To quote Veruca Salt of Roald Dahl’s classic , “I want data and prizes, analytics and surprises of all shapes and sizes, and now. Don’t care how, I want it now.”
It’s funny how, even back in 1971, young Veruca Salt was able to predict the importance of having analytics data in real time- especially seeing that such an option didn’t become available until very recently.
But now it’s 2013 and we finally have realized the dream of viewing your website data in real-time. Real-time meaning as it is happening right now, viva a la immediate!
What Exactly Is Real-Time Analytics?
Simply put, real-time analytics data is collected as it happens. No more will you have to wait up to 24 hours to see what is happening on your site. This means you can see how visitors are interacting with your site while they are on your site.
So why is immediate data satisfaction so important to your eCommerce site? Because in the eCommerce word, time is money.
Having an agile approach to your eCommerce business is important to maximize your conversion rate; hence the importance of real-time analytics. Using real-time data you can quickly see if current campaigns are driving the traffic you want.
Learn How Site Changes Affect Visitors
Real-time data allows you to determine if an implementation is successful. By viewing real-time data following a deployment you can see if visitors are jumping ship because of a change and quickly make changes that save your eCommerce revenue. For example if you make a change to your homepage then see your bounce rate suddenly increase greatly, you may want to roll-back your deployment and investigate the problem.
Where To Find Real-Time Data
As the importance of immediate data has become more apparent, more and more options have become available.
The easiest to access (assuming you have Google Analytics installed on your site) is Real-Time Analytics in Google Analytics.
The great thing about this option is Google continues to improve the product. It has evolved from a very basic offering to a full fledged real-time data collection unit in Google Analytics. Today, it even provides filtered data! Visitors filtered in your Google Analytics will now also be filtered in your Real-Time data. Also, you will not see data normally filtered in Google Analytics data in your Real-Time data either.
Take the time to give real-time a chance, but be warned – real-time data can be addictive! And if you don’t have Google Analytics, or aren’t sure whether or not you need it, check out these blog posts on why it’s so important:
- Analytics for eCommerce: Tools and Tips for Proactive Monitoring
- Celebrating Our Analytics Relationships
- Beginner’s Guide To Web Data Analysis: Ten Steps To Love & Success
Also, other real-time data platforms worthy of mention:
- Jirafe – Provides easy installation with a free Magento extension and basic analysis.
- GoSquared – Great Social metric integration along with a free Magento extension.
- Clicky – Beautiful real-time heat map to tell you where visitors are clicking.
- Woopra – Allows you to chat with visitors in real-time along with providing their specific session data.
- Chart Beat – Beautiful dashboard with easy share functions. Great for impressing the executives.
- Mix Panel – Real-time segmentation and funnel analysis makes this a must have for eCommerce sites.