To measure the performance of your strategy, Metrics and KPI—is the key
Metrics are something that everyone wants and needs. Metrics are how we all observe performance and make decisions, whether you’re a high school math teacher, an NFL scout, or a digital marketer.
Digital marketing, in comparison to other marketing channels, provides far more visibility to behaviours and actions. You can’t tell how many people see your billboard on the side of the road, but you can see how many people visit your website.
You may not know how many people came to your restaurant after seeing an advertisement in the local newspaper, but you do know how many people came to your site after clicking on a banner ad.
The visibility and analysis of digital results have long been a separate industry, since the early days of digital marketing. Google Analytics, visitors, pages per visit, bounce rate, time on site, and conversion rate are all terms that are becoming more common.
According to a Statista study, the following are the primary metrics used by retailers to measure the success of personalization initiatives:
However, those metrics do not always give exact results rather it prompts the development of additional insightful, actionable, e-commerce-focused metrics.
Before we get into the key metrics that can help your store’s performance, it’s important to understand what metrics are and what you should look for.
What exactly is a metric?
Any quantifiable, consistently defined measurement of website performance is referred to as a metric.
Relevant e-commerce metrics include everything from the e-commerce conversion rate to the average order value (AV0), as well as the cart abandonment rate and traffic sources.
For good reason, the list of e-commerce metrics is lengthy. Google Analytics, social media, your online store, product pages, homepages, checkout and shopping carts are all rich data sources that capture quantifiable data, right from your interpretation and trend measurement over time.
What exactly is a KPI?
KPI is an abbreviation for key performance indicators. While all metrics have value, a KPI is especially important to monitor because these are the numbers you use to track growth.
For example, while site visits may be required, your key performance indicator (KPI) could be the orders themselves. Typically, you’ll be evaluated based on a handful of critical numbers. These are your key performance indicators.
What Is the Difference Between a Metric and an E-commerce Key Performance Indicator?
What is the distinction between a metric and a key performance indicator (KPI), especially since the terms are frequently used interchangeably?
To begin, metrics measure processes, whereas KPIs measure the performance of those processes. To put it another way, key performance indicators are subjective, specific goals that you want your store to achieve.
The average order value, for example, is a metric but not a KPI. An AOV target of $40, on the other hand, is a key performance indicator (KPI). In the sports world, points-per-game would be a metric, and 30 runs per hour would be a key performance indicator.
How to Calculate E-commerce Success
It is beneficial to create an index that summarises your performance across various e-commerce marketing channels.
For example, if you own an e-commerce site, you could choose four metrics from the list below and determine the KPIs for each of those metrics. If two of those metrics are performing at 90% of your KPI goal and the other two are performing at 100% of your KPI goal, your index is.95.
Depending on your organization’s size, your teams or team members can manage the specifics of the activities that comprise your metrics, but this index can be a useful way to measure your enterprise performance.
How Frequently Should I Examine My E-commerce Metrics?
As we continue through our list of recommended e-commerce metrics, you may be wondering how frequently you should check your metrics.
When asked, “How much does a red car cost?” the answer is the same.
“It depends,” is the answer.
Some metrics should be checked on a weekly basis to ensure that your business is in good health. Website traffic, social media engagement, and impressions are some examples.
Expanding on your weekly metrics, bi-weekly metrics are best suited for larger sample sizes and are less influenced by any variations that may occur within a given week.
A cost per acquisition (CPA), and shopping cart abandonment are examples of bi-weekly metrics.
Because of traffic patterns or, more likely, your own marketing patterns, monthly metrics necessitate a longer data window. Email open rate, multichannel engagement, reach, add-to-cart abandonment and other micro-conversions may be included in these monthly metrics.
Quarterly metrics, at least as defined by these time periods, are the most strategic.
If your weekly and biweekly metrics have shown that your business is healthy and surviving, these quarterly metrics will show that your business is flourishing and growing. Email click-through, customer lifetime value, and subscription rate are examples of such metrics.
