E-commerce metrics at research agencies: Key to not losing clients this 2023

What strategies are you using to measure the behavior of consumers who go to your clients’ websites to make purchases? Did you know that, today, various methods of collecting e-commerce metrics can be utilized? 


When it comes to online shopping, using passive data is one way to assess digital consumer behavior. This data is collected directly from users’ online activity, such as searches and purchases, making it possible to observe how customers explore a category of products, which search terms they use, and the sites they visit, among other factors. 


In this article, we’ll explore why e-commerce metrics based on this type of data are key to not losing clients in 2023 and how agency researchers can leverage them to provide better service to their clients. 



E-commerce metrics: Moving from traditional research to passive research 

For years now, market research has relied almost exclusively on methods for collecting active data. Nevertheless, even if studied with a sharp eye, this data does not always reveal consumers’ real behaviors. 


By contrast, observational methods have been demonstrated to provide a closer look at consumer buying patterns. But what happens if we transfer such observation to the digital world? Online passive data collection makes that possible today! 


Thanks to this method, today we can better understand online consumer behavior, opening way for the emergence of different e-commerce metrics. However, the transition from a tangible to a digital environment has been a giant leap forward and is just now gaining footing as an industry. 


Adapting to the new e-commerce metrics trend 

With this new revolution, some brands are wondering how they can leverage the spectrum of e-commerce metrics based on passive data, especially when we know Google is the first to find out what users explore during each session and even from which device. 


This is where collecting passive data, together with active data, takes on particular relevance for market research agencies. Undeniably, companies today require increasingly extensive data to take advantage of information that is truly valuable. 


E-commerce metrics: The importance of leveraging an integrated data approach 

Against this backdrop, observed data—particularly behavioral data—is undoubtedly changing the way agencies collect information. Consequently, the services of a data provider are now only considered “comprehensive” if they offer a wide variety of data—in other e-words, if they offer both user-centric and site-centric data. 


On the one hand, user-centric data provides information about the user experience, such as: 

  • Geographical location and movement trajectory 
  • Browsing history and use of applications 
  • Time spent on applications (apps) or websites 
  • Social media interaction and shared content 
  • Online shopping behavior, including frequency, amount spent, and items purchased 
  • Phone use patterns, such as hours of use, sleep patterns, and physical activity levels 
  • Demographic data 
  • Consumer preferences and opinions expressed online 

On the other hand, site-centric data focuses on providing e-commerce metrics according to activity on a website or application. For example: 

  • Number and duration of visits 
  • Webpages visited 
  • Link clicks 
  • Products viewed 
  • Products added to shopping cart 
  • Abandoned carts 
  • Payment process and conversion

This powerful data combination allows agencies to provide a comprehensive and detailed view of consumer behavior to their clients, improving their understanding in real time.  


Don’t miss it: Behavioral data: High-quality data for a 360-degree view 

Ecommerce data for researchers



Why invest in online collection methods? 

It is essential for research agencies to keep in mind that consumers are increasingly engaged in the online world. Let’s take a look at an example: 

  • A shopper browses online looking for a wedding dress and visits several stores. 
  • During her search, she clicks on a Google ad that takes her to an online store. 
  • Passive monitoring technology collects information. It detects the amount of time she spent on the site, the pages she visited, and the clothing items she searched for. 
  • She adds several dresses to the cart but does not make a purchase at the time. However, the store can use the data collected to send her personalized reminders about her abandoned cart. 
  • Now, the shopper goes to a store in person and tries on several dresses, including one she saw on the online store. 
  • Information is collected on the dresses she tries on and the one she finally purchases. 
  • The research agency cross-references the physical and digital data. 

This is how, in the face of this hybrid dynamic between the virtual and physical world, research agencies have to innovate their way of working to obtain comprehensive e-commerce metrics that are relevant to their clients. 

If you want to learn as much as possible, take a look at our case studies on six different countries: Passion for Qatar 2022 World Cup.


Potential challenges along the way 

Ad blocking and private browsing options may affect online data collection, which may prevent research companies from effectively tracking user activity. So, how can you jump over these kinds of hurdles when seeking e-commerce metrics? 


As the number of devices in use grows, the amount of data collected online also multiplies exponentially. Consequently, one of the main hurdles that researchers may face is understanding how to work with sets of data from different sources, which may be incomplete. 


At Netquest, we come to agency researchers’ rescue with our intelligent research methods. Using advanced technology, we have the ability to track consumers’ real behavior on their browsing devices, regardless of whether they use a mobile phone, laptop, or tablet. All this, always done with their consent.  


Thanks to this, agencies can supplement their active data with passive data on consumer behavior and, as a result, obtain high-quality data by cross-referencing both to extract valuable e-commerce metrics. 


What does the future hold for e-commerce metrics? 

All the above allows us to understand the great analytical capacity that can arise from this infinite spectrum of e-commerce metrics based on passive data. It’s no surprise that collecting this data has become a key tool within the market research world for gaining a better understanding of the consumer environment. 


Without a doubt, we are facing the future of research behind e-commerce metrics. 

Are you ready?  


If you’re interested in obtaining high-quality data and understanding online consumer behavior better, don’t hesitate to contact us. At Netquest, we’re committed to providing valuable data to help you with your research projects so you can stay competitive and drive the growth of your agency. 

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