known clickstream and other web analytics tools is increasing. Let me share the 5 top charts of this research with you.
The use of clickstream analytics was nearly universal among retail websites in 2011. There has been a steady increase in usage over the last 3 years, as retailers relied more and more on clickstream data to make website and business decisions. Only 2% of the top IR500 were not using clickstream technology.
Among the dominant clickstream analytics vendors, Google was the only one to gain market share in 2011. Adobe (Omniture) and IBM (Coremetrics, Unica) maintained their retail website presence. IBM’s Coremetrics has declined in popularity, likely due to its acquisition of Unica. There has been a significant increase in the presence of “Other” vendors, including Quantcast, ComScore, SpecificMedia, Yahoo! and WebTrends.
In addition to the increase in the use of clickstream analytics, there were notable increases for just about every other category of web analytics. In 2011, more than half of all retail websites used ad network tools (up from one third) and the use of Search Engine Marketing (SEM) more than doubled to 20%. Voice of Customer (VoC) tools, such as iPerceptions’ webValidator Continuous Listening Solution and 4Q Suite, gained significant market share, suggesting that retailers are putting a stronger emphasis on Voice of Customer and online customer experience measurement tools.
One of the biggest trends in 2011 was retail websites’ implementation of multiple vendors and tool types. Until this year, the use of more than one tool was unusual, with the majority of retailers making decisions based on a single source of information. The use of multiple tools nearly doubled between 2010 and 2011, as retailers began to realize the importance of addressing the entire website visitor experience.
In 2010, retail websites that were using more than one web analytics tool were almost certainly using Google Analytics. This decreased in 2011, with other vendors and tools being selected as the secondary solutions of choice. 2011 also saw a substantial increase in the share of retailers employing 4 or more tools, up to 15%, versus 1% just one year ago.
In conclusion, Clickstream analytics has become a de facto standard for the retail industry and Google Analytics is still the reigning champ. That said, the use of other, lesser-known clickstream and other web analytics tools is increasing among retailers. Nearly two thirds of retail websites ran more than one tool in 2011, which is a major jump compared to the previous year when one tool was often deemed sufficient.
Erin is web enthusiast and author, with many publications to her name. At iPerceptions, Erin is responsible for researching, developing and implementing a marketing, communications and public relations strategy that delivers key messages to a global audience and maximizes sales. The analysis for this blogpost employed iPerceptions’ Web Analytics Solution Profiler (WASP) tool. Specifically, the homepages of the Internet Retailer Top 500 Retail Websites were loaded into the WASP Pro version crawler and produced detailed web analytics tool information for the 493 websites that were operational at the time of the study.