April 8, 2020

11 Analytics Alerts to Avoid an Ecommerce Meltdown


– [Instructor] Did you
check your analytics today? Here are 11 analytics alerts to avoid an e-commerce meltdown. So you’re probably in one of two camps, the yes, I checked it, I
live in the bloody thing, or probably like most, no, I set it up and kind of forgot about it. So, as an e-commerce
store owner or marketer you’ve got product stock issues, demanding customers, suppliers,
returns to deal with. Yeah, the life of an
e-commerce store owner is pretty hectic. With all the plate-spinning you’re doing, it’s easy to forget about
metrics other than your revenue, sometimes until it’s too late, and then another fire starts, and yep, you have to jump on that, too. Fortunately, to avoid disaster, Google Analytics has a nifty feature that allows you to get
alerted before problems occur, and to highlight when good
things are happening, too. It’s a simple feature
called custom alerts, so I’m gonna quickly
show you where they live and what the options are. Now in your left-hand menu in Analytics, click on customization, custom alerts. Now this view is a little dashboard of all the alerts that have triggered, but we want to click on
manage customised alerts. And in here are the 11
alerts that I’ve set up that I’m gonna run you through today, but let’s quickly create a new alert, and you’ll see the options
within here available to you, so give the alert a name, apply it to the analytics
view appropriate to you, you set a period, which
is a day, week, or month, then send me an email, and
there’s also an option in here to include other people, so if you’re, let’s say, the business owner, and you want your developer
to also receive an email, or your marketing manager,
stick that in here, and then the alert conditions are relatively straightforward. It applies to what and alerts
you when something happens. So I’ll run through those
very quickly in a minute. Now, condition is, let me click, less than, greater than,
decreased or increased buy, and then a percentage
decrease or increase, and then, obviously, the value. So really simple to set up. Let me run you through the
11 alerts you must have for your e-commerce store. So number one is traffic flat lined, and this is a, uses the period of a day, and essentially it applies
to the default settings in the alert conditions, so all traffic, all sessions, the condition
being is less than one. So, essentially, if your
website is receiving no traffic, you will get an alert. Your website might be offline, you might have a technical problem, you might have a tracking issue, whatever it may be, you’ll get an alert, so really simple, really straightforward. Number two, slightly different,
a major traffic loss. So this alert occurs when
there’s a significant dip in your traffic, and if
your traffic fluctuates on weekdays versus
weekends, then, obviously, don’t use the previous
day comparison here, use a, let me show you, a
same day in previous week. You can even use same
day in the previous year, if you really want to,
if you’re super seasonal, that might be appropriate to you. You can use this alert, for example, on not just all traffic,
but specific pages, so you can set this
alert to monitor traffic to your entire site as
it is now on-screen, or perhaps your checkout page, you know, if it’s decreased by 30, 40,
50%, whatever that may be. So this is a really simple
alert, another good one. And conversely, we have a traffic spike, which is, essentially,
the opposite setting, so set a value, increase
by, and on the previous day, so essentially here, if
the traffic increased today by more than 50% compared to yesterday, you’d get an alert to
let you know about this. Number four, the engagement drop off. This should be rare, but it’s a good alert to have in your arsenal. Any time you’re making
changes to your website, in particular, it’ll
help you spot any drops so you can investigate
them really quickly. So to set this one up, we have
the average session duration in the alert, and, again,
a condition of decreased by more than, let’s say,
50% from the previous day. Obviously when you’re setting values here, you just have to use a bit of common sense based on your historical information and what you know about
the traffic to your store. If it fluctuates regularly, then you might want to
use the previous week, as opposed to the previous day. But anyway, another simple one. Now next one, number five,
is tanking transactions. Now this is pretty crucial. You should always be tracking
the checkout activity, and the alert below will trigger if transactions drop by more than 30% on the same day last week, and you can, of course,
do it for the previous day if you so want to. I like same day, previous week because typically the same day of the week performs similarly, whereas
a Saturday, for you, might be completely different to a Friday, ’cause everyone buggers off on a Friday and puts their feet up. Number six is rocketing revenue. This is a nice alert to receive. So, on the flip side of
