Site-centric or user-centric e-commerce metrics, which is more beneficial for your brand?

Nowadays, companies have access to a wealth of e-commerce metrics to analyze online consumer behavior. For these purposes, many organizations often turn to tools like Google Analytics, Google Search Console, or similar ones. However, these tools often fall short when it comes to delving into the consumer's profile. 


Fortunately, there are innovative methods available today to obtain more comprehensive e-commerce metrics, such as behavioral data, which represent an opportunity to deliver better experiences in digital shopping channels. 


Impact of Behavioral Data on E-commerce Metrics 

Over time, it has become clear that customers cannot be considered "a faceless mass." Each day confirms the wide variety of profiles that exist, each with different tastes, interests, and needs. 


In light of this truth, it is erroneous to think that digital behaviors can be predicted. If there's one thing we've learned over the years, it's that online consumer behavior is highly dynamic and sometimes even changeable. To the extent that they now present themselves as individuals demanding a personalized shopping experience. 


Thus, e-commerce metrics based on behavioral data can be an essential source of information. This way, it's possible to better understand purchase journeys, the factors influencing user decisions, and how they compare different options available in the market. 


However, among some marketing professionals, there is still a debate about which type of e-commerce metrics is better to use to understand user behavior patterns: site-centric or user-centric. 


Let's learn more about each one. 


E-commerce Site-Centric Metrics: Advantages and Disadvantages  

Site-centric e-commerce metrics focus on analyzing user activity on a website. This means that the data collected is based on consumers' interaction with that particular site or platform. 


Site-centric e-commerce metrics may include vital information such as the number of unique visitors, average visit duration, most visited pages, bounce and conversion rates, among other aspects. 


While these data are useful for understanding the performance and effectiveness of an e-commerce site, it is known that they have certain limitations in terms of consumer profiling, i.e., understanding user habits and interests. 


Nevertheless, the use of site-centric metrics has its advantages and disadvantages. Let's explore some of them. 


Advantages of Site-Centric E-commerce Metrics:  

  • By extracting data from all received visits, site-centric e-commerce metrics allow for a precise analysis of user interaction with viewed pages. 
  • They enable the identification and comparison of the performance of each page within the e-commerce site, facilitating the detection of areas for improvement. 
  • They provide real-time information. 


Disadvantages of Site-Centric E-commerce Metrics:  

  • Since they rely on the well-known - and controversial - cookies, the profiles of users navigating the site (demographics, behaviors, etc.) remain unknown. Not to mention the potential risk of cookie blocking and deletion. 
  • The focus of these metrics is susceptible to bots and other tactics that inflate analytics, such as click fraud. This can distort the data and make them appear more favorable than they really are. 
  • Site-centric e-commerce metrics are limited to activity within the website or web platform (it is not possible to know what happened before or after the site visit). 

E-commerce Site-Centric Metrics


User-Centric E-commerce Metrics: A Detailed Perspective on Digital Behavior  

User-centric e-commerce metrics are named as such because the data is directly obtained from users. 


How does it work? Data collection is done through software hosted directly on the devices of certain users who are part of a research panel (whether it's smartphones, tablets, or computers), allowing for a natural understanding of online consumer behavior. For example, the websites they visit or the social media platforms they use, along with the times they typically do so. 


By gaining a deeper understanding of the user's identity, it's possible to create profiles that go far beyond basic demographics. Consequently, brands that adopt a user-centric approach gain a substantial competitive advantage by collecting direct consumer information. 


In this regard, some of its clear advantages are: 


Detailed Insight: User-centric e-commerce metrics provide specific information about the user's digital behavior, allowing companies to better understand their interests, needs, and preferences. 


  • Personalization: With user-centric metrics, e-commerce brands can also personalize content and experiences for each user, fostering greater satisfaction and loyalty. 
  • Improved Decision-Making: By gaining a better understanding of users and their online behavior patterns, e-commerce brands can make more informed and strategic decisions that lead to higher profits. 


Disadvantages of user-centric E-commerce Metrics 

However, it's worth noting that although user-centric e-commerce metrics offer numerous advantages, if they are not collected following strict ethical data handling guidelines, companies can become entangled in privacy conflicts or other issues. 


Nevertheless, these obstacles can be overcome by partnering with an experienced and reliable data provider that has advanced data collection technologies and processes aligned with international standards such as GDPR. 


Especially in today's environment, where companies face the challenge of combining site-centric and user-centric metrics to obtain more precise and meaningful results. 


Thus, companies like Netquest, which are highly committed to data quality, their clients' results, and adherence to the strictest privacy standards, are undoubtedly a great choice for conducting successful market research that leads to successful and profitable e-commerce strategies.. 


So, what's better? Site-centric or user-centric e-commerce metrics? 


As we've seen, site-centric metrics are useful when seeking exclusive data on the performance of an e-commerce site. However, if the goal is to truly understand the consumers behind the data, user-centric e-commerce metrics are undoubtedly the preferred choice. 


After all, nothing compares to having data directly from the source. 


Learn more about what your brand can achieve with user-centric e-commerce metrics by sending us a message! Get a 360° view of your e-shopper. 

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