The UK market for web analytics technology and services grew by 9% in 2009 to an estimated value of £85 million, according to research published this week by Econsultancy.
Despite the difficult economic climate, businesses are continuing to invest in digital measurement because they are paying more attention to the return on investment from web properties and digital marketing channels.
According to Econsultancy's Web Analytics Buyer's Guide 2010, total UK revenues specifically for web analytics vendors amounted to £42 million by the end of 2009.
This figure includes income from software licences, hosted solutions and consultancy services. The remaining £43 million is split between client-side investment on internal staff and money spent on third-party agency and consultancy services.
Econsultancy's Research Director Linus Gregoriadis said: "2009 was a very big year for the web analytics industry, with the recession forcing companies to become more efficient and to take measurement more seriously.
"The acquisition of Omniture by Adobe announced in September last year also put the spotlight on this sector, and underlined the strategic importance of digital measurement."
According to the report, an important trend is the integration of web analytics with other data sources, such as CRM software, and the evolution of the role of analytics into a key part of business intelligence.
Companies are also paying more attention to mobile web analytics because of the huge surge in the number of people accessing the internet while on the move.
Gregoriadis added: "The increased use of free analytics tools offered by the likes of Google and Yahoo has forced vendors to raise their game, and in some cases diversify by offering related tools such as multivariate testing.
"At the same time, companies using web analytics tools are typically getting more from the technology because they have realised that they need to invest in analysts who can translate the data into something useful for their businesses."
Headline market trends
The recession is highlighting the importance of web analytics as companies are more focused on allocating resources efficiently and understanding where true value is being added.
Web analytics is increasingly used to optimise websites and improve conversion rates
Vendors are seeking to differentiate their services as the market consolidates. The industry is becoming increasingly saturated with fewer players owning the majority of market share.
Integration with other sources of data is becoming more crucial, as the role of web analytics shifts towards business intelligence and driving customer insight.
The lack of investment in skills and education continues to hold back businesses from reaping the maximum benefits from the technology.
The rise of mobile web is posing new challenges for measurement and metrics, as traditional web analytics cannot be easily applied to the mobile web.
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