How web analysts decide success or failure



Today's web users are demanding

As eCommerce continues to overtake high street sales, price comparison websites boom, mobile internet access starts to outstrip desktop access, web users become more focused on price plus service, and companies jostle for search ranking supremacy, website performance has become absolutely critical to online sales success.

At the heart of any thoughtful online marketing strategy is an ongoing investment in web analytics. Large retailers, in particular, recruit teams of web analysts to ensure that the complex customer journey through their website is as inviting and intuitive as possible.

Today’s web users are demanding. Short attention spans, high expectations, social-media savvy, price conscious and fully aware that there is always another retailer eager to earn their loyalty. In the strongest ecommerce teams, a range of web analytics tools are used to analyse and define the performance of design, digital analytics marketing, online advertising, customer communications, CRM, search engine optimisation and the entire on-site user experience.


Web Analytics - It's all about the numbers

It all comes down to conversion; converting visits into sales, visitors into loyal customers. A sound web analytics strategy employs the latest web analytics tools, with Google Analytics, Omniture, Adobe Insight, SiteCatalyst and Webtrends among the most popular, to deliver deep insights into website performance and customer trends, with a view to attracting and retaining customers and increasing sales.

With so much at stake, it’s no surprise that the demand for good web analysts is growing. Typical salaries for a web analyst are £35k, rising to £45k-55k for a senior web analyst, £65k for a web analytics manager and a head of web analytics might earn around £85k. Of course, for big campaigns, new website developments and rollouts, new web analytics tools may need implementing, which is when more contract web analysts are employed. These typically command a day rate of £350-£450.

Such competitive salaries indicate just how important web analysis software is to online sales success. The more sophisticated the analytics tools and techniques, the more accurate the data and the better the customer behaviour insight.


What will you be doing as a Web Analyst?

Truly comprehensive website strategies measure offsite and onsite web analytics.

Offsite web analytics tools measure and analyse the visibility of the website, its penetration of other websites and social media and the potential audience for the goods or services.

Onsite web analytics examine the visitor’s behaviour on the website itself. From landing page performance, to routes into and paths through the website from arrival to checkout – including friction points where a visit may be abandoned.

CRM analytics targets customer purchasing behaviour, so that marketing teams can accurately analyse customer trends from location or route to website, to types and volume of product purchased. Done right, this means companies can promote particular products to particular customers and improve conversion rates.

We’re a very long way beyond the click counters that marked the earliest efforts to measure website performance. Today’s web analysts exploit a raft of advanced software tools to delve deep into the data and deliver the facts on everything from A/B and multivariate testing to the effectiveness of various calls to action.

Harnham blog & news

With over 10 years experience working solely in the Data & Analytics sector our consultants are able to offer detailed insights into the industry.

Visit our Blogs & News portal or check out our recent posts below.

'Precision marketing' from Nielsen

Nielsen has today launched a new tool that combines credit-card purchase data with online behavioral data to help advertisers target people based on their buying habits. The ‘Nielsen Buyer Insights – Precision Marketing’ tool has so far signed four digital analytics advertising platforms as clients, who in turn will offer this data to their clients to enable buyer-segmented audience targeting, ranging from category level to heavy buyers of a single merchant. “We see this as a huge step for digital analytics precision marketing,” said Nada Bradbury, Nielsen’s senior vice president of global media products. “Clients can see syndicated data exposing the reach and frequency of their ads layered with actual consumer shopping behavior.” Credit card purchase data is derived from Nielsen’s own panel, and is anonymized and privacy-protected, the company said. Specific Media is one of the first Precision Marketing customers. Jill Botway, president of global sales and marketing, said: “Connecting with consumers is increasingly more complicated; yet, with new technologies that allow us to create a link between offline and online by harnessing insights from aggregated data, retailers can build direct connections with consumers to deliver messages and offers that will resonate.” Click here for the article on the web.

Risk & reward of the leap from permanent hire to contractor

Want to implement digital change through a variety of projects? Are you more interested in coding than hanging about the water cooler? Have you got 2 – 3 years of experience in your field within the field of digital and analytics? Are you a risk taker who wants to help businesses succeed in their short-term projects? If this is you, then you may want to consider a contract role within the industry. Variety is the spice of life and in our always on, always in demand world of technology, we’re growing at astronomical pace. While some businesses are racing to transform their business models, others are ready to implement their changes, but may be missing the key personnel to do so. The skill shortage gap within the industry makes it tricky for businesses to find the right person for the right job. The reason? Oftentimes, it’s because the right permanent candidates have already been placed. What to Consider Before You Make the Move One of the benefits of making the move from permanent employee to contractor is the opportunity to increase your wages. For example, someone making £50,000 per year on a day rate basis of £200, £300, or £400 per day could potentially command closer to £100,000 per year. However, there is risk in this kind of reward. It’s important before accepting a contract role to understand the risk. This type of role is project based and can last anywhere from two to six months – sometimes less, possibly more. This short term offers slightly less financial security than a more traditional role, but with the rise of the freelance economy, many who walk this path understand its important to be financially stable before making the move. Urgent projects create even more instability, but with the difficulty of finding permanent talent, day rates may increase. In other words, before you hand in your notice, be sure you’ve budgeted properly and are financially stable to take on a contractor role. But, if you’re an expert in your field, perhaps a Head of Digital Analytics, the reward of making the move from permanent placement to contract role is the opportunity to focus on what you’re doing. As a contractor, you can get back in the trenches, help guide and grow teams, and be on the cutting edge of business transformation utilizing their digital implementation road map. Be the driving force for change and avoid getting bogged down in such day-to-day rituals as office politics. Boost Your Digital Analytics CV with These Tips Want to boost your CV to the top of the pile? Follow these tips: Be specific when you reference digital analytics and/or digital implementation as a specialisation. Be able to marry web analytics tool set with R, Python, SQL, etc. Include any specialized training certificates such as Adobe Analytics Certificate. If you’re a Web Analyst familiar with Snowplow Analytics, it’s an added bonus and can boost your chances even further. For Web Analytics contract roles, Adobe Analytics and Snowplow Analytics are in particularly high demand. More and more businesses interested in doing an Adobe Analytics Implementation project often find a skills gap in this area. However, though Adobe has been around longer and is more well known, a disruptor in the industry is Snowplow Analytics which is more personalised. Your Turn Contract roles offer bite size glimpses into the digital transformations of business and the skillsets they need to implement those changes. In our Your Turn section, we want to hear from you. What projects have you worked on you found to be difficult or tricky? What might make you move from permanent to contract role? And if you’ve made the switch, what most interested you to make the move? With a shortage in the market for digital implementation specialists, what route have you followed? And if you’re interested in making the move, what draws you most toward it? We’re currently looking for implementation specialists in the travel and online gaming sectors. For more opportunities, check out our current vacancies or contact Elizabeth Stone, Recruitment Consultant with a focus on Contract Roles at +44 20 8408 6070 or email elizabethstone@harnham.com to learn more.

