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5 “Whys” That Help You Understand Google Analytics Better and Increase Sales

Do you use web tools like Google Analytics for your website? I bet you do! Without them, you would not be able to answer simple questions, like:

  • “How many people visit the website?”,
  • “How much time do they spend on the page?”,
  • “How many of them convert into paying customers?”.

And so on. If you sell your products online this information is essential for getting new customers and retaining current ones. Essential, but not necessarily sufficient. Statistics will tell you about the facts, but not help you find a reason and solve a problem. Google Analytics charts will not let you fully understand a customer or his behavior on the website. You will need a tool that tells you WHY visitors abandon pages without purchase and what motivates them during the buying process. If you want to sell more get the knowledge from clients by asking them easy questions while they visit your website.

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Why “why” is so important — 5 Whys method

Do you know what is behind the success of the great inspiring leaders and organizations in the world? It is not about their cutting-edge products and technologies or amazing talents. People follow them not for what they do or produce, but why the do it. Let’s take Apple as an example. Simon Sinek presented their genius in his speech on Ted. Why do millions of people around the world buy their products? Why do fans identify with the brand? Users love the company not for what they make, but for the reason why they do it. A big idea and great values that the company represents are rooted in brand communication. At the very core of the business strategy Apple puts the profound purpose for their operation. That is why their products are desirable. That is why people love Apple.

However, even the best plans fail and something can always go wrong. The system might break, sales plan might be not met and key employee might leave a company at the least expected moment. Happens, you cannot predict everything. The most important thing though is to get to root cause of a problem in order to fix it and prevent it happens in the future. How can you do it? Ask “why” as long as a solution becomes obvious.

Why did sales drop in the last month?

Because we lost our key client.

Why did we lose our key client?

Because he was not satisfied with customer service.

Why was he not satisfied with customer service?

Because he always had to wait long for response from our employees.

Why did he have to wait long for response from our employees?

Because we get to many queries from clients.

Why do we get to many queries?

Because our system is not self-explanatory for them.

We needed only five questions and it turned out that sales drop resulted from the unintuitive system, so people had to turn to the staff frequently.

This simple method, called 5 Whys, was used within the Toyota Motor Corporation during the evolution of its manufacturing methodologies in the 50s. Thanks to persistent asking “why” the character of a problem and its solutions become clear.

Nevertheless, not all the questions can be answered within a company. Many things depend on external factors. With 5 Whys method you can find out why a particular functionality does not work in a product or why something broke. But what if sales drops? Or traffic on your website plummets? When you use this technique you will reach to the level where no one in your company will be in position to answer the question why. At this stage you should reach out to people who are able to help you, meaning clients. They will answer the vast majority of questions “why” that most of web analytics results will not. Naturally, you need to ask them first.

Get the answers that Google Analytics will not tell you

The easiest way to get customer feedback is when they are visiting your site. Asking them about their experience while they are browsing a page does not require much effort or engagement from their side. Many more people will be prone to answer a short question in the corner of a page rather than to fill in a questionnaire on a different domain or to answer your email.

And with the Widget SQ, it will not be an effort for you. On top of that, you can refer to particular behavior on the website. With a few clicks, you can install the widget that will show up on your page and ask visitors about anything you want to find out about. You probably know what is the most important for you. However, I will give you a few ideas about what is worth asking about in a website survey.

How did your visitors find out about the website?

Google Analytics provides you with information about certain channels that people come from to the website. However, not always you can extract the exact keywords visitors type into the Google search engine. The situation is the same with direct traffic. Someone can enter your address and there is no other way to learn how they found out about you than to ask them. They might have got a recommendation from a friend or heard the name at a conference.

Why are clients not adding any items to cart?

Web analytics tools will tell you that visitors spend a lot of time browsing products, entering new tabs, but they do not buy anything. You want to know what stops them. It might be a price or insufficient product descriptions. Find out.

Why do visitors drop a shopping cart?

A client browses your page for more than 20 minutes, adding different products, but eventually leaves the website without any purchase. It hurts the most, doesn’t it? However, you can ask him just before he is about to leave why he decides to drop his shopping cart. It might stem from high shipping costs or the lack of a particular payment method.

How likely are clients to recommend your service?

This is an essential question when it comes to customer satisfaction. Net Promoter Score perfectly reflects how happy your clients are about your service, products, and experiences. NPS helps you measure and manage satisfaction and it is crucial in keeping good relations with your clients. It is also directly related to future growth in the long term.

What would your visitors change about the webpage?

Not all closed-end questions enable visitors to include all their feedback. Let them speak. They have good ideas too and a more critical eye to what is working well and what is not. Ask them what would make their experience even better. The widget enables you to give your clients a space to get everything of their chest.

Thanks to these questions you will learn why your customers behave in a certain way. What is more important, you will fill all the gaps in information provided by web analytics tools.

Success story — how the widget works in practice

Lunchroom — a startup from Poland — offers its customers an easy way to order food online to office, facilitating payment process. It enables every person to pay for himself online. Lunchroom has been operating on the market for one year, but recently they decided to learn a little bit more about customers. They wanted to introduce a payment for service, but they were worried that it may repel current and potential customers.

The widget SQ was set up on in order to find out whether introducing the payment might result in losing customers. That was an important business decision, which would either help the company double their incomes or significantly decrease them. That is why they asked visitors what do they like Lunchroom for. Two suggested answers were given: “Everyone pays for own order”, “Delivery is cheaper”, and the third empty box for clients’ suggestions.

100 people answered the question within the first 2 days. The conversion rate was really high in this case: about 30% of users left the answer to the question. The key takeaway was that not delivery cost is the most important factor in choosing Lunchroom. In result the company could draw another conclusion that they should not be afraid of introducing the payment for service. Thus, now they are on the way to increase their incomes.

Get feedback and grow

Customer feedback is crucial in every business and industry. Clients know best what works well in your company and what you should improve. Do not be afraid to ask them, because they know answers that web analytics will not tell you. So set up Widget SQ on your website today and learn from your visitors how to sell more.

Urszula Kamburov-Niepewna
Ula is a Content Manager with extensive experience in journalism and SEO copywriting. She is a specialist in creating content in HR and Marketing research, Customer Experience, and User Experience. She has been associated with Startquestion for five years and currently leads the Content Marketing team there. After work, Ula is an obsessive reader, a huge Harry Potter fan, and a traveler who grabs every opportunity to see a little bit of the world and taste (usually more than a little) good food.