Big retailers such as Amazon have developed some very effective ways of applying real-time analytics to customer interactions: for example, suggesting purchases based on past buys and products you’ve viewed in the recent past.
Smaller companies can also use analytics packages to create better customer experiences. Take Woopra, for instance, which lets business owners (or their sales associates) watch customers interact with an e-commerce site in real time. The software can provide a customer’s entire sales history, complete with statistics. For a smaller merchant, such tools can become game-changers.
Woopra’s not the only company in the space, of course. Google Analytics offers certain types of data insight for Websites that don’t depend on real-time analysis. And a handful of startups and midsize IT vendors, including Chartbeat and PMetrics, offer some combination of real-time data, alerts, mobile apps, and all the other tools a business needs to make sure a Web presence is optimized at all times.
In the video above, Woopra CEO Elie Khoury talks about what real-time analytics can accomplish for a business, and how it can even bring something of a neighborhood-shopping experience to the often-impersonal expanse of the Internet. Yet despite the hype attached to analytics, he warns, all the software tools in the world won’t sell actual products; that responsibility belongs to the actual owners and representatives who deal with customers.