Camelot syncs campaign to train timetables

Camelot, the operator of the National Lottery, has today launched an out-of-home campaign that matches messaging to live train departure times at railway stations. National Lottery syncs real-time campaign to train timetables The "surprising numbers" billboards explain how more people than ever before are winning with  National Lottery scratchcards, according to Camelot. The geo-targeted boards reveal the number of people in the UK who are expected to become scratchcard winners before the next train departs, using data from National Rail and Transport for London, cross-referenced with scratchcard data. They feature an image of people forming a "human counter’ that displays data on their T-shirts. Commuters will see messages tailored to their location and the next departing train, such as, "Winners before the 09:05 to Norwich leaves? 1,562." The campaign was planned and bought by OMD UK, Havas Media and Talon, with production and technology by Grand Visual. The train data is syndicated using OpenLoop, the digital analytics out-of-home campaign management system. It pulls in train data before contextualising messages for each individual site and pushing them live to the billboards. Max Lucas, a media strategy manager at Camelot, said: "Clever use of digital analytics out-of-home technology has really brought this campaign to life. "We have been able to use our data in a unique way, serving up dynamic, targeted, locally-relevant messages that let people know there are more National Lottery Scratchcard winners than ever." The messages will run across screens at rail stations and on the London Underground. Click here for the article on the web.

How Digital Analytics Are Changing The High Street

As customers, we are now looking for more and more personalisation in our shopping experiences. We expect recommendations suited to our tastes and budgets, as well as a seamless customer journey. However, this has come at the cost of the more traditional shopping trip. The retail industry, long leading the way in utilising data and insights to provide unique, tailored online experiences, has left their own bricks and mortar high street stores at risk of redundancy. Now that AI is entering the Customer Journey, there is more necessity than ever for these outlets to evolve how they operate and apply the tools they have available to develop their stores,  advancing their back office processes and in-store experiences.  Having initially been applied to just the customer journey, digital analytics are now being used to help shape every touch point throughout the sales process. From the design of the store, to sales predictions, through to product conception and final purchase. Evolving The Experience As retail executives have begun to take a closer look at their own operations, it has become clear that they need to go beyond just having enough staff during their busy seasons. With many of us now using our phones to make online price comparisons whilst in-store, the entire experience needs to change. This has facilitated a move from predictive analytics to prescriptive analytics, with data analysis being used to optimise store operations, set pricing models, and dictate the future of the high street store. Minding The Store If you’ve ever been to a busy store with more customers than cashiers, you’ll understand one of the major challenges retail businesses face. Compared to the few clicks required for us to search for, purchase, and ship an eCommerce order, having to stand in a length queue seems like a lot of effort, even for us British. It’s here where in-store analytics shine. Store owners can manage operations by optimising the number of staff required based on historical data and various scenarios gleaned from the data. Above and beyond traffic numbers, retailers can ultilise other trends and data to go one step further; weather predictions, location intelligence, peak hours and product availability provide them with the opportunity to precision manage their operations and maximise profit margin.  Beyond Customer Data Against big online retailers, such as Amazon, one of the biggest challenges has been pricing. A survey from Vista found that 81% of the British public still see the high-street store as ‘vital to the shopping experience’ and so, to maintain this level of necessity against falling online prices, shops must continue to evolve. Some leading outlets are already using new technologies to enhance the in-store experience by introducing Augmented Reality (AR) into their stores. Both Topshop and Gap have installed AR mirrors into certain outlets. Looking into these would allow you to see how the clothes you are trying on may look in different colours and styles, whilst Specsavers have an in-store app that lets you asses the best shape and size glasses for your face shape. Whilst such schemes are still in their early stages, they could be the answer for ensuring that the high-street store remains an essential part of the shopping experience. A Guiding Hand Retail businesses are now looking for a guiding hand to support them in calculating gathered data, as well as to make recommendations for future innovation. If you're looking for a permanent or contract Data & Analytics position within retail, we may have a role for you. Check out our current vacancies here. Alternatively, you can call us at +44 20 8408 6070, or email us at ukinfo@harnham.com.

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