transactions dropping, a pleasant surprise to receive is an alert that told you
your transactions are up, here by 30% on the previous day. So this’ll help you identify
when things are working well. Perhaps you recently
did a large promotion, or you extended a marketing campaign. So instead of having to
dive through analytics every few hours to see the performance, you can set up a trigger that
tells you what’s happened. You can, of course, set this to revenue instead of transactions, if you so wish. Depends on the type of product you sell. If they vary wildly in price
you might false positives, of course, so if your volume
is relatively constant, then use revenue. If revenue is relatively constant, you can use transactions. Try both, give it a bit of a test. Number seven is a drop in conversion rate, so you need to be aware,
when your checkout is failing for whatever reason, you
might have a technical glitch or perhaps a payment gateway is down. Either way, it’s the most
crucial area of your store, and you should be alerted to failures. So here we have all traffic, alert me when the e-commerce
conversion rate decreases by more than 50%, and, again, I’ve, again, put the same
day in previous week, but you can do previous
day if you so wish. That’s a pretty important
alert, I’m sure you’d agree. Number eight is a bounce rate spike. Bounce rate’s when someone
visits a page on your site from an external source,
so it’s their first touch, and then leaves the page without visiting any other page, so depending
on how much traffic you get, I would suggest that you
set this for your key pages to start with, perhaps your home page and your top 10 products. You don’t have to do it for all traffic. This essentially looks
at every single page, and if your bounce rate increases by more than 30% on the previous day, you’ll get an alert. This is interesting because you might actually unearth some problems here. You might have a product
that’s been recently updated, the image is wrong, the image is missing, description’s crap, price is wrong, it’s gone out of stock
and you didn’t realise, you know, some kind of issue here, or you’re sending a social media or an ad campaign to this
product or category page, and for some reason people are bouncing, and this is quite a nice alert to have to tell you that something
weird is happening. It could be something more sinister. It could actually be
your site performance. You could have a hosting issue,
a website slowdown issue, and that can be just as
big a cause of bounce rate as any other, so a nice little report. Number nine is social media winners. Tracking your efforts over social media can be a little bit tricky. It’s very disparate ’cause there’s so many
different platforms, and different tracking methods and they all have their own dashboards. This alert tells you when
one of your social channels is delivering the goods,
loads of fresh traffic. It might alert you to something that isn’t even your doing, someone else is mentioning
your brand or product, which is always nice. This alert would trigger, for example, when the medium exactly matches
social and sessions increase by more than 30% on the previous day. Really simple. And then number 10, most people who are running an online store are probably advertising, and so we have an alert
here that tells you if your ad traffic is disrupted, so it applies to the medium
exactly matching CPC, cost per click, so that’ll bring in Bing, AdWords, and, if you’re tagging properly, your Facebook paid traffic and so on. And then sessions
decrease by more than 80%. I put a really big figure on this because, unless you’re doing
highly different bidding and budgeting per day, then
80% is a significant drop, and it’d be very odd for an online store to have that level of paid traffic drop. You can set it higher, if you
want, you can set it to 90%, but that’ll tell you if there’s a problem. And finally, we’ve got
the dead, or error pages. You can use this alert to fire
when a 404 error page occurs and the traffic to that ramps up. For example, you could also set it up for your payment page, so if
you have a payment failure or a payment gateway failure, or if people are seeing
the payment failure screen more frequently, is
that a technical glitch? What’s going on there? Wouldn’t it be nice to receive an alert to tell you that payments
aren’t going through? And here we can see that the
error is set to the condition, sorry, set to increase by more than 20% on the previous day. Those are the top 11
custom analytics alerts that I’ve used for an e-commerce store to avoid meltdown. You don’t have to live in
your analytics account. Spend a few minutes
setting these alerts up, or at least some of them,
the more critical ones, which is the checkout
and transaction ones, and the advertising traffic, and then you can sleep a little easier and also not have to remember
to check your analytics on a daily basis. No one has time for that. Enjoy, cheers.

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