Lord Kelvin, one of the most eminent physicists of the 19th century, once said, “If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.”
Like any business, you need to measure your e-commerce site’s performance. That requires a thorough analysis of the work, marketing, sales, and financial outcomes.
But where do you start? The way not to do it is by following your gut. That’s like driving with your eyes closed.
You need relevant e-commerce metrics that show how your business is doing and compare progress. Deciding on the important metrics to monitor is critical to getting favorable results.
So, in this guide, we’ll cover:
- What are e-commerce metrics?
- Why are e-commerce metrics important, and how do they help?
- What are the most essential e-commerce metrics to measure?
Find What You’re Looking For
What Are E-Commerce Metrics?
One benefit of the digital world is that it’s measurable. You can see various metrics to determine if your goals are reached. For instance, improving your website traffic, content downloads, or social media shares.
Best of all, it teaches how to improve your marketing strategies. E-commerce metrics are any quantifiable, consistently defined measurements of performance on your site.
Measurements and terms, such as traffic sources, conversion rate, and cart abandonment rate, are a few examples of relevant e-commerce metrics. Most use metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs) interchangeably. Both show the numbers and percentages that detail how well a strategy is performing. Yet, the two aren’t the same.
For instance, average order value (AOV) is an e-commerce metric but not a KPI. However, if you set an AOV target of $50, it becomes a KPI. Before we get to the list of e-commerce metrics, let’s look at their importance and how they help your small business.
Why Are E-Commerce Metrics Important and How Do They Help?
Metrics are how we observe performance and make decisions. Specifically, they help you:
- Track whether day-to-day operations support your overarching goals
- Understand what you’re doing wrong and alter your strategy to get back on track
- Develop informed campaign strategies
- Reach new prospects and boost your site’s traffic
- Understand and cultivate customer relationships
- Boost your conversion rates
20 Important Metrics to Measure
Successful e-commerce site owners monitor their site’s performance and the levers used to grow it. There are thousands of metrics to track, but only a few directly represent the state of your site and make the biggest impact on your e-commerce venture.
We’ll explore the most important e-commerce metrics you should always track and optimize for identify success in:
- User experience
- Customer satisfaction
E-Commerce Sales Metrics
Sales metrics focus on your sales, payments, running and improving your site, and growing revenue. They include:
- Conversion rate: Percentage of customers that complete the desired action after visiting your site. Average e-commerce conversion rates are 2% to 3%. If yours is lower than that, consider strategies for increasing your conversion rates.
- AOV: Average value of each purchase. Calculate AOV by dividing the total value of all your sales by the number of carts.
- Cost per acquisition: How much you spend — money and effort — to gain a new customer. The costs to get a customer, such as advertising, discounts offered, and email campaigns.
- Cart abandonment rate: Percentage of customers that add items to their shopping carts and then abandon the purchase. Includes metrics like the number of items added to the cart, their value, and how long they shop.
- Checkout abandonment rate: Percentage of customers who start checkout and then abandon their purchases.
- Customer lifetime value (CLV): How much a person is worth to you on average throughout their entire lifetime as your customer. For example, you may have a customer who makes 10 $200 purchases over three years and another who makes a $500 purchase now. The former customer is of higher value than the one making a one-time purchase.
- Revenue on advertising spent: Revenues you get on each advertising dollar you paid or how much advertising it costs to get a customer to complete a purchase.
User Experience Metrics
Customers want a quick, easy, and informed path to purchase. If they have a hard time finding what they want, adding it to their carts, or checking out, it’s all over — they’ll abandon the experience. So, it’s good to know what user experience metrics to measure to improve the shopping experience.
Here are the main ones to track:
- Site speed: You spend a lot of time and resources gaining new customers. But all that can go to waste if your site speed is slow. You’ll lose orders to fast sites and waste the resources you spent promoting your site. Aim for a page load time of 1 to 2 seconds to ensure customers linger on your site.
- Device type: How do customers access your site? Is it through a web browser, laptop, smartphone, or tablet? Breaking down the devices by type gives further insight into which they use more frequently. Use this to optimize their experience.
- Bounce rate: Percentage of customers who abruptly leave your site after visiting one page. Poor bounce rates may signal poor audience targeting or user experience issues, causing people to seek competitor sites.
- Customer engagement: How engaged customers are with your service. Measure this metric using likes, shares, reactions, or subscriptions. The more engaged they are, the more likely they will buy, interact with, and share your content. You can translate engagement metrics into loyalty, advocacy, and revenue.
By the end of 2021, global digital buyers may reach 2.14 billion — that’s a lot of potential customers for your business. With effective marketing campaigns, you can reach these buyers. However, you still need to know how your e-commerce marketing is performing.
These metrics can help you track that:
- Traffic sources: Main channels by which online shoppers find your site. This metric helps improve your direct, organic search, paid, and other advertising or marketing efforts so you can capitalize on the best channels.
- Site traffic: Activity on your site is measured in the number of users, sessions — how many times they visit your site — page views per visit, bounce rate, time on site, and new vs. returning customers. Use it to draw actionable insights about conversions, cart abandonment rates, and return on investment (ROI).
- Engagement: How many likes, shares, reactions, or subscriptions do you get from your customers? That indicates how engaged they are with your site. Measuring engagement allows you to listen closely to customer feedback and improve your site, product, or service. Plus, you get meaningful insights to help you develop better social media strategies and drive brand traction.
- Views and shares: Did you know there are more than 1.9 billion websites? Of those, 600 million have blogs. If your e-commerce site is one of them, check your blog content’s virality — the number of views and shares it receives. It means your content is useful and tells you what performs well with your audience to recreate the success.
- Email open rate: Prospects must open your emails before you can persuade them to act. It’s up to you to monitor this metric even if your email marketing service provider or customer relationship management (CRM) tool automatically tracks it for you. Find out which draws the best or worst responses and the clues on improving your next email campaign.
- Email click-through rate (CTR): Percentage of emails sent that register one or more clicks. It measures email CTRs by comparing unique clicks to the number of emails sent or unopened emails.
- Email opt-in rates: Tracks the number of people who want to subscribe to your mailing list and those who lose interest and opt-out.
Customer Satisfaction Metrics
In 2020, the average customer satisfaction score stood at 80.2% compared to 80.9% in 2019.
Customer satisfaction metrics measure how delighted your customers are with your business. So, if your goal is to satisfy them, use these metrics to measure your progress towards those goals.
- Net Promoter Score (NPS): Measures your customers’ satisfaction with your business, products, and services and how likely they’ll recommend you to others.
- Abandonment rate: Percentage of customers who end an interaction with your business before completing an action or request. This metric shows how consistent your omnichannel experience is for your customers. See where they’re dropping off and remove any obstacles that may prevent their success.
Measure What Matters
There are many e-commerce metrics to measure the progress of your site towards achieving your goals.
Tracking the right ones is key to improving your campaigns and reaching business goals. Use the guide above to get started. If you need more help, check out the latest trends in e-commerce.