Saturday, April 19, 2014

3 Ways To Check If Google Analytics Is Working On Your Site

Here are some of the many ways in which you can check whether Google/Universal Analytics is receiving data.

1. In the Admin Section of Google Analytics: Here is an easy way to check whether your website is sending data to Google Analytics servers. Sign in to Google Analytics and click Admin on the top level navigation. Go into the Property level details and watch for Tracking Code. Here you can see your website's unique ID along with the words 'Receiving Data'. Done!

2. Check in Google Analytics Real - Time: Real-Time helps a lot in checking out what's currently happening on your website. I also find it useful in testing 'Event Tracking' calls. Here, you can fire up your website and check whether Google Analytics is showing you as the visitor. While it cannot narrow down to Personally Identifiable Information, you could test the site at an off-peak hour and use the location check to see if it matches your city. What else? If you have Event Tracking set up, you could click (or anything else) on those particular events and see if they show up in Google Analytics. With a unique combination, it should become clear that it is showing you your own data and that the site is recording.

3. Use Google Analytics Debugger: Here's a handy plugin (for Chrome) to check whether Google Analytics is working or not. Install the Chrome plug-in and turn the plug-in on (will be next to your address bar in Chrome). Load up your website and press F12 and then move to the Console tab. Browse through the log and you should see the key line 'Tracking Beacon Sent'. That, once again, tells you whether Google Analytics is responding to your site or not.

 Hope you enjoyed the post! Be back with more soon.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Interview - KooraBazar on e-commerce, social strategy and challenges with bi-lingual engagement

I just finished uploading an interview with Yorgos Kleivokiotis (@YorgosKlivo), co-founder at The startup online retailer specializes in football (soccer...) equipment sales across the Middle East and couldn't have started at a more interesting time.

The world cup is next year in Brazil...Abu Dhabi owns Man City, Emirates sponsors Real Madrid now and Qatar owns PSG. There's a lot of interest generated in the region and the startup is hoping to ride the wave, especially with the WC 2022 in Qatar.

It was nice to learn about what their expectations are out of social media, how it's already contributing to 12% of traffic to the site and what are some of the challenges when forced to use a bi-lingual social media account (English and Arabic in this case).

Here's a link to the interview. Hope you enjoy reading it.

Monday, December 24, 2012

[New Post On Sovedo] $1 Price Tag To Reach Facebook Your Inbox...What About Permission Marketing?

Facebook just announced a new ad model - where marketers can reach people's inboxes (not 'Other' folder) for a one-time fee of $1. I thought this was interesting as Facebook Messages is competing with Emails...Applying a few principles from Permission Marketing (by Seth Godin), Does this sound like a good approach?

Here's a link to the article:

Monday, December 17, 2012

[New post on Sovedo] 10% of social traffic to e-commerce sites is from...Pinterest

Here's my latest post on Sovedo, talking about how Pinterest is now accounting for 10% of traffic via social channels for e-commerce websites. It comes at an interesting time, considering that social media directly accounted for only .3% of recent Thanksgiving sales.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

[New post on Sovedo] Interview with YaDig - Focusing on the Local Search in Middle East

I stumbled across YaDig's website while doing a local search to help a friend in Dubai. For as long as I can remember, there has not been a business review website (in the Middle East) that lets users rate businesses.

While Yelp is the de-facto review site for North American cities, the Middle East lacked such initiatives. Also, I can speak from personal experiences that I've had some great and some not so great experiences in Dubai.

Not only does the start-up have a good chance at building a strong community, the real money is in getting local advertising dollars.  With a lot of help from the CMO - Andrew Lee Miller, I got the CEO and Co-Founder, Saif Zarooni to agree to an exclusive email interview with Sovedo. Here's the link to the article:


Friday, July 6, 2012

[Meetup group: eCommerce Toronto] PPC advertising for E-Commerce

This was my 2nd meetup for the group eCommerce Toronto. The meetups are hosted at the offices of Demac Media (a pure play e-commerce dev).

This month's meetup focused on PPC advertising within the context of e-commerce.

Katie Hudson from Demac has already jotted down the minutes of the meetup on Demac's blog.

Some of the important topics that were raised during the meetup involved displaying PPC ads on mobile devices and how crucial can it be when majority of the websites (in general) are not even mobile friendly. Especially from a e-commerce perspective, this can literally mean a very high bounce rate and loss of sale.

If you're interested in getting a report about PPC trends in several industries (US data), have a look at this report from Marin.

