Importance of web insights in decision making

A 46 minute video where presenter Avinash Kaushik, Senior Manger for Web Research and Analytics at Intuit, talks about Customer Centric Web Decision Making. This was filmed during Google TechTalks on July 24, 2006. Google TechTalks are designed to disseminate a wide spectrum of views on topics including Current Affairs, Science, Medicine, Engineering, Business, Humanities, Law, Entertainment and the Arts.

This video focuses (in a larger view) on how to make customer centric decisions on the web, and the presenter shows some insights on how they do this at Intuit. Intuit is a very large company, with over $2.3 billion revenue yearly, which grew by purchasing many other small companies and incorporating they're line of products. Since they're having more than 90 websites, the presented insights on web analytics are worth listening to. And evidentally they're doing something right since they own 80% of the market share in any of the businesses they're in.

There's a quote mentioned in there that the presenter opens with, and I find it interesting too: Web Analytics packages are sold as if they're an automatic coffee maker. In fact it's more like buying a coffee plantation. You can still get your cup of offee (eventually), but you're going to have to stick your hands in a lot of manure than you ever knew - Tom Cunniff (Yahoo Analytics Group)

Another interesting comparison is that done between the "old web analytics" view, and what the presenter considers the "web insights". Web analytics is based on the results of the following tools:

  • page views
  • path analysis
  • hits tracking
  • daily unique visitors
  • top exit pages on site
  • visitor screen resolutions

Web insights is based on the following elements:

  • click density analysis
  • visitor primary purposes
  • task completion rates
  • segmented visitor trends
  • raw voice of customer Pareto
  • multi channel revenue impact

At Intuit they're running a solution called Trinity, named like this not because they're Matrix fans but because it consists of three components: web analytics (to understand the intent of customers), outcomes (what revenue is generated, what are the conversion rates, what is the cost per conversion) and experience.

The product they're using most for web analytics is Clicktrax as it allows one very important thing which is the segmentation. For instance you can see the site overlay only for visitors that came from Google or Yahoo, and even segment that and focus it only on specific keywords. Site overlay on segmented groups is much more important than say paths through site, because less than 1% of visitors follow the same path. One last thing that I want to mention is the mentality that the presenter had, where he said that if a visitor comes and buys the $40 product now, they'll come back for sure in 1-2 years to buy the $80 product (Quicken Premier or Deluxe), but if they buy directly the $80 product they'll never come back for more purchases. What he actualy means is that the visitor's need should be matched exactly, if the visitor has a small company now and he purchases the $80 product they won't come later to purchase anything else because they'll have what they need in 2 years too, when their company grew.