As you begin down the path to launching your very first e-commerce business, one of your main concerns will be how to gain knowledge about the visitors and potential clients viewing your website and as a consequence - to drive both traffic and sales.

As with any brick and mortar setup, a key element is to fully get to know your customer base, from their demographics and locations, to their shopping preferences and related behaviors.

Having a built-in tracking platform on your site can help you closely monitor this data, using the results and patterns to adjust and benefit from them. Magento, Shopify, and PrestaShop are a few of the larger names out there on the market today. They each offer similar services, but their special features make them favorites for those reasons -- such as Shopify making it possible to highly customize and beautify your online storefront.

Better yet, the web-hosted industry leader Google Analytics has everything you need for following all your e-commerce activity and more, with the power and scope of Google behind them. You are able to stay a step ahead of the game by using web analytics to your advantage, with the statistics to prove it.

Google Analytics is the popular choice for many reasons, but for small business owners it's especially useful. Setting it up is quick and easy, as it's separate from your website and simply has to be tagged on. It's also free, up until more in-depth tracking options are possibly required for your business needs. The information it can provide about your e-commerce activity is priceless, including the ability to see if current marketing campaigns are working, and with whom exactly. Save money in the process, while also charting your sales records and keeping track of important stats, like ordering nuances or product performance. The real highlight of using Google Analytics comes when the two areas are combined. General website data and specific e-commerce data overlap to give your company the extra insight it will need to succeed.

To better picture an everyday scenario, imagine you were trying out a new Google Ads/AdWords pay-per-click (PPC) campaign in correlation with Google Analytics. Imagine now that you want to see how two of your keywords were performing. Say that one keyword was giving your site visitors who did not seem interested in staying around, quickly leaving after a short time and only viewing a webpage or two. Yet another keyword was leading to many page views, lengthy stays, and eventually product purchases. With this behind-the-scenes information, you would be able to save advertising money, by ditching the useless keyword going forward. At the same time, you could utilize the successful keyword more rigorously and to your advantage, soon giving sales a further boost as a result.

Google Analytics provides a lot more insightful information about your website. How fast each page loads on different devices, what path users usually take, what page causes people to leave the website… There are many functionalities to make the platform tailored to your needs.

In the new, pandemic reality of 2020, using web analytics to better understand your clients has become something crucial to the survival of any website, and competitive e-commerce sites even more so. With these valuable tools, you can point your business in the right direction, while being able to create customer satisfaction through knowing what they want and how they shop. Start making sense of the traffic on your pages, by putting it to work for you with Google Analytics or a related, built-in shopping platform.