If you own a retail store, you have a daily visual gauge of your success. From the time you first open the doors, you can keep an eye on the influx of foot traffic, instantly determining whether your marketing efforts are paying off.
Web-based storefronts don’t have that luxury. Success can only be based on sales and traffic flow. While web analytics have long provided the ability to determine who is visiting and how they found your site, real information about your shoppers’ habits has been elusive. But thanks to new and improved real time analytics, you can see for yourself what your visitors are doing while on your site.
Google Analytics have long offered real-time analytics with included integration with AdWords and AdSense. Google Analytics offers access to data about your visitors to track the success of your advertising efforts, especially if you use Google’s other web products. Google added on a feature that allows webmasters to see how long visitors are on a site and which pages they were visiting, giving you a better idea of how your marketing efforts are paying off.
Woopra takes analytics to a new level, allowing you to watch your visitor activity in real time. While monitoring your storefront, you can even interact with your customers in real time, using Woopra’s real-time chat function. Woopra has a search feature that lets you find your customers based on search filters you set, with thousands of combinations available. With Woopra’s notification feature, you can receive alerts when pre-set events occur, such as a certain visitor returning to your site. You choose between sounds or launched thumbnails. Basic plans at Woopra are free, with more powerful plans beginning at only $11.95 per month.
Lexity, formerly known as Vurve, simulates a real store experience, allowing you to see how many visitors are in your store actively and inactively. You’ll know how many people are in your store and which pages they’re viewing, just as you would know how many customers were in your store and which aisle they were browsing in a bricks-and-mortar location. Click on a customer and you’ll get a full-page view of how they found you, as well as a list of their activities. Customers find the ability to keep an eye on their store addictive, but the instant feedback will make you feel as if you are in better touch with your web-based retail business. The best news about Lexity is its price–Lexity Live is free.
Real-time analytics are revolutionizing e-commerce, with small businesses able to operate stores similar to traditional hometown mom-and-pop operations. One of the best things about owning a small retail shop is the ability to interact with customers and personalize each visitor’s experience. Advanced real-time analytics are improving businesses’ ability to do just that, which helps to level the playing field for small businesses trying to compete with larger web-based companies for your business.
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