23 Top online retailers analytic packages revealed

Web Analytics is an ever evolving field with many big name players, and plenty of smaller competitors. Deciding what analytics package is the right fit for your site can be a tough process to go through.

omniture logocoremetrics logo

Prices range from free (Google analytics) all the way in the tens of thousands of dollars per year (Omniture, Coremetrics, Webtrends). I have compiled a list of some of the top Ecommerce sites in the industry and noted what each site is using below. Hopefully this will help you gauge which product you might want to choose for your site.


Apparel / Fashion

  • eBags.com – Google Analytics
  • Landsend.com – Omniture SiteCatalyst
  • Lids.com – WebTrends
  • Bluefly.com – Coremetrics
  • LLBean.com – Omniture SiteCatalyst

Electronics

  • BestBuy.com – Omniture SiteCatalyst
  • TigerDirect.com – Omniture SiteCatalyst
  • Crutchfield.com – Omniture SiteCatalyst

Food

  • SurLaTable.com – Omniture SiteCatalyst
  • Cooking.com – Omniture SiteCatalyst
  • Berries.com – Omniture SiteCatalyst

Jewelry

  • BlueNile.com – Google Analytics
  • Ice.com – Google Analytics
  • Diamond.com – Google Analytics

Children / Toys

  • OneStepAhead.com – Coremetrics
  • KBToys.com – Omniture SiteCatalyst
  • BabyAge.com – Google Analytics & Omniture SiteCatalyst

Office

  • Staples.com – Coremetrics
  • OfficeDepot.com – Coremetrics
  • OfficeMax.com – Coremetrics

Mass Merchants

  • SmartBargains.com – Coremetrics
  • Walmart.com – Omniture SiteCatalyst
  • Kmart.com – Omniture SiteCatalyst

Hat tip to grok for putting together the top ecommerce sites by niche

This is the breakdown of my findings. As you can see Omniture seems to be the clear favorite, followed by CoreMetrics and Google analytics and leading the back of the pack WebTrends, which in my opinion is a dieing platform, overpriced, and laden with bugs.

  • Omniture SiteCatalyst – 12
  • Coremetrics – 6
  • Google Analytics – 5
  • WebTrends – 1

From my personal experience if you have a small site, or even a large one as you can see above, Google Analytics is a great choice. They offer a free version which is extremely user friendly, as well as a paid version, called Urchin 5 (Urchin 6 is in beta). Urchin is still extroidinarily cheap compared to Omniture, Coremetrics, and Webtrends. If you are looking for FULL functionality and a very robust system you are going to want to choose between Omniture, Coremetrics, and Webtrends, but be ready to shell out thousands of dollars especially if your site gets a lot of traffic. Which platform have you found success with?

Update:

Aaron over at theMadhat pointed out the general pricing on Omniture, Coremetrics and Webtrends:

pricing from low to high: WT, Omniture, Coremetrics. with a diff of around 10k from wt to cm. quote is from last year.

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Courtesy of Michael, more official stats on market share right now in the industry.

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Pratt chimes in with a slick way to use Website Optimizers tests in GA and track metrics other than conversions on links.

Published by

Brian Chappell

I sold my Moz recommended Search Agency in 2016 so I could prepare for the next big thing. I consult a select few and am continuing to grow my side projects into stable businesses. If you are curious about consulting, contact me through Adapt Marketing.

  • I know the guys who developed StatsAdvisor in late 2007. I think it’s perfect for a small business owner. Cost is $50/month.

  • For my “other” stuff I use IndexTools. It’s fairly robust but at around $50 a month for the basic level it seems a little higher priced.

    Haven’t used anything else but Goog…which seems to report really innacurate (low) numbers (ran a comparison with omniture and my logs on TS).

    And props to me for giving you this tool.

  • @ madhat

    I noticed the same thing about g. Maybe be b/c its javascript based and not log analysis.?

    I am by no means a statistical analytics expert. I think I heard javascript is a little inaccurate.

    That tool is handy 🙂

  • The majority of the sites I work on use Google Analytics only if they are a small business. If they are a larger site, they are 90% using Omniture and GA together, and the rest use index tools or coremetrics.

    In the last 2 years I have seen a lot of large traffic site move away from Omniture because it just takes way too long to set up all the data properly to get the most bang for the buck. Then you need a staff of people, not just one person, to maintain the reports and generate revenue reports.

    Usually if the site or brand is not generating a a lot of trafficly consistently throughout the year, I recommend they go with only GA.

  • @ Alex

    Thanks for chiming in Alex. Interesting points.

    Have you found the same symptoms as Aaron and I have seen with G analytics?

  • Chris G

    It would be too bad if WebTrends were a dying brand. I don’t see it. Instead, I see companies switch to WT from the others because of the others’ limitations, cost, or both. We actually have to charge more for managing the others, and a LOT more for Google Analytics management, **IF** the client is asking interesting questions of the data. I mean, opposed to ordinary “report card” out of the box statistics. I want to stress that that’s an important distinction – out of the box versus focused or deep-dive kinds of analyses. There’s a big difference between drilling down to more detail (which some of them do very well) and drilling UP (to see patterns and insights).