Screen shots from the report:

Smartphones still account for only 7% of purchases but might be very helpful at the search stage.

Lookin' forward to the next meetup! 

Saturday, June 23, 2012

[New Post on Sovedo] Facebook Entering Search Business

Hey! Just read about Facebook launching an ad exchange program to use RTB and target users when they search on engines and return to Facebook. Using Demand Side Platforms, Facebook wants to help advertisers further target users for which they are conducting searches outside the Facebook environment.

Have a read of the full article on Sovedo:


Retail Ecommerce Forecast [Webinar Recap]

This free webinar was a good opportunity to learn about retail e-commerce trends in the US and what to expect in the coming years. The speaker was Jeffrey Grau, Principal Analyst at eMarketer.

The webinar focused on the outlook for retail sales, best/worst performing categories, "mega-trends" and a profile of online shoppers. A key thing to note is that Department of Commerce (DOC) does not count online ticket sales within retail and because eMarketer uses DOC data as baseline, it does not include it either.

Looking forward, US retail ecommerce sales are expected to maintain early double digits growth till '16, rising from #224bn in '12 to $361bn. An interesting slide showed that even though total retail sales experienced a 3.5% fall in '09, retail ecommerce grew at 2.1%. A couple of reasons were cited:

  • Especially in a recession, people are used to stretching their money for the best deal
  • The internet allows for a price comparison
  • Product selection and convenience of shopping at any given time

Even though ecommerce still accounts for only ~6-7% of total sales, the amount of influence it exerts in helping make a purchase decision is a combined 45% (7% purchase+38% web influenced sales)

Which are the categories that are performing best?
With an average of 6.6% online penetration rate, PCs led the categories at 54% while groceries bottomed at 2%. Based on a Compounded Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) till 2016, the fastest growing category would be Apparels and Accessories (16%) followed by Books/Music/Video (15%).

A mega-trend that is shaping ecommerce is the proliferation of devices and how the shopping experience is very different on a smartphone vs a tablet.
  • Smartphones satify immediate product needs 
  • Tablets are used in a more leisurely environment and are well suited for impulse buying
In terms of immediate product needs, 31% of US smartphone owners have used their phone to research about a product in a store while 14% purchased the same or a better product online. This behavior, called "Showrooming" diverts sales from stores to the web. In about 70% of the cases, the price was better online while 45% of people wanted to see the product in a store before ordering.

An interesting stat that was revealed during the webinar was the share of US online retail sales by income segment. Even shoppers with less than $50K/year annual income accounted for 25% of online sales during 2011.

The key takeaways from the webinar were:

  • Ecommerce has the potential to grab 15% of total sales by 2020
  • Lower prices, selection and convenience will continue to favor ecommerce
  • Impact of different devices on purchases made online
  • Personalization and Segmentation of users will provide more targeted products, increasing conversion rates

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Update: Airtime - Potential acquisition for Facebook?

So the launch of Airtime was filled with glitches. With Sean Parker (ex Facebook, Spotify) and Shaun Fanning (Napster) as co-founders, Airtime appears to be well thought idea of "Chatroulette without nudity"

Using data about interests from Facebook to connect users based on location, common interests or are friends of friends. Airtime promises to be a major progression from the infamous ChatRoulette and features such group video chats (Hangouts...?)  are expected to be roll out soon along with iOS and Android versions.

Most notably, brands would be hoping to utilize group chat feature in Airtime to connect with fans and share brand experiences. User details remain anonymous till users approve requests to add in their Airtime list. Sneak previews could be shown to seeders to get the WOM going.

Update: Just read in G&M that Airtime hopes to make money through:
a. Ads
b. Sale of virtual goods (will be very interesting to know details as they emerge as Zynga might try to break free from Facebook credits)

Would you try Airtime to connect with other users soon?

Monday, May 28, 2012

Mesh 12 session: HubSpot CEO on Inbound Marketing

Bryan Halligan, CEO of HubSpot , had insights galore to share about why inbound marketing is crucial.
The easiest definition he had for inbound marketing was that it was the opposite of outbound...
A couple of things to know about inbound marketing:
1. Create remarkable content
2. Knowing the machinery( systems to constantly split test the funnel to get better results from leads
3. 80/20 rule: knowing content will get shared, viewed etc.
Content should be relevant but not over-sell. E.g. a shoe store using a post how to shine shoes vs please buy this'.
Some of the brands that do an amazing job at segmentation include amazon and most notably, Netflix. By personalizing the web and email experience for every user, Netflix drills it down to 1 user/ segment.