Recognizing Customer Stages
We’re going to shape this conversation in the way that the most successful e-commerce businesses think about their store’s performance — the e-commerce funnel.
Each stage of this funnel has a different set of metrics that are more important. Their relative importance is determined by your personal preferences, organisation strategies, and where you are in your corporate lifecycle — creating advocacy, for example, is inherently difficult in the early stages of your business.
The following are likely to be the most important metrics for you to monitor if you want to run a successful e-commerce store:
It may seem obvious, but you can’t attract visitors to your site if you don’t raise awareness of your brand, which leads to their discovery.
These metrics will assist you in measuring your activities that promote awareness and discovery:
Simply put, impressions are the number of times someone sees your ad or piece of content. These impressions can be obtained through paid advertisements on third-party websites, search results, social platforms, and so on.
It’s important to remember that an impression does not always imply a click. Your impressions will be available from any platform where you share content, including Google paid ads, Facebook, and Instagram, as well as third-party platforms.
Impressions are one of the most manageable metrics because they are almost entirely determined by the budget you allocate to your various activities.
Simply put, reach is the total number of your followers and subscribers — essentially, the total number of people who will see your content. This could include opt-in email subscribers, Facebook followers, and loyalty programme participants.
Consistent campaigns — social media, email, or otherwise — to encourage subscribers, followers, and so on are the most effective way to increase reach. The more clearly defined your brand and voice, the more effective your campaigns will be in increasing reach.
Engagement is the point at which your impressions meet your reach. Simply put, how many of your followers and subscribers (your reach) interact with your content (your impressions).
This includes acquisition-related activities like click-through, but it also includes non-acquisition-related activities like likes and shares.
Continued activities to promote your brand and product will have the greatest impact on engagement. It is critical to maintain these efforts over time.
Metrics for consideration (or acquisition)
You will not have a buyer if they do not visit your website. Now that they’re aware of your brand, let’s define metrics to track how they got to your website.
There are numerous metrics in this stage of the funnel, so we’ll only cover a few:
Email click-through rate
The email click-through rate is the percentage of your email subscribers who clicked through to your site after receiving and opening the email (as measured by other metrics).
You can help by creating well-designed emails with mobile-friendly design, strong calls to action, and catchy subject lines.
Cost of each acquisition (CPA)
Do you think it would be useful to know how much you’re paying to acquire first-time customers — also known as your customer acquisition cost (CAC)? We’ll take that as a yes, which is why it’s critical to avoid launching exorbitant campaigns that result in a small number of customers.
As a store owner, you are well aware that you will need to invest in email campaigns, paid search campaigns, and other marketing campaigns in order to drive traffic and, ultimately, sales. However, if the cost of those campaigns outweighs the total revenue generated, you’re wasting your hard-earned money.
It’s critical to remember that the context of your AOV has a significant impact on CPA. If your CPA is $25 and your AOV is $100, you’re on the right track. On the other hand, if your AOV is $30, a CPA of $25 does not appear to be a good deal.
Your CPA can be reduced by segmenting your campaigns to better target customers who will respond best to your campaigns’ call-to-actions, creating landing pages to reinforce your call-to-actions, and managing your campaigns.
Traffic from organic acquisition sources
In the long run, you hope to attract visitors to your website without having to pay for them. It is critical to track how many of your visitors arrive at your site organically, which is readily available on all analytics platforms.
You can boost your organic traffic by ensuring that your on-site/technical SEO adheres to best practices — proper tagging, quick response time, and so on — and that your off-page SEO performs well.
Participation in social media
Social media metrics can be extremely beneficial to your e-commerce business. The following are the top social media engagement KPIs to monitor on a regular basis:
Posts with the most likes: “Likes” are a catch-all metric for people who expressed involvement in your social media posts. These will appear as Likes, and thumbs-ups. To calculate it, add up the number of likes on each social media platform and divide it by the number of posts on each platform.