  • @Brian – I think the difference is just in how they track things, b/c omniture, wt, and coremetrics are all JS based systems. (you can also parse log files to catch the non-JS people but I don’t even have that turned on. small percentage).

    Every analytics package will count things differently, the important thing is that they are consistent with trending…and sometimes I see Goog off on trending data which doesn’t make much sense and makes the data a little suspect.

  • Rebecca Elizabeth

    I would agree with Chris G. WebTrends is far from a dieing platform. Have you not seen the WebTrends Visitor Intelligence platform? We don’t have any clients on it yet because of the additional cost but it was pretty impressive when I sat on a call 6 months ago with one of our clients that WT was pitching it to.
    I have one client that is considering switching from WT to Omniture and we have yet to be able to figure out how we can create some of the more complicated custom reports from WT in Omniture. The client is realizing the grass isn’t always greener, no pun intended:), with other vendors.

    Overall, the biggest problem we find is customers don’t properly invest in the solution they buy. The solution is usually fine if they use WT, Omniture or Core.

  • @Rebecca

    Omniture Discover (an add on to SiteCatalyst) is essentially the same thing and can create virtually any customized report you can think of. You can segment segments of segments with it. And IMO it’s fairly easy to get a handle on.

    And I used WT for 2+ years before switching to omniture last year.

  • Chris G

    Omniture is definitely great at drilling down to high-granularity levels, but as I said that’s very different from drilling up or sideways to a view of the patterns. And Site Catalyst does not have all possible cubes defined even when drilling down is all that’s wanted. With with Discover + excel, I (and Omniture people) can’t get certain kinds of things to happen that we can do in WebTrends + excel with only a half hour of report design. We’d probably have to start talking specific examples to be more definitive in this discussion. But, as I said, a lot has to do with what kinds of questions you are asking of the raw data.

    One thing that always has frustrated me about these analytics packages, all of the mainstream ones, is that at the end of the day they are just cubers and tabulators, which is kindergarten stuff no matter how much you dress it up. We’re using tabulations to try to do things that we should be using something like Clementine for, or logistical regression or conjoint analysis.

  • @ Rebecca from Webtrends

    Thanks for jumping into the conversation.

    With regards to Webtrends. I used it for 2 years with my corporate site and was not that impressed. It was pretty buggy and I found myself on the phone with tech support quite a bit. Certainly due to some of a learning curve issue on my part, but most of the time it was actually bugs in the software.

    Now I have not used it in about a year, so if you guys are doing some new creative, out of the box things to help your platform then that is great to hear.

    I am by no means an expert in this field of knowledge but I have heard enough, talked to enough respectable people in the industry and learned enough from my own experiences that if you are going to be spending 20k/yr + in Analytics, then you probably would be better off with Urchin, Omniture, or Coremetrics. To each his own I guess, that is just my opinion.

  • WT is nice, and has some good data. I’ve yet to see funnels or certain other things that would be useful, but then again I’m new to WT. G analytics is nice for visitor loyalty, recency and … spam. Errr, whups, did I let the cat out of the bag? Stay tuned ;).

  • mike

    FYI – Tigerdirect is migrating from Omniture to Coremetrics.

  • @Brian

    Take a look at the latest Wave Report for web analytics from Forrester Research. Also checkout Stephane Hamel’s blog for a better sample size on
    web analytics vendor market share.

  • One other reason why I prefer Google Analytics for small-medium sized companies, is the ability to track your Website Optimizers tests in GA. With a somewhat-simple hack (courtesy of ROI Revolution) you are able to look at metrics other than conversions on links (like exit rate, average time on page, etc.).

    I think the ability to use both of these free tools together is extremely valuable to many businesses who don’t have a huge budget (or even if they do!)

  • Excellent summary, Brian. I followed you in from Twitter and just had to prepare something like this for internal consumption a few weeks ago. I sure wish you had written it then so I could’ve sourced you.

    And I am 100% in agreement on WT. I won’t use it again. That’s twice. I’m done.

    George

  • Big Al

    Crutchfield uses Omniture, not Google. Until last May, I was the Internet Project Manager there. They’ve never used Google. Started with Web Trends, then tossed those training wheels in 2002 or 2003 and went with Coremetrics for a few years. Once the limitations of Coremetrics was reached and the ability of Coremetrics to support the account was found to be lacking, they migrated to Omniture early last year and are currently with them.

  • You are right Al, my Wasp FF plugin sometimes doesn’t update properly. Thanks for catching that.

  • I too, have noticed some inconsistencies with GA, and that is probably because it is a JS include, but who knows?

    I still recommend it for all my clients, mostly because it’s free and it works, but I tend to stick in another freebie here and there along with it, just to catch any that slip through.

    On small sites, StatCounter(.com) is nice because of the user profile data, it’s reporting can be limited, but it’s nice for a daily look at who’s doing what.

  • This is fascinating! Especially how certain industries seem to favor one vendor (or free service, in the case of jewelry).

  • Very interesting. I had never considered before that certain industries lean to the use of a particular package. Do you think it is due to the need for particular types of reporting and features?

  • @Sara No doubt industry-specific requirements drive some of the thinking. E-Commerce platform also plays a significant role, though that it becoming less of a factor as the independents continue to expand their partner programs.

    Great work, Brian!