Measuring what you can is key, when it comes to any ecommerce business success. However, sometimes we measure things that don’t have any connection with our core business.
It’s important to measure what’s relevant and to consider whether the ecommerce KPIs (key performance indicators) align with your goals.
How to track the right ecommerce KPIs
Tracking KPIs for ecommerce businesses is simple with the myriad of tools available online. You can start off by installing the Google Analytics enhanced ecommerce plugin, which is a great tool designed by the engineers at Google for ecommerce websites.
The enhanced ecommerce plugin for analytics.js allows the measuring of user-interactions with the range of products that you have listed on your website. The tool allows you to track all the products in your website and showcases the users’ shopping experience with analysis and statistics.
You can even create a performance metrics spreadsheet that allows you to closely monitor the performance.
It puts your ecommerce website on hyper-speed as you can track every data point that you need in order to keep ahead of the competition. From initiating check-outs to viewing product details, you can get minute-to-minute updates on ecommerce KPIs via the plugin.
By entering a simple code in your schema, you can change the way the application behaves and create your own custom ecommerce KPIs.
Finding the right KPIs for ecommerce
In order to get the most out of your ecommerce activities, you need to define the perfect set of KPIs. There are many KPI to choose from, but ecommerce managers must be aware of the right ones.
These could be anything from conversion rates to cart abandonment frequency. Howeber, they all come with a set of business exercises that need to be studied.
In order to find the right KPI for your ecommerce website, you need to consider the following elements prior to proceed:
#1 Baseline – What are the baseline measurements that you are using for your ecommerce KPI measurement scheme. E.g. if you are tracking email sign-ups, then is your baseline internal (from the last quarter) or external (from the last promotion). You need to set the right baseline to be able to measure the growth of the KPI.
#2 Goals for KPIs – You need to be able to figure out what your unique ecommerce goals are. Then you get a better idea about what your KPIs should be. E.g. if you want to gain more brand awareness or leads, then your KPIs could be tracked relatively easily.
#3 Strategy and Planning – Which digital activities will you be engaging with this quarter? What are you expecting from it, and what results are you hoping to gain?
#4 Execution Channels – On what platforms will you be executing your strategy? Is its on someone’s PR or online media profile, then can you measure the right KPI from the traffic gained?
#5 Duration – What is the time-period that you are tracking and analyzing and what is the duration selected?
#6 Forecast – Finally, when you have everything in check, then you can start forecasting to set benchmarks.
Major ecommerce KPIs to track
These ecommerce KPI parameters are the most relevant to measure for a brand looking to boost its online performance. You can’t measure them individually and need to understand the context set by the six main KPI elements. These are the best examples of performance indicators, that ecommerce managers must keep in mind.
Website Traffic is the most sought-after piece in the puzzle. Everybody wants more traffic and more people to visit their site. In fact, for most ecommerce websites, Google is the main contributor of traffic to their website. Leading the pack, by contributing more than 60% of the ecommerce traffic, it’s a premier growth ecommerce KPI that most websites should track.
There are primarily three distinct types of website traffic:
#1 Paid traffic - When it comes to increasing website traffic, few channels can compare to direct traffic from paid acquisition. You can control the flow of the traffic at any point in time and compare results from one channel to another. With Google and Facebook ads ranking supreme (more than 70%), your KPI extends to increase in growth and channel optimization.
#2 Organic traffic – This is the traffic that you develop over many years, including SEO, social media, PR and word of mouth channels. You can control the traffic, create relevant growth metrics and your KPIs will depend upon channel optimization and CTR (Click-through-rate).
#3 Referral/ Indirect traffic – This is the form of traffic that develops upon creating referral sources, that charge a percentage or are driven through organic sources not contributed via brand activities.
Conversion is key when it comes to measuring the performance of the ecommerce portal. You don’t want to have a leaky bucket and build upon a brand that doesn’t have a strong conversion mindset. You need to focus on the CTR and the final purchase metrics to determine the optimization tactics for conversion. You can change your UI/UX or create new web experiences that drive conversion ahead.
Bounce rate is a key attribute that must be measured from the beginning. Since you want to drive quality traffic to your ecommerce portal, you must be able to manage the rate from inception to completion of project. If you have a certain channel that’s outperforming another, in terms of traffic, but the visitors leave within 30 seconds or less, then you may need to optimize your campaign and set new objectives.
You can analyze the impact of your campaign, with a thorough analysis of your bounce rate performance through the duration of your campaign. Because bounce-rate has a significant impact on conversion and subsequent growth of the brand, it’s an important metric to keep a track of.
Most Viewed Products
You want to know what product is outperforming others. This is done by analyzing the top viewed products and understand why your customers seem to love them the most. It could be that your customers have visited here because of the thumbnail or a new campaign. Therefore, you must track MVP KPIs for a longer duration of time, so that you can get a holistic view of what products are more attractive than others.
It’s important to know on what page customers bounce off - left the website. Whether that’s a specific product page, or the contact us page, your exit page KPI can tell you a richer story. This adds to the overall insights that you would de deriving from your KPIs but exit page talks about the softer side of the story.
E.g. if a large number of customers exit on your contact page, then they were trying to call you. Having your contact number on the home page might solve that problem.
This is a key KPI that is used quite often during conversion optimization discussions. E.g. if you see a spike in traffic and subsequently a spike in “add to cart” button clicks, you should see an increase in sales as well. However, if that’s not the case, then the problem lies in the cart abandonment KPI.
If that percentage is higher than 30-40% then you may be having a problem in terms of expensive shipping, lack of payment options, or delivery-times.
CPA (Cost Per Acquisition)
Every ecommerce website has a specific cost per customer acquisition. This KPI enables the ecommerce manager to plan for sales promotions, create new discounts and understand the industry that they’re participating in.
A high cost per acquisition implies that your marketing techniques aren’t competitive enough and must be redistributed. But you need to compare it with the universe of industry players to get an accurate figure.
CLV (Customer Lifetime Value)
The idea of customer lifetime value emerged from core marketing principles, where a customer segment would provide incrementally greater value than others. Calculating a customer LTV is key to understanding which customers are more profitable than others.
When analyzing your core KPIs you must take into account customer lifetime value and not just conversion rate or revenue directly.