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Online Startups: How to Analyze Our Final Performance?

A Guest Article

The best guide to develop our startup through the Internet is knowing in detail every aspect of what happens in our websites.

Without a proper measurement and analysis, we will never know the causes of our success or failure, much less the key points that we must improve on.

In this article, we will focus on how to analyze our online development, how to measure progress and final results, and thus make improvements in order to grow.

First things first.

Before giving any misstep, the first thing we should do is measuring. If we want to improve our business, we must first know the current state in order to have the possibility for comparison in the future.

If we would like to increase our enterprise sales, we must first know: how the new customers reached the website, specifically where they come from, and who these users are, etc.

There are three tools that we use and recommend because they give good statistics with a high added value.

The first tool is KISSmetrics, a platform that gives us the possibility of not only measuring which pages are viewed and used on our website, but also getting to know our customers in depth, which means: age, gender and the path that the person uses until paying for our service.

The tool has, for example, the potential to inform if a client met us for the first time 8 months ago, how many times that person has visited our page since then, what landing page variation they used, if that user subscribed to our newsletter first or if that customer used a 2-months test and finally purchased our software. It is a tool with a high added value.

If we really want to understand what happens with our online users (and their consumption habits), this is the correct option.

We also recommend another free tool as the one just mentioned has a cost of $150 per month. We complement it with Google Analytics, which is 100% free. However I have to admit that at least for us in MejorTrato.com we learned in the early years much more about our clients through KISSmetrics than with Google Analytics.

Before we go into more detail I would like to mention MixPanel, not as well-known as the ones above but definitely with particular advantages.

The first advantage is that it can create multiple conversion channels very easily without the need of programming experience. A conversion tunnel represents the steps that a customer must follow in order to buy our product.

For example, a user enters our site, chooses a product, then goes to the “method of payment” section and finally enters their location data for the product delivery. MixPanel allows us to know in detail if clients are leaving our “method payment” site because we don’t include every credit card option or is leaving the “delivery” section because we do not offer availability in certain countries.

Another inquiry that this tool can answer for us is for example how many of our actual clients came through an advertisement in Forbes, live in Chicago and have not been using our service for 2 months. Definitely all that data provides us with internal information that will help when we take action and most importantly when we have to make key decisions.

Measuring is just the beginning.

Making measurements and knowing our client is just the beginning. With any of the above tools we will know whether a customer came to our site through a Google Adwords ad, or for example if they met our prominent features section and then subscribed to our news area through email, and then finally went to the pricing section and left our website without a purchase.

Now that we have all that knowledge, which has a great value and potential, it’s time to take action and bring customers back to our site to complete the purchase.

Since we already have the emails, we use the tool MailChimp that allows us, with it tracking features, to know if the customer was about to pay for our service. It is there where a discount offer will be sent automatically by email if the user does not make a purchase within 24 hours. The results we obtained from this process helped us to double our income.

We think it in this way: who makes a marriage proposal on a first date? The same happens in the online sales world. Less than 5% of customers make a purchase on their first website visit; however, if we follow the advice provided above with useful and valuable arguments, at least we can duplicate the results.

Another tool we internally use in order to re-engage a client – with the features we are interested in — and make measures from the beginning is Remarketing on Facebook and Google Display Network.

In this way, if a user goes to our website to see our product and is just about to make a purchase but leaves and starts browsing other sites, they will receive announcements of special offers, promotions, discounts, and new features, among others, related to our service.

The time to know clients is now.

Lately different tools have appeared, allowing us to interact with our customer in real time. The one that we have been using for years and thus can recommend is Olark.

Often as entrepreneurs we will have to be close friends with the “Trial and error” strategy but what does this mean? It means that we will probably talk much more about errors than trials and that if we want to improve on these errors we must listen to our users to learn, correct and implement the right action.

That is why in our first months of life as a startup this kind of applications that allow a direct contact with clients gave us tons of invaluable learning.

From queries such as “why doesn’t the explanatory video work?”, through which we immediately realized that our online video server was down, to questions like “I want to buy, but do you have a Portuguese translation?”, through which we understood then that we should urgently implement our development in this new language to gain more customers in Brazil.

Each of the mentioned tools, if used separately, will help us significantly. However if we combine them and use them in together while learning before, during and after who our clients are and what they do, we will undoubtedly improve our success degree in our online venture exponentially.

Written by: Engineer David Carreras, Technical Co Founder of Calcular Seguro, a mobile application development startup in Latin America and the Caribbean.

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