Journal of Interactive Marketing (forthcoming)
Tracking the behavior of consumers online by monitoring “clickstream data” — which sites they visit, what links they click on, and what purchases they make — has helped marketers become more adept at presenting the right products to the right audience. Clickstream data is a widely used measurement tool, which the authors of this study examine to determine what the data actually reveals and how it can be improved upon.
With increasingly sophisticated measurement tools and information sources, the authors argue, the Internet will soon provide much more significant data. As marketers incorporate additional data collection methods, including recommendation systems (for example, Amazon’s book reviews or Netflix’s movie recommendation engine), data on paid search ads, and other word-of-mouth measures, such as comments on social networking sites, the authors conclude that clickstream data will provide an even more comprehensive picture of consumer behavior in the future.
Clickstream data is a useful and dynamic source for marketers and will grow in importance as the Internet and Internet-usage tracking systems become more sophisticated.