“Shares” is a catch-all metric for “shares,” “retweets.” This metric represents the average number of times a post is shared over a given period of time.
Comments per post: “Comments” is a catch-all metric for social media mentions and comments. This metric measures how much of a following your brand has on social media.
Post-by-post clicks: The clicks per post metric counts link clicks from social media posts over a specific time period. To calculate this metric, add up the number of clicks from your social media posts over a specific time period (typically a month) and divide it by the number of published social media posts during the same time period.
Metrics of conversion
Now that you’ve had a visitor to your store, how can you gauge your success in converting them from a store visitor to a paying customer, adding products to their shopping cart, and checking out?
These metrics should assist you in doing so:
Rate of shopping cart abandonment
Abandonment can be measured in a variety of ways, which is useful for tracking site behaviour.
Shopping cart abandonment is the number of people who add something to their cart but then leave your website without making a purchase. This metric is critical for determining whether there are any issues with the site or the cart process before proceeding to the checkout process.
Separately, checkout abandonment is an important metric that shows how many people leave your site without making a purchase, but only after starting the checkout process.
While shopping cart abandonment is similar, it’s important to measure them separately to determine whether the checkout process is the root cause of abandonment or if the issue is something else entirely.
Abandonment rates can be reduced primarily through intuitive cart management, which includes persistent pages, urgency messaging, saving customers’ carts, and so on.
Conversion rates from micro to macro.
This is an intriguing method for identifying activities that are particularly important for measurement. Conversions, both micro and macro, are small (micro) activities that lead to larger (macro) activities.
These are similar to abandonment rates, but they allow you to track activities that you believe are important to your funnels, such as the number of visitors who click on a product detail page or the number of visitors who opt-in as an email subscriber.
Your average order value (AOV) is the average price your customers pay when they check out for the items in their cart. It can and should be tracked over time to see how it changes. It’s an important measurement to understand because it relates to marketing effectiveness measurements.
Your AOV can be increased by selling add-ons, and loyalty programmes, or by addressing other, more fundamental business model issues such as pricing, product quality, and so on.
Conversion rates for sales
Sales conversion rates are calculated by dividing the total number of orders/sales by the total number of sessions to your store.
- Understanding this figure is critical for determining how much traffic is needed to generate your desired sales.
- That being said, conversion rates, like sales data, require a more detailed understanding.
- Here are some key methods for dissecting your conversion rate metric:
- Set the conversion rate for each channel, such as AdWords, SEO, Facebook, and so on.
- Set the conversion rate for each product category: Some categories may convert at a higher rate than others.
- Set a conversion rate for each campaign, such as when working with affiliates or influencers.
In your campaigns, strive to improve your sales conversion rates by doing the following: Consider putting more resources behind a channel or category that is performing well. If something is underperforming, perhaps there is a fix that would increase rates, or perhaps the campaign should be terminated — it’s sometimes best to cut your losses. Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) can help a campaign’s growth.
Metrics for retention
Depending on the source, acquiring a new customer can cost anywhere between five and twenty-five times more than retaining an existing one. This data strongly suggests the importance of keeping those customers you’ve converted.
It’s worth noting that each of these retention-focused metrics will benefit from a common thread: excellent customer service, loyalty programmes, repeat purchase campaigns, and genuine investment in customer satisfaction.
Rate of customer retention
The percentage of customers you keep as customers over time is best defined as your customer retention rate. The higher this number, the better you’re doing in terms of customer service.
When calculating this, keep in mind to deduct your new customers from the total number of customers. Although new customers are important, this metric focuses on how well you retain existing customers.
Customer lifetime value (CLV)
Customer lifetime value (CLV) is the total revenue earned by an e-commerce business from a single customer over time, taking into account all of their orders. It is an excellent metric for assessing average customer satisfaction, loyalty, and the viability of a brand.
The CLV metric depicts the company’s long-term financial viability. A high CLV indicates product-market fit, brand loyalty, and recurring revenue from repeat customers. If e-commerce businesses want to grow steadily, it is recommended that they monitor and optimise customer lifetime value.
