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Black Friday and measuring website interaction with analytics

November 21, 2012 at 2:10 PM


by Mikul Patel

Digital Marketing Consultant at Matraxis

Last year, large UK retailers such as Amazon UK, Apple, Comet, PC World held a variety of exclusive online sales during Thanksgiving week and generated varied levels of success. This year, smaller/medium sized online retailers may look towards marketing similar Black Friday deals to generate additional sales in the run up to christmas - measuring the success of online campaigns with web analytics can help to establish an advantage over competitors.



Designing the best website user interface

Retailers will spend many hours deliberating over user interface design - if a customer can't find what they want or come across navigation issues, they will just move onto another website! As you can see in the screenshot below, Amazon UK have created a compact area outlining the special Black Friday deals currently on offer - navigation is simple but effective and doesn't distract the user.


amazon uk black friday deals screenshot




Tracking website interactivity with analytics

Web analytics packages such as Google Analytics and Webtrends Analytics will automatically track the pages viewed by visitors but to get the most valuable data, e.g. which particular elements are visitors interacting with, some advanced custom tagging may be required. This isn't as difficult as it sounds and once up and running, you will start to see a wealth of new information!


Using the Amazon UK example, just some interesting items that could be tracked include are people:


  • clicking the deals navigation buttons? (if not, would an automatic scroller be better?)
  • clicking the 'Add a review' link just below the image? (if not, is this needed?)
  • using the tab navigation for 'upcoming' and 'missed deals' (if not, could these made clearer?)
  • adding and item to the basket but then abandoning?
  • clicking the 'Join Waitlist' button for items that are close to being sold out?



Custom tagging with Google Analytics or Webtrends Analytics

Through Google Analytics custom tagging could be achieved through defining custom variables to segment additional visitor data on a page (although you can only set up to five custom variables on any page) and sending the data to Google Analytics using events tracking - _trackEvent().

Alternatively, for clickable items which don't generate a new page (e.g. tab navigation), you can use the _trackEvent() call to create a 'virtual pageview' that will show up on your reports.


With Webtrends Analytics, the flexible dcsMultiTrack() function can be used to deliver almost an unlimited amount of custom variables to track any specific item on your webpage. You may wish to use dcsMultiTrack() with custom JavaScript code to measure unique scenarios e.g. if someone hovers over a particular button for more than 5 seconds but doesnt click it, send a call to Webtrends to report this.

Matraxis are experts in delivering Web Analytics solutions to organisations from a variety of sectors including retail, government and publishing. To learn more about custom tagging and advanced web element reporting, call us on 020 8133 8323 or fill in our contact us form

Tags: Google Analytics Webtrends Custom Tagging Black Friday Web Analytics Campaign Measurement
Category: Web Analytics

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