Back to blog

What is ecommerce analytics and how can you use it to grow your business

Analytics Use cases

Written by

Published October 24, 2023

What is ecommerce analytics and how can you use it to grow your business

The average cart abandonment rate for online shopping exceeds 70%. This presents a massive challenge to ecommerce operations. How can you effectively reach customers and get them over the finish line? A crucial element is data gathered by an ecommerce analytics tool. 

Ecommerce businesses need to make data-driven decisions to better understand customers’ actions, and drive growth and profits. The trick is to collect the right data, draw granular insights about audiences, and put those insights to work. That’s what ecommerce analytics can help you with. 

Read through our blog post to learn about using ecommerce analytics to create more effective campaigns, increase sales, and strengthen your brand’s position.

What is ecommerce analytics

Ecommerce analytics involves discovering, interpreting, and communicating data patterns related to online business. This process involves tracking a range of metrics related to the customer journey from A to Z, including discovery, acquisition, conversion, retention and advocacy.

By analyzing data from multiple sources, ecommerce businesses can gain insights into how their store is performing, identify areas for improvement, and make data-driven decisions to optimize their online sales and marketing efforts.

Why is analyzing ecommerce data important

With the right ecommerce data at your fingertips, you can:

  • Understand which channels bring the most customers and optimize your marketing budget and investments accordingly.
  • Learn which groups of customers spend the most money and what they typically purchase, and target them with specific offers.
  • Discover which customers are least likely to make a second purchase and why, and develop an appropriate customer retention strategy.

Most importantly, you can base all of these insights on real-life data from the platforms you use. Using hard numbers and facts to make business decisions instead of costly guesstimates puts you in a much better position. You gain a competitive edge over online retailers who don’t approach ecommerce analytics with the same level of detail.

What types of data can you track using ecommerce analytics

You can use ecommerce analytics to track a range of information about users:


Collect information to get in-depth insights into your audience demographics, such as:

  • Gender
  • Age
  • Income
  • Occupation
  • Geographic location
  • Languages spoken
  • Device

Fine-tuning your customer persona based on data allows you to determine the pain points you need to address, bringing massive improvements to your targeted marketing efforts.

Audience data also allows you to plan and adjust your shipping options and ads based on your audience’s locations. With data on the technology your audience uses and their sessions, you can rethink the topics your marketing content covers and how it’s displayed on devices.


Audience data informs you how your visitors learn about your business and how they end up on your website. 

Here are some metrics to have in mind related to customer acquisition:

When using acquisition data, you will discover more about the marketing channels driving the most traffic and leading to the highest number of conversions and sales. You can also see which online marketing channels are the most effective and which aren’t working. This data is crucial in understanding where to focus your resources.


Another type of data you should look at is how customers act after they land on your website. Insights on customer behavior help you understand the journeys visitors typically take when interacting with your online store and see how well they align with the actions you want them to complete. 

Here are some questions you can ask to get an idea of your customers’ behavior:

  • What products do customers buy at the end of their session?
  • How many viewers leave your website straight away?
  • What pages do people visit first after landing on your site?
  • What marketing content do users visit the most?
  • Which products get a lot of traffic but few sales?
  • How much time do viewers spend on your website on average?

Behavior analytics helps you discover which aspects of your store you can enhance to boost engagement rates and conversion levels.

If visitors leave your pages quickly and don’t interact with them, you need to investigate the possible causes, such as:

  • Your pages load slowly.
  • Your website or products don’t satisfy your audience’s expectations.
  • Your online store is difficult to navigate or its offer or content is confusing.


Measuring and analyzing conversions is crucial to the success of your ecommerce business when and how your audience members convert into paying customers.

Certain metrics give you an idea of your sales, their worth, and which conversion campaigns need improvement:

When you start delving deeper into your data, you can find out:

  • How long does a typical user take to convert into a paying customer?
  • How often do customers tend to convert?
  • How many visits do customers need before they make their first purchase?
  • Do customers make repeat purchases?
  • How many customers abandon their shopping cart rather than converting?

Answering this information will help you determine how to modify your marketing messaging to effectively engage with existing and potential customers.

Privacy compliance in ecommerce analytics

Safeguarding customers’ data and respecting their privacy has become a new standard. The emphasis on privacy and security stems from the growing number of data privacy regulations, higher consumer awareness, and increasing enforcement of regulations.

Ecommerce compliance means adhering to the rules governing ecommerce activities in the markets you sell in. These include but are not limited to ecommerce regulations per se, data privacy regulations, online payment standards, accessibility norms, and the avoidance of dark patterns.

Ecommerce privacy regulations

The focal point of data privacy regulations is processing personal data and protecting consumers’ privacy online. Since your ecommerce regularly deals with all kinds of personal data, understanding and complying with applicable laws is a must. Check what regulations apply to your business, whether laws affecting specific countries, like German TTDSG or French CNIL’s guidelines, or laws with a broader application, such as GDPR, the Digital Services Act (DSA) or the ePrivacy directive.

Privacy-oriented technological changes

The ecommerce landscape is also being affected by technological shifts. The most notable event is the end of retargeting ad campaigns as we know them due to the deprecation of third-party cookies. 

To adjust to privacy-facing technological changes, take the following steps:

  • Choose privacy-conscious tech providers that build their tools according to privacy by design and privacy by default principles.
  • Ensure the tools you use offer features that allow you to respect visitors’ choices or to anonymize data.
  • If you run a business in the EU, consider choosing EU-owned and -based tech platforms.
  • Prioritize first-party data sources, which means collecting data using your own sources.