Customer satisfaction is high
The rate of repeat customers is simple to calculate and extremely important. You want to know what percentage of your customers have purchased multiple items.
This is another way to gauge how well you’re serving your customers because if you’re doing a good job, they’ll return.
Refund and return percentage
Refund and return rates can be a source of concern for e-commerce websites. High refunds and returns can eventually destroy even the most profitable online stores. Depending on your industry, returns may be common and already factored into your financial models, or they may be rare.
Returns can also be a strong motivator for potential customers to click the ‘buy now button. If a customer is aware that your store offers free returns or exchanges, it can alleviate buyer’s remorse. Returns and refunds should be used to fuel your business rather than to burn you.
Keeping track of these metrics is critical to the health of your store. Is your refund rate increasing in a particular section of your store? It may be time to look into where that is coming from.
Churn rate in e-commerce
Churn rate is a metric for tracking customer turnover. It counts the number of users who have leftover a given time period.
Depending on your industry and sales approach, you may need to invest a significant amount of time in each user experience. Whatever your churn rate is, it’s critical to track it and develop strategies to delight your customers while they’re still with you. It is always easier to resell to an existing customer than it is to acquire a new one.
Metrics for advocacy
This is unquestionably the most overlooked part of the sales funnel, which is unfortunate.
These customers are a goldmine for you, so treat them as such.
These metrics will assist you in quantifying your efforts to demonstrate that you care.
Net promoter score (NPS)
A net promoter score (NPS) is a measure of how likely your customers are to recommend you to others. Customers are classified into one of three groups based on their numerical responses.
The more promoters you have, the higher your score. It’s important to note that the scales of good and bad NPS scores vary by industry. Your NPS will benefit from the combination of everything in your business, from the quality of your product to the quality of your customer service, from the customer experience you provide to the quality of the employment experience you provide to your employees. NPS measures everything and is an extremely useful tool.
Because email marketing continues to be valuable, knowing what percentage of your visitors have opted-in to your email lists is critical. This indicates that your customers want to hear from you, which is a good thing.
You can increase your subscription rates by ensuring a good email communication experience (know your brand, be consistent in messaging, and don’t “spam” your list with endless or unnecessary messages), an easy subscription experience, and strong calls-to-action.
On the other hand, unsubscribe rates are just as important as new subscriptions. If huge chunks of your users are abandoning your emails, it may be time to reconsider your strategy.
Unsubscribes will always exist, but it’s critical to keep them to a minimum, aiming for less than 0.5 per cent — and less than .25 per cent is excellent.
Participation rate in the programme
As e-commerce technologies and practices evolved, an increasing number of merchants turned to advocacy programs such as loyalty programs or review platforms. There are numerous solutions in both areas, but let’s take loyalty programmes as an example, which may be more relevant to you if you are a more brand-focused merchant.
What percentage of your total customers are members of your customer loyalty programme, if you have one? The higher that percentage, the greater your ability to treat them with care, make them feel special, and improve many of the other metrics we’ve discussed, such as CLV, repeat customers, and so on.
By first starting one, you can improve your programme participation rate. Furthermore, do so in a way that provides actual benefits to inclusion. It is critical to recognise that foregoing some margin in exchange for providing excellent service to these customers will pay off in the long run.
Remember how we said earlier that it costs five to twenty-five times more to acquire a new customer? This is especially important to remember when considering programme participation rates.
Last but not the Least-
Building a successful e-commerce store necessitates your attention in a variety of ways, from building your store to defining your brand to creating your product to providing excellent customer service.
Knowledge of the e-commerce metrics mentioned above will assist you in determining how well you’re performing those activities and highlighting areas where you can fine-tune your strategies and tactics to improve your store’s performance and bottom line.
To learn more about such facts about the eCommerce industry, visit Zap Inventory and get access to the ocean of eCommerce knowledge.