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RockBottomGolf.com applies analytics to checkout process to drive up sales


Google analytics, the search engine company’s free web analytics offerings, is saving RockBottomGolf.com an estimated $3,000 to $5,000 per month in what it might otherwise spend on an analytics package, co-founder and chief operating and marketing officer Todd Rath tells Internet Retailer.

RockBottom has been using the free tool for a little over two years, with the implementation done in-house. “We probably could go in more in-depth with the help of a consulting company, but little by little, over time, we have gotten what we wanted out of it on our own,” Rath says. He adds that RockBottom, No. 300 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, has considered other web analytics packages from different vendors. But given the price tag versus online sales volume, he says “For us, it’s not enough to make up for the cost.”

Rath says one key use for Google Analytics at RockBottom is watching checkout flow—at what point in the checkout process do customers fall out, and how many of them fall out—to flag the site’s business managers on any problems. “If I had a 50% checkout success rate one day and 23% the next day—this lets me see that,” Rath says. “It could have been that we changed some imaging and started to confuse people, or maybe we had some kind of hiccup last night and we didn’t even know. This way we can tweak things to try to get more customers through checkout.”

Rath grants that Google’s free analytics tool lacks the segmentation capabilities of more advanced web analytics packages. But given the fact that the tool does let Rock Bottom locate customers by geographic region or even city, and given RockBottom’s fairly homogenous target market, advanced segmentation capability such as behavioral segmentation is less of a need than it might be for other retailers, he says.

“If we were the type of retailer that is multi-segmented and selling to men, women and children, it would probably start to make sense,” he adds. “But 90% of our customers are men, and they are golfers—it’s very straightforward.”