Metrics that Matter: Which Data is Crucial for E-Commerce Stores
Think of metrics as tools that give you critical information about the health and state of your e-commerce store. They can also be useful in identifying strengths and weaknesses and diagnosing problems.
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While eCommerce provides consumers with the benefits of convenience and choice, the power of eCommerce brands lies in their data.
Emma Miller, a Senior Editor at Bizzmark, calls metrics the “one thing that can make or break your online presence.”
Accordingly, e-commerce brands have been using data since the beginning of the 21st century. Now it’s nearly 2020, and every eCommerce brand that knows its worth should be using key metrics in three areas if they’re aiming for success: advertising, storefront, and shipping.
Make a Connection: Advertising Metrics
While there are plenty of marketing metrics to be tracked across many different platforms, these are the ones we consider the five most important:
- Marketing Attribution. This metric helps you determine which of your marketing efforts are most effective. You can keep track of whether paid or organic efforts are leading to more purchases or if you get more click-through traffic from mobile or desktop sources. Knowing where your customers come from can help you streamline the marketing process and focus your advertising spending on the areas where it will be more effective.
- Click-through Rate. This metric measures the number of people who arrive at your site via an external hyperlink. It can help you determine the origins of your page views: emails, social media campaigns, etc. This info helps you to see what platforms are most important and what content is most popular.
- Returning Visitors. This metric measures the percentage of visitors to your site who have been there before. It can help in measuring customer loyalty and satisfaction, as well as allow you to find out which pages are most popular and why.
- Funnel Abandonment. Funnel abandonment refers to how far down the marketing funnel your customers get before bailing. Do they unsubscribe from email lists after one email? Or reach a specialized landing page and then never return? This feedback can help catch potential customers before they lose interest.
- Brand awareness. This metric refers to your brand’s performance on the branded search and social media. It measures the effects of social listening across multiple platforms. Twitter followers, mentions, Google searches for your brand, and Facebook fans are all included in this metric.
Sell Your Brand: Storefront Metrics
- Bounce Rate. Bounce rate refers to how many visitors come to your site but don’t make it past one page. This important metric can speak to a problem with your landing page or with the expectations set by the source of the click.
- Customer Retention. This metric tracks how many customers stick with your brand over time. The more customers return to purchase from you again, the less money you’ll need to spend on finding new customers. Repeat customers also signify high customer satisfaction, which lets you know when you’re doing a good job.
- Customer Lifetime Value. LTV is a quantitative measure of customer satisfaction. This metric measures the average value of one customer over their whole involvement with your brand. This metric can clarify if it is more important that you focus on retaining customers than finding new ones.
- Pageviews. Pageviews measure the number of pages visited by a visitor to your site. This metric helps determine how efficient your site is at engaging customers with your content and products. High-quality content, simplified site navigation, and internal linking can all help improve this metric.
- Cart Abandonment. This metric refers to how often customers add something to their cart without buying it. Do customers often add products but abandon ship when they see shipping costs? Are they less likely to abandon their cart during a big sale? Knowing where and why the process is abandoned can help you improve this metric.
Send it Home: Shipping Metrics
The customer experience doesn’t end once you make a sale. Here are some metrics that can help you determine if you’re truly increasing customer satisfaction across the whole shopping process from start to finish.
- Inventory Accuracy. Inventory accuracy is a measure of how close the electronic record of your inventory is to the true state of what you have available in your material inventory. Not having an item that you’ve promised can result in disappointed customers who aren’t likely to come back again, as well as some faulty bookkeeping.
- On-time Delivery. A measure of how many items are delivered on time is another way to determine if you’re keeping your promises to customers. Customers need to be able to trust that they’ll receive their products in a timely manner, and keeping these promises builds trust with your customers.
- Return Rate. Measuring the rate at which products are returned is another good way to keep tabs on how satisfied your customers are with your products. A high return rate means that you’re losing both money and customers. Keeping track of which items are returned most frequently and why can direct your attention to problems with your product or process.
Bonus: Net Promoter Score
NPS takes into account the effectiveness of your marketing, storefront engagement, shipping satisfaction and more, making it a good final measure of overall customer satisfaction and brand performance.
Multichannel: Bringing Marketing, Storefront and Fulfillment Together
Multichannel eCommerce is multifaceted, and no part of the process stands alone. Understanding how each piece of the puzzle fits together is the first step towards leading all parts towards success.
The metrics identified above can serve as a starting point towards this understanding, but marketing, e-commerce and fulfillment platforms are typically kept separate, making it difficult to integrate all your metrics for a whole understanding of your store.
The good news is, having separate platforms doesn’t mean your metrics have to remain isolated. For example, you can use a profit analytics dashboard to bring together the most relevant metrics for advertising, sales, and fulfillment. A single dashboard for all your metrics makes it easier to monitor profit and marketing performance in e-commerce.
This is a guest contribution by Brooklin Nash, a content manager at OrderMetrics. With a passion for learning and sharing information, Brooklin specializes in helping B2B and SaaS companies build their online brand, authority and organic following.