Knowing how to properly mine data in Google Analytics helps with allocating marketing budgets and making website improvements.
But it can also give insight to business strategy. In this article I’ll share how I used Google Analytics to inform operating hours for one of my "brick and mortar" clients.
Client: US-based furniture retailer with multiple locations.
I handle all their online marketing, placing a heavy emphasis on:
Local SEO / Google Maps Rankings and
Google Adwords / PPC
Objective: Client is performing well in online marketing. They are looking for more opportunities to increase revenue.
I often find opportunities for revenue growth in Google Analytics. While auditing their Google Analytics account, I configured a report comparing site metrics between store hours and off-hours. The report shows how people interact on the website during those two time frames.
Off-Hour Traffic More Engaged Than Traffic During Store Hours
I discovered that website visitors during off-hours were more likely to call the store than those who came to the website when the store was open!
During off hours, 5.25% of website visitors called the office, as opposed to 4.33% of site visitors who called when the store is open.
This indicates that:
There are potential customers trying to call the store during off-hours.
The quality of website traffic improves during off-hours.
Potential customers are 20% more likely to engage through a phone call when the store is closed.
Is The Store Losing Customers?
We could reasonably assume that:
This client is losing potential customers by not answering the phone during off-hours.
Phone calls during off-hours lead to a voicemail which simply reads the store hours and encourages customers to call back then.
They could gain more customers and sales by
Expanding store hours OR
Having someone answer the phone during off-hours
The client asked me to explore this further, so I created a custom report in Analytics showing the exact hours that web-based phone calls came in.
Exact Hours Website Phone Calls Came In
The custom report below shows a graph summarizing the volume of phone calls at each hour of the day.
While the phone rings at all hours, the volume of calls picks up around 7am and then dwindles down after 5pm. Since no staff enter the store until 9am, they're missing a lot of calls!
My recommendation to the client was to use a phone staffing service to answer calls during off-hours for two months.
The staffer should note the time, the content and quality of those incoming calls.
We need to differentiate between salespeople, new customers, returning customers and wrong numbers.
After 30-60 days, we will analyze the phone call data and determine if it makes financial sense to adjust store hours for accommodating customer needs and potential revenue growth.
The client intends to implement this recommendation at the beginning of 2017 and will adapt store hours accordingly.