It was a phone conversation I never wanted to have.
Some years ago, we started a conversion optimisation project for a major retailer. We were keen to have a strong start to impress. What happened was just the opposite.
“Anna*, I’d like to discuss a situation that’s just come to light,” I began.
“Yeah sure, what’s up?”
I took a deep breath, not knowing how Anna would take this piece of news.
I replied, “Well, as you know how we have been cleaning up your analytics to get ensure you’re measuring the right conversion metrics… but we seem to have lost 7 days of Google analytics data.”
This retailer had approached us to help them increase their ecommerce conversion rate. Despite their high advertising and marketing spend, conversion rate was particularly low..
So, we had been working through the first step of our Conversion Optimisation process – Measurement – cleaning up their analytics, and ensuring the right conversion journeys were being tracked, so that they would have useful insights to make conversion related decisions on.
But at some point during the process, one of our team members made an error.
They had mistakenly paused the Google Tag Manager tag which fires the Google Analytics Page view, essentially severing the connection between Google analytics and the website, stopping all tracking of customer traffic.
Discovering this kind of mistake while we were still building trust with a new client was pretty gut-wrenching. Especially since we pride ourselves highly on excellence.
But one of our company values is transparency, so owning up to our mistake was always a given. Which, if I’m being honest, was even more nerve wracking than making a mistake.
The good thing is, as part of our “measurement” process, we usually create a “raw data” view in Google Analytics as a backup, just in case events like this ever occurred.
So after apologising to Anna about the mistakenly-deleted analytics, I let her know that we had the backup in place. “Well that’s fine then, we can get the data from there,” she replied.
I breathed a sigh of relief. And then very quickly scheduled a team meeting to review our quality procedures!
Fortunately, we haven’t had such an instance happen since.
I’m grateful our clients trust us with their large websites. But I’m even more grateful that we can build strong relationships with our clients and conduct our business with integrity when things don’t go to plan.
After all, we all make mistakes. It’s about owning them and learning from them.
I am also proud of our process that has risk mitigators, clears up foggy data and provides our clients with the “right data” and conversion behavioural insights – which they need to make informed decisions on what AB tests to run next, to achieve their online sales targets.
This retailer went on to see a 20% increase in their ecommerce conversion rate in a matter of a few months, equating to an 18% increase in YoY $ revenue.
Lost data is lost revenue. If you don’t have a backup raw data view of your Google analytics, I strongly suggest you implement it ASAP.
It’s a simple thing. But it saves you a lot of pain when the need arises.
What are some “yikes” moments you’ve have had with your ecommerce website or analytics?
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*Note: Names in this article have been changed for privacy.
Raoul Doraiswamy is the founder & managing director of Conversionry, a leading Melbourne-based conversion optimisation agency, that accelerate conversion rates and revenue for global ecommerce and omni-channel retailers via data-driven experimentation programs. His passion is to empower Ecommerce marketing teams to win by leveraging customer behaviour. Raoul loves all things conversion, data and persuasive psychology. On his off days, he loves exploring the outdoors with his wife, discussing leadership and helping young people reach for their greatest potential.
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