Check out our blog post on privacy compliance in ecommerce for an overview of the most important upcoming laws and technological changes.

Best practices for ecommerce analytics

Below we’ve prepared some tips for getting your ecommerce analytics right.

Decide what your needs and objectives are

Your marketing team’s main objective needs to relate to overarching business goals. Study your website and customers, and think about the top profit generators for your company. You can then decide what metrics to track. 

Setting goals before diving into analytics is the best way to ensure your team is working toward a common objective. It also increases the odds of hitting your key performance indicators (KPIs).

Track customer data across different touchpoints

Gather all your marketing data scattered across platforms and channels and standardize it to make sure it’s up-to-date and consistent. This is an opportunity for businesses to provide customers with a seamless journey across different touchpoints or marketing channels, including mobile, web, and social media. As your marketing stack expands, all of your data being in one place will ensure you can establish a clear picture of your users’ behavior to find areas for improvement.

Implement the right data stack

An integrated data stack will help improve data accuracy and enhance your decision-making. You’d also want a scalable solution that can grow together with your operations. Ensure your analytics setup meets your teams’ needs, doesn’t demand too much in terms of resources and ultimately helps you achieve your marketing and business goals.

Join the dots between your customers and the data

Marketing tools often provide excessive amounts of data – don’t fall into the trap of simply gathering as much data as possible. You need to have a purpose for every piece of data you collect. Data becomes valuable when you correlate the numbers with your customers. Looking at data in isolation can lead to errors by obscuring the bigger picture.

Analytics lets you uncover trends, identify patterns and discover seasonality. It allows you to better understand your business’s current performance and how it can potentially look in the future. This, in turn, lets you make more accurate business forecasts that can inform your future actions.

Monitor your product performance over time

Tracking your product category and individual product performance over time will enable you to discover your biggest revenue drivers and what you should invest in. It’s a great place to begin if you want to find out what products are performing well and which aren’t doing as well as anticipated.

We’ve launched a new ecommerce setup with several enhancements to improve your online store’s reporting. Our new setup will feature new dimensions, metrics, product scope, and several other convenient functionalities designed to improve your reporting.

Learn more about ecommerce in Piwik PRO: Big changes in ecommerce: what’s new and how to update your current tracking.

How can you use ecommerce analytics to benefit your business

You can use ecommerce analytics in the following ways:

Modern ecommerce data analytics platforms treat your data as an interconnected system, allowing you to uncover trends and patterns. Ecommerce analytics gives you the power to determine how your business is doing now and how it will likely perform in the future. This forecasting will inform everything from hiring and sales goals to ensuring that the right products are accessible at the right time to meet your customers’ expectations.

Understand your customers

Growth, engagement and revenue reports help you understand customer behaviors. This knowledge can inform what formats, content and channels appeal to and resonate with your target demographics. You can use ecommerce data analytics to help optimally position your products and support your customers’ purchasing journey.

Optimize pricing and inventory

How you price products is the most powerful lever to improve profitability. With ecommerce analytics, you will benefit from a granular picture of what drives pricing for every consumer segment. You can use this insight to discover the best price points at the product level, rather than category level, to optimize revenue.

Measure the effectiveness of your marketing and sales campaigns

Data analytics can assist ecommerce companies in measuring their marketing campaigns‘ success, improving decision-making, gaining more omnichannel traction, and informing holistic marketing programs. You can keep tabs on all your campaigns, from social ads to emails to SEO, and see real-time stats so you can react quickly and use marketing data for ecommerce growth.

How to use data activation in ecommerce

Effective data activation for an ecommerce business requires the right tools. Customer data platforms (CDPs) allow you to integrate data from your CRM, email software, marketing automation tools, analytics, offline records, etc. They let you create single customer views and activate your audiences in ad networks, A/B tools, and other tools in your stack.

A CDP lets you see detailed customer data and create segments matching your target audiences. To surface the best segments, analyze your users’ behaviors, purchase history, interests, demographics and so on.   

Examples of data activation that you can apply in your ecommerce business include:

  • Retargeting users with ads they are most likely to respond to.
  • Offering free shipping to first-time customers.
  • Running an A/B test to see which message, page, or ad version converts better.
  • Showing personalized content to users based on the content they’ve consumed.
  • Providing product recommendations based on products or services that users showed interest in.
  • Crafting unique purchasing journeys for different types of customers.
  • Sending customized email campaigns based on users’ purchase history.
  • Integrating web or app data about user activity (visited pages, last activity, goals achieved) with a CRM to uncover and prevent potential churn.
  • Recognizing potential cross-selling and upselling opportunities using data about previous behaviors and purchases.
  • Offering coupons and discounts on products users might be interested in based on their browsing history.
  • Reactivating users who abandoned their carts or haven’t made another purchase for a while.

Since a customer data platform consists of first-party data, you can control where the data comes from and what happens with it. This helps you better align with privacy regulations.


Ecommerce businesses deal with uniquely large volumes of data. However, many truths are the same for organizations in all industries that rely on analytics. Specifically, the road to success is paved with an understanding of which data points are essential and using that knowledge to continuously improve customer experience.

Are you interested in learning how Piwik PRO Analytics Suite can help your ecommerce business?


Małgorzata Poddębniak

Senior Content Marketer

Content marketer and editor with experience in writing about various technical topics, creating research-based, comprehensive articles about the intricacies of web analytics and privacy.

See more posts by this author