Social Media Marketing by Numbers: E-Commerce Tracking
by ChrissyAstbury June 12th, 2012
The holy union of business and marketing has but one reoccurring squabble: the numbers.
From newspapers and billboards to radio and television, the greatest challenge posed to marketers is not fresh content or smart placement—but rather, deriving accurate and relevant numbers to prove their worth to their business counterparts.
Luckily, social media marketing, the latest and greatest addition to the business marketing family, has amazing potential to quantify success. No, we’re not talking about followers, fans, subscribers, and the ever-elusive Like. We’re talking sales, profits, and dollar signs: music to a businessperson’s ears.
How do we go about this, you ask? With a little thing called e-commerce tracking.
Image cred: m4group.org
Why e-commerce tracking is so useful:
With Google Analytics—or any web analytics program—it’s relatively easy to implement basic tracking of web traffic. And the ability to analyze unique visits, page views, visit durations, new visitor rates, bounce rates, and demographic information is incredibly valuable to marketers—and a huge step up from the days of relying on Nielsen surveys.
But these numbers are soft-core for harshly empirical business people. Enter e-commerce tracking. This is the ability to track a user from first contact with your brand through purchase—as in: sales, profits, dollar signs. All the numbers business-savvy clients love.
Why e-commerce tracking works:
Setting up e-commerce tracking for your website takes some understanding of web development. On a basic level, e-commerce works by dropping a cookie on every user who clicks through to your site from different sources. The goal is to pass that cookie from page to page as the user browses and eventually purchases.
To achieve this, a snippet of code must be embedded in your website—and incorporated to every part of the buying process. Say you have many products. Say you use a third-party shopping cart. Say you use multiple domains and subdomains. All these variables can contribute to a longer and more involved install process, and it is absolutely necessary to test the system to make sure nothing slips through the cracks.
Why e-commerce tracking is worth it:
Some may say: social media isn’t about the numbers. Quality engagement can’t be quantified. And anyway, what if someone comes in contact with the brand and the website, but doesn’t buy until six months down the line? That cookie will be good and stale by then.
Of course, e-commerce tracking doesn’t tell the whole marketing mix story. Some incoming search traffic and some sales are due to a marketing effort at a different time and (untraceable) place.
Nonetheless, a marketer’s ability to promise and present the three magic letters— ROI —to businesspeople is invaluable to both marketers and businesspeople alike. Marketers can use this information to hone their craft. If it’s sales they want, it’s sales we’ll deliver!
The business people, for their part, can sleep easy knowing their partnership with marketing is paying off. E-commerce tracking is really like a second honeymoon for business marketing.
Want to see the ROI of your digital marketing campaign thru e-commerce? Contact Mendy Werne to find out how BLASTmedia can help!