Alternative analytic programs to Google Analytics are becoming a dime a dozen. Especially since the rollout of iOS 14, advertisers are flocking to more third-party sources for attribution modeling and customer insights. As an e-commerce growth agency, we’ve worked with several of these third-party platforms: Mixpanel, Amplitude, and Daasity for starters.
Each of these platforms has their own pros and cons – but Mixpanel in particular has helped unlock e-commerce metrics that are crucial for long-term growth far beyond what comes with Google Analytics.
What e-commerce metrics matter, and why?
A lot of growth marketing metrics that are crucial for growth can be found in Google Analytics: acquisition channel-specific conversion rates, product sales by acquisition channel, individual sku performance, multi-channel funnels, and more. However, customer-level insights are harder to identify in Google Analytics.
Some of the customer level insights that e-commerce growth agencies identify using Mixpanel:
- Customer retention by product
- Conversion rate effect by specific events (specific URL views, landing page, etc.)
- Cohort analysis by specific groupings (product purchased, acquisition channel, etc.)
- Event identification for high-converting customers
Identifying What Customer Insights are Important to Measure
Because Mixpanel measures each event for each of their identified users, you can get super lost in the weeds looking for insights. Before you start scouring individual customer profiles looking for commonality, take a high-level approach at the data. Ask yourself the following questions:
- What actions on my website do I consider to be important in the purchasing decision?
- What existing user flows am I using to generate sales?
- What does my ideal customer look like?
- What products do I sell that my customers actually care about?
- Have I made any updates or changes to my e-commerce site that could affect performance?
These questions identify a plethora of interesting analysis opportunities, and a skilled e-Commerce growth agency can help you take the findings and turn them into actionable takeaways.
Data Analysis With Customer Insights in Mixpanel
Mixpanel’s reports allow for the data curious to create custom dashboards where KPIs can be monitored on an ongoing basis.
Let’s start with this question: “What products do I sell that my customers actually care about?” from our earlier section. The 80-20 (Pareto) rule suggests that 80% of what we do stems from 20% of our input, or in e-commerce land: 80% of our sales typically come from 20% of our catalog or efforts. Here’s how you can make a dashboard that allows you to monitor product performance in a way that develops insights.
- Product Combinations: Taking the “Order Success” event, add a filter of product handles, with a breakdown of the ordered products. This provides a list of frequently purchased product combinations. This can help identify product bundles and upsell opportunities to create higher average order value.
- Trending Products with Your Purchasers: Using the insights report, add “Product Viewed”, add a filter of a cohort of users who have purchased a product, and add a breakdown of product handle to ID trends in product interest with your high intent users. This can help identify trends in seasonality, what products your purchasers are most interested in, and areas to amplify marketing efforts.
- Retention by Product: Using the funnel report you can identify repeat purchasers by using the order success event with an inline filter by product handle, and then a second order success within a certain time frame (90, 180 days, etc.), and breakdown by product handle to evaluate retention by product. Make sure you’re familiar with your platform’s retention parameters when setting up this report!
These three reports can provide lots of actionable insights on an ongoing basis. Take, for example, the trending products report. You can use this report to compare sales and product page views – and determine which of your products are resonating with your purchasers. Monitoring this on a compared time basis (rolling 7-day, 14-day, and 28-day windows) also allows you to identify seasonal trends, underperforming products, and opportunities to cross-sell. With this dashboard, you can begin to answer the question, “what products of mine do my customers actually care about?”, and focus efforts on what will move the needle for your e-commerce business.
How an E-commerce Growth Agency Can Capitalize on Data Insights with Mixpanel
Growth agencies can use data insights from Mixpanel to make a variety of improvements to their e-commerce growth strategy. At Tuff, we use data from Mixpanel, and other alternative customer insight platforms to implement improvements to our marketing funnels and make strategic decisions surrounding user experience.
We commonly look at cohorts of users broken into categories such as initial source, and evaluate their on-site activity, their conversion percentages, and their retention to determine an accurate LTV. Segmenting our cohorts and evaluating their long-term performance allows us to optimize our paid efforts and determine the effectiveness of individual campaigns, platforms, and even userflows.
Speaking of user flows, an e-commerce growth agency that specializes in CRO, such as Tuff, can identify common trends using Mixpanel to make UX recommendations. We’ve used product combinations, low conversion rates with specific cohorts (such as purchasers, serial product viewers, etc.), and conversion rates by specific events (such as specific collection page views, etc.) to prioritize and deprioritize elements with our user experience. Whether it’s making a navigation update, or changing the prioritization of collections within the collection page, you can measure the effectiveness of these updates using the Impact tool in Mixpanel as well.
The Future of Customer Insights
As Apple, Google, Facebook, and other major internet players continue to fight over privacy, using a third party tool such as Mixpanel, Daasity, or Amplitude provides a significant advantage to e-commerce companies. Their data can help in all facets of product marketing: identifying trends, helping match with better lookalike audiences, and optimizing their funnel. If you want to talk to an e-commerce growth agency about how you can leverage your customer insights better, book a free growth marketing session with Tuff today!
Richard has spent the last five years working at digital agencies, exploring various industries and company lifecycles. I’ve created and implemented growth campaigns on just about every platform for startups, $20,000,000 a year companies, and everything in-between. When not at work, I can be found cheering on the Penguins or Steelers, spending time with my wife and son, playing disc golf, baking, or walking my dogs.