The secret life of the website visitor


It is amazing what our visitors know and don’t tell us. That’s why we have to keep asking them, and surveying, and looking at our analytics

A couple days ago, I was working with a customer on his website, and saw that as soon as the visitor chose to put something into the shopping cart, she would be confronted with a sign-in requirement. There wasn’t even an option to proceed as a guest.

“Well, that must be a real turn-off,” I said — too quickly, it turns out.  Because, the very next thing we did was go look at his Google Analytics. We saw that less than 10% of the visits that got to that page exited.

“Well,” I continued, sure that I knew his customers and visitors better than they knew themselves, “Let’s see what it says for new visitors only. I’ll bet that new visitors, who don’t already have sign-ins, exit in droves.”  And you guessed it, we saw that less than 10% of the visits that got to that page exited.

So we get back to the need for analytics, user testing and multivariate testing, because we never know what our visitors really want.


Our founder, Robbin Steif, started LunaMetrics in 2004. She is a graduate of Harvard College and the Harvard Business School, and has served on the Board of Directors for the Digital Analytics Association. Robbin is a winner of a BusinessWomen First award, as well as a Diamond Award for business leadership. In 2017, Robbin sold her company to HS2 Solutions and has since retired from LunaMetrics.

  • Glad to hear about customers having specific conversations like this about their visitors. Thankful too that you are willing to walk through and use data to help drive the decision. Nice work.

  • Josh

    So, why the high checkout rate? Was it a fantastic deal or product (half off crack?) or a beautifully designed site or a super easy, barrier-free sign-in? Would love to know how this site managed to avoid a big abandonment rate frequently attributed to limited sign-in options.

  • Robbin

    It was all about the demographics. And unfortunately, that is all I can say, Josh. Thanks for understanding, I hope. Robbin

  • Josh

    thumbs up, Robbin 🙂

  • Thank you for the good writeup. It in fact was a amusement account it. Look advanced to far added agreeable from you! However, how can we communicate?

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