Online management of today is not like the early stages of Internet business in which listing products and services is sufficient. To achieve transaction or community in business, basic community service and high-quality products must be provided along with secure transaction framework. (In reality, business capabilities are becoming homogenous, epitomized by the common usage of UI and various functions.) Moreover, responding to customer needs and creating tools analyzing the ROI of this response are fast-growing trends.
In the continuous relationship between user and service provider, if the goal of acquiring users is met, web administrators of community sites and blogs aim to share information, while business sites hope to increase revenue. When both sides achieve their objectives, they can strengthen their relationship. In the multi-faceted community site, users utilizing one specific website have developed a connection with its services and obtained numerous resources through it. In addition, the satisfaction from the website's events helps maintain the relationship.
In the case of shopping mall, building customer trust in product price and quality and maintaining satisfaction throughout product usage help convert consumers into loyal regular customers. This conversion plays a crucial role in website operations.
Whether providing services or business transaction, the relationship between web administrator and customer as well as reaching a personal or enterprise goal through this relationship are areas that require time and attention. In this virtual online world where face-to-face interaction with customers is unavailable, can we establish customer trust and loyalty? If we can, what approach do we take? Everyone operating an Internet business has brainstormed about how to improve results and obtain data via web analytics.
Visiting a website via a computer and the distance this creates are part of the relationship between customer and service provider. Customer relationship maintenance begins with information collection by the eyes and ears, analysis by the brain, and response to customer needs with the mouth. This process is what web analytics examines and evaluates.
Even though the inability of face-to-face interaction is a disadvantage, online data can record every visitor behavior. This method does not involve nonstandard data management by intuition and memory, but rather standard data management based on computer system analysis, a decided advantage of Internet business. Tracking online behavior and navigation for analysis helps establish a standard and strategy for personal needs and website operating goals.
For this method, WAA identifies four important functions: measurement, collection, analysis, and reporting.
As the world's standard bearer, the United States boasts years of experience and countless cases and follows this definition. If data can be analyzed, organized, and presented clearly, it will be beneficial toward achieving website goals. However, if we only research what web analytics' objective is, we will overlook the most significant parts. From a professional standpoint, if web analytics' objective is simply analyzing websites and enabling users to easily grasp results, it will fail to satisfy the aims of web administrators and cause negative effects.
From a realistic standpoint, analyzing the behavior of visitors and customers to maximize website performance is more meaningful than web administrators utilizing usage analysis to maximize website performance. In other words, the four functions are aimed at users and customers rather than the website's capabilities. However, from the standpoint of a web analytics enterprise or consultancy company, finding a simple, easy-to-use web analytics tool and operating strategy is the top priority. Thus, the theoretical debate in web analytics arises. By reevaluating the theoretical debate in web analytics, creating a solution by understanding customer needs is more important than creating a web analytics strategy for web administrators.
Starting from the viewpoint above and combining the definition of web analytics below brings more value than analysis results.
"Measurement, collection, analysis, reporting and response action for the purpose of the understanding and optimizing of the needs for relationship between user and web service provider"
A few years ago, after supervising countless web analytics discussions and strategies, I came across a conversation that remains a powerful driving force.
Me: "To understand customers and improve service quality, web analytics is a must-have tool."
Client: "Right now, there is an abundance of analysis reports. Further discussion about analysis results is unnecessary. Please provide us with a method to quickly enhance our website performance."
To formulate strategies without deep knowledge is very risky and an ill-advised approach. In the actual business domain, however, everyone is concerned about developing a more efficient website and not analysis report content. Current online service providers all want to enhance website revenue and increase transactions, but aside from offering services, they must understand the service content and the relationship between website and users in order to reach their goals. In addition, response based on web analytics establishes sound and efficient operating strategy. Repeated analysis under a cyclical structure helps e-business websites achieve their goals, making the role of web analytics extremely vital.