Is it time to move beyond Google Analytics?
Monitoring performance through analytics is one of the most essential activities for maintaining a successful business. It allows you to see what’s going wrong with your operation, what’s working, and how to form solutions to your problems.
Google Analytics is a useful tool for that reason, and is currently the most widely used web analytics service on the internet. It can be used to track website activity such as session duration and conversions.
However, Google Analytics has its limitations which other business intelligence tools built specifically with ecommerce in mind exceed.
We’ve spoken to our Head of BI, Alastair Sneddon, about where Google Analytics falls short and when companies should consider upgrading.
What are the benefits of Google Analytics?
Despite its limitations, Google Analytics does have a range of features which makes it valuable to companies at initial stages of growth.
It’s free, to start. If you’re a small business just starting out you can draw a good deal of conclusions from the data revealed by Google Analytics, all without spending extra resources on dedicated software.
You can also integrate it with Google Ads, allowing you to easily review marketing campaigns and evaluate metrics related to landing pages, conversion rates, and leads.
Overall, it’s a great all-round tool to start off with. There’s some useful, comprehensive features and it’s easy to use for beginners.
What are the drawbacks?
As your business grows in scale, you’ll eventually reach a point where relying on beginner tools like Google Analytics will begin to show its flaws.
While it’s a great starter tool for business analytics, it’s not a platform which allows for a full view of your entire enterprise. It only covers data related to your website - but there's a myriad of components which make up a business which also need to be monitored and tracked.
For example, it can’t look at data from essential processes such as your WMS, ERP, or 3PL - which means if you’re only using Google Analytics to view your business, you’ll have a huge blind spot.
It also has accuracy issues. Session times are logged based on how long a user spends on a page before clicking to the next one - but that recorded time presumes a website visitor will even click to another page. If they visit and spend time on the website, but don’t click on another page, that person’s session time is logged as zero seconds.
How does Patchworks BI fill the gaps?
If you want a business analytics tool which covers your entire enterprise, you’ll need to invest in a software service which meets your needs.
Our platform, Patchworks BI, offers solutions to the shortcomings of Google Analytics as well as dozens of additional features.
One main benefit is its cross platform capabilities. Patchworks BI is integrated with all of your business processes, such as your WMS or ERP, allowing you to see data covering your entire operation.
And while Google Analytics presents data in a singular format, leaving you to create reports based on that, Patchworks BI shows information in context. For example, trends in transactional sales and conversions are automatically measured against each other and a report is generated based on that, allowing you to form quicker conclusions.
Another unique feature is the way Patchworks BI tracks social media activity. We show data from across all of your used social platforms, using the same metrics. That means you can see, say, your Facebook spending and the return on investment (ROI) against your spending and ROI on Twitter.
Patchworks BI also takes data directly from the API of a website, providing a more accurate perspective - whereas you’re only getting Google’s view of the data with their analytics platform.
Making the move
If you’re interested in learning more about Patchworks BI and how it can help your ecommerce company, we have a dedicated BI team available to guide you.