using analytics tools for better ecommerce decisions

Using Analytics Tools To Make Better Ecommerce Decisions [Case Study]

How Tools & Services Can Help You Confidently Make Decisions Based On Your Analytics Data 

Do you utilize your analytics data to make decisions about how to manage or improve your website?

That IS the purpose of web analytics right? Analytics don’t exist just to give us numbers like unique visits and bounce tools for better ecommerce decisions

No. The whole point of web analytics is to empower us with the ability to make decisions based on real data, rather than just making guesses or assumptions.

That’s the goal.

However, that can be hard. Looking at a dashboard to see how your traffic numbers change month over month is pretty easy.

But really understanding all of the data available to you, and knowing what decisions to make based on that data…

Not so easy.

Wouldn’t It Be Cool If There Were A Tool?

Fortunately, there are some emerging analytics tools and services that aim to help us with this very challenge.

By ‘tools and services’, I am primarily referring to web-based tools/services (SaaS tools).

Tools and services that can not only organize your most important metrics into easy to understand dashboards, but that can also show you industry benchmarks, and even make custom recommendations to help you grow your revenue.

There is real power in being able to compare your analytics data with other industry peers. It adds a layer of context to your data, which gives you much more confidence to make decisions.

To help us fully understand this concept, let’s dig into a cool case study that shows us how one successful ecommerce website utilizes such a tool to improve their business.

Enter: The Giving Keys

I’d like to introduce you to Gabriella Johnson. Gabriella is the ecommerce Manager at the, an ecommerce website with a unique product, and an equally unique back story.

She was kind enough to answer a bunch of questions for us, providing a glimpse into the traits of a successful online store, and benefits that analytics tools can provide.

Background & Backstory

The Giving Keys was incorporated in 2012, founded by Caitlin Crosby. She’s a singer/songwriter. The idea for her business was actually hatched while performing in New York, when she saw the look of her hotel key and really liked it.

She liked it so much that she took it to an engraver and got it engraved with the word “love”, because at the time her album was called “Love your Flawz.”

She then wore it as a necklace at her show, and people loved it! So naturally, she started selling them on tour.

They sold so well that they actually sold out more than her CDs!

Caitlin then decided that she wanted to attach a charitable cause to the business. So when she encountered two homeless people named Rob and Sarah, she decided to hire them. Rob and Sarah became the first two employees of The Giving Key. She brought them on to help her engrave keys, and from there she started selling keys with different inspirational words such as “love”, “believe”, and “strength.”

Gabriella has been with the company for about 15 months now, managing the website. Her first project was to help manage the redesign of the site. The website is currently on Shopify and they have seen tremendous growth in the last 15 months.

So that’s how they got started and where they are today.

Key Growth Factors

According to Gabriella, they lean heavily on organic traffic, because Caitlin has a lot of connections.

“So a lot of celebrities started wearing our necklaces, and that of course helped the brand gain traction.”

Once Gabriella came onboard, they started to put a pretty aggressive PPC strategy into practice. They utilized Google AdWords, Google Shopping, Bing, as well as Facebook Ads and Instagram.

Influencer Marketing

So the beginning was more word of mouth, talking to people, and getting celebrities to wear the product. That’s a great example of influencer marketing. And it resulted in a lot of organic searches. They then capitalized on that momentum with paid advertising.

influencer marketing for ecommerce


Gabriella said that influencers have been, and continue to be a huge part of their growth. …people wearing the product, posting photos on Facebook, Instagram and all of their social media platforms. That’s still a key part of their strategy today.

What Kind of Revenue Are We Talking About Here?

Gabriella was okay to talk in terms of percentages of revenue.

They are currently 50% over the previous year. The Giving Keys has seen tremendous growth on their site and are currently trending at 50% over the previous year.

In terms of traffic, they get over 100,000 unique visitors per month. In Q4 their volume increased to around 150,000 unique visitors per month.

Now How About That Tool?

The folks at The Giving Key have been using a tool called Compass. It was recommended as an app to install by Shopify, so they installed it and Gabriella’s team has been utilizing it for benchmarking. Gabriella says that’s their number one use for the app, and that they find it extremely helpful.

Specifically, they used data from the Repurchase Rate indicator and noticed that their Repurchase Rate was lower than industry standard for stores of their size in their industry.

Data in Context

This is the kind of context I was talking about earlier. Since Gabriella is able to see the repurchase rate of other sites in her industry, she KNOWS that her rate is lower than it should be and can confidently spend time or money on improving that very important rate.

Knowing that their rate was low, Gabriella’s team brainstormed ideas for what to do to get their numbers up to or above the industry standard.

Currently they are working on a loyalty program to increase that repurchase rate, and drive customers to be more susceptible to be repeat buyers.

They’re also working on an email segmentation strategy.

They’ve broken down their customer base into 5 segments:
Engaged, Not Engaged, Engaged and Haven’t Purchased, One-Time Buyers and Two or More Purchase Buyers.

So they are now segmenting emails and creating copy and imagery that targets customers based on their segment.

Gabriella reports that The Giving Key has seen positive growth in repurchase rate so far.

“It’s pretty minimal at this point, but the important thing is we are seeing a positive trend.”

A low repurchase rate was the highlighted negative metric they saw in terms of industry benchmarks. For PPC, Return on Ad spend, Amount of Traffic, and the like, they found that their numbers are trending above industry standard, which is of course good to know.

Gabriella understands that the executives and the Founder like to see where they stand in the industry, and a tool like Compass provides a good way to illustrate exactly what’s going on.

Key Takeaways

Smart marketers understand that analytics provide the key to unlocking growth opportunities.

By utilizing tools that help us better understand our data, and take action on it, we get the upper hand, and can make the right decisions to grow our businesses.