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How to arrange items on your section pages using analytics data

Posted on September 24th, 2009 in the Analytics Category

From the excellent Neuromarketing blog comes a great post entitled "Order Effect Affects Orders" that shows that you should put your most important items first, because that's what people will click on and buy.


In other words, the item in position 0 should get more clicks than the one in position 6 on this sample section page. I thought I'd see if this is found to be true by looking directly at web analytics data.

What I did is not only track the pageview, but also the position via an onclick event using event tracking. (Side note for Yahoo! Stores: you can pretty easily determine the position of the ids in the Contents field by using the POSITION RTML operator).

What's nice is that I can now aggregate the positions across all section pages. After just a few hours of gathering data it looks like there is already a confirming pattern emerging:


The data comes from an online retailer that has section pages with three items per row. I would caution that not a lot of data has been collected at the time of this writing, but I find this type of analysis pretty amazing.

Here is what I would do with the data:

  • Go through your top section pages and present your best items first, instead of other listing types, such as random/date/price/alphabetical. You can now get analytics data that shows you how important order is on your site.
  • If you have an e-commerce site I think you might even be able to get a sense of the dollar value of the positions. Having a dollar value helps to make analytics actionable!
  • Segment this data against screen resolution to see if there is an "above or below the fold" effect. With a low screen resolution you might find that items that are not visible without scrolling are not clicked on at all.

Go to the Original Article: Michael Whitaker’s web analytics blog

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