Product merchandising analysis in Yahoo! Web Analytics (part 1)

When you think of web analytics, what terms come to mind? Hits, pageviews, visits, visitors, bounce rate, time on site, conversion rate, keywords?

Those are all important of course, but if you are an online retailer you want to know what products are actually selling. And not only do you want to know what products are selling, but also what products are selling together because up-selling or cross-selling of relevant related items is an important tactic to try and increase your average order size.

Here is my data-based approach to getting some basic cross-selling going:

1. Find products that are selling together

2. Make sure that those product correlations are reflected on your site

Sound too easy? It’s just been my observation that quite often what I see in a “Related Items” right column is not always relevant or too generic. Or there is no related items section at all.

In Yahoo! Web Analytics you can easily pull up the Cross-Sell Analysis report and see what products are selling together. Make a note of the products that are selling together.


Next, look at your Landing pages report and filter by Product Name. This will give you an idea about which pages are important in the purchase path.


Finally, pull up those pages and your product detail page in your browser and determine whether and where you can add a complimentary product.

There is no doubt that your individual mileage with this analysis will vary. Your sales volume may be too low to find such natural cross-sell opportunities or your may sell larger, more expensive products that don’t “need” complimentary products. In that case, maybe you should add some?

There could also be a “chicken and egg” effect. If you start displaying a related items column you may start seeing more cross-sell sales. In that case look at the data to fine-tune your initial efforts. For example, we know that visitors will typically click on your links in order.

Happy analyzing!