INSIDER: Current Trends in Web Data Analysis

June 1, 2008

By Suzanne Blake

Is it possible that you could be using web data analysis more extensively? In Current Trends in Web Data Analysis, Arun Sen, Peter A. Dacin, and Christos Pattichis discuss the current trends in web data analysis. They look in detail at why clickstream data is underutilized and make suggestions to employ it more effectively. This research offers insight into ways real-estate agents can get better customer information from their websites. Please note, the industry studied here was not real estate, though the core findings will still be relevant to your field. The results of this research should not be applied blindly, but with serious thought as to how they might be relevant in your particular market. Specific types of marketing media, measures of time, and percentages should be altered to fit your industry. 1. "[Clickstream] data includes visitors' clicks (including what they looked at, what they selected and how long they spent looking) and Web server's response." THINK: If you, as a real estate agent, could harness this information, you would have valuable insights into which customers are visiting your site as well as which aspects of the web site are working. This information begins to draw a more complete outline of the faceless customers who look at your site. 2. Few companies fully understand exactly how to use clickstream data effectively. THINK: Considering this, if other agents are not capturing this information and learning from it, taking advantage of its benefits would put you at a competitive advantage. 3. "Even a conversion of 1% of 'window shoppers' to 'buyers'" can boost your sales substantially. THINK: As the web analytic market is growing, newer ways to attract and convert customers are coming to fruition. As real estate information becomes more available on the Internet, it becomes more necessary to use that portal to draw them into your business. Using clickstream data can help you refine your site to turn those who are anonymously browsing into your clients. 4. "With continuing rapid growth of online shopping, the time has come to put a 'structured methodology' in place that promotes a deeper understanding of visit behaviors and how they directly relate to important outcomes." THINK: How could understanding potential clients' visit behaviors help to convert them into leads? If you can understand what attracts customers, what entices them to enter our website, you have a higher probability of converting them to leads in the future. Your website should be focused around the customer outcome that you desire. Understanding visit behaviors can help to do that. 5. "The different types of trails can be evaluated to measure their effectiveness in driving sales and better customer experience." THINK: If you can understand what customers want to see in a website, how could you tailor the website more effectively? Carefully thought-out web design can make a world of difference when attracting new customers. 6."...the key service is to create segments of customers by using clickstream and other available data." THINK: By segmenting customers, agents are able to more accurately target those within the demographic for which they are aiming. Tracking clickstream data will allow you to take a closer look at your customers and understand their similarities and differences. 7. "Loyal customer identification can lead to more targeted marketing activities that can yield higher value of return from loyal customers." THINK: Customers that view particular houses several times on a website may be more interested in that house and houses similar to it. This gives you a chance to study up on clients before showing houses.

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About the Author:

Suzanne Blake, MBA Candidate, Dec 2008, Baylor University
Graduate Assistant, Keller Center for Research

Suzanne is a second year graduate student from Tahlequah, OK. She earned her BBA in Entrepreneurial Management from Texas Christian University.