As part of web analytics commentator’s Avinash Kaushik’s recent post on his Occam’s Razor web analytics blog http://www.kaushik.net/avinash/see-think-do-content-marketing-measurement-business-framework/#seethinkdocontent he perhaps inadvertently points out the importance of user engagement for eCommerce sites and also highlights the importance into segmenting your site into specific goal areas rather than optimizing a page purely on revenue metrics. Preaching to the choir for the team as part of the bedrock of ProductStructure’s component-based optimization strategy!
“The See – Think – Do Framework: Content Strategy”
In Avinash’s explanation, even if you are a directly revenue-driven eCommerce website you must consider where your customer is in terms of coming toward a purchase decision (the Do stage) before bombarding them with shopping carts. Engagement is key for ensuring that all parts of the process are optimized based on their goals for a user.
If an area is targeting customers in the See phase (i.e. logos, about pages, links to social media pages, blogs) you can optimize the content by targeting click-throughs or likes. For the areas targeting Think stage customers (login/registration, inviting friends, adding items to a wishlist, asking for notifications/newsletters) optimize for other relevant metrics (conversions, virality number of items added, notifications requested).
Despite each goal being self-contained in an area of the site, optimizing for these pre Do stage goals is far more effective than simply targeting whole-page revenue optimization in a single step or measuring every button according to direct effect on purchasing (best of luck my friends, funnels and habit paths are rarely ever as nice and neat as analytics software graphs want them to be).
I strongly agree with Avinash’s point that despite seeming like a more holistic view, building your page to optimize the Do stage purchase decision is far more likely to put you at a local maximum than separately setting goals for each area of engagement during the See and Think phases.
The end result of optimizing all the customer points of engagement on your site is far greater than the sum of the parts.