A happy customer spends more and shops with you for longer.
The trick for e-commerce businesses is how to build that happiness through a positive user experience (UX).
But UX is more than just a beautiful interface. It’s about how visitors experience your store and what they feel while they’re there. Beyond simply delighting customers, a good UX also saves you time and money in the long run.
So, how do you create a store that works better and converts visitors into paying customers? It starts with tracking user experience metrics.
UX metrics aren’t just numbers on your analytics dashboard. They come from real people’s actions or behaviors, and lead to a deeper understanding of the experience that they have on your site.
To help you understand how UX metrics can improve your e-commerce site, this guide explores:
- Why it’s important to monitor your user experience metrics
- The important e-commerce user experience metrics
- How to track e-commerce user experience metrics
Why Is It Important to Monitor Your User Experience Metrics?
UX metrics or usability metrics can help you measure, compare, and track the quality of your site’s user experience and delight your visitors.
From navigating your site to receiving the product or service they buy and talking to customer service, every aspect of your customers’ experience is key to your success.
Every interaction your customer has with your business impacts their perception and their decision to return or leave for good.
What Are the Benefits of Tracking Your UX Metrics?
Knowing the specific UX metrics to track has several benefits:
- It provides quality insights (fair evidence) that help you make better-informed decisions about how to improve your e-commerce platform rather than using opinions.
- It pinpoints the areas on your site that need improvement so that you can find new ways to upgrade your site.
- It helps you know more about your customers’ behavior, which drives new opportunities to add value and deliver solutions that address their concerns.
What Are the Important E-Commerce User Experience Metrics?
- Load time
- Bounce rate
- Visitor navigation path
- Session length
- New, returning, and unique visitors
- Conversion rate
- Device type
- Internal search failure
You might have spent months creating and perfecting your business only to find out that it doesn’t meet your customers’ needs. One way to prevent such outcomes is to understand your site’s user experience.
But how can you measure user experience? What if there’s too much data? How do you know which metrics to focus on?
To help you understand what areas to investigate in the customers’ journey, here are the top UX metrics to track. See the entire list of metrics we recommend you track here.
Slow page load time isn’t good for business because the visitor moves on to your competitor’s site. That ruins all other efforts to increase traffic, get more customers, and increase conversions and retention.
Even if your visitors stay, they’ll still have a poor impression and experience on your site, making them less likely to spend.
You can revamp your e-commerce website to fix slow page load times through simple tweaks like optimizing images, using a content delivery network (CDN), and regularly checking Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool.
A “bounce” happens when a visitor leaves your site without exploring other pages. But that doesn’t mean that each one-page visit registered on your site is a bounce.
The point is to complete a desired action or convert, and visitors may do that on one page.
Bounce rate measures the number of visitors who come to your site and leave without visiting other pages, regardless of the time they spent on the initial page.
To calculate bounce rate, divide the number of visitors who “bounce” (click and leave) by the total number of visitors to that page.
Bounce rates vary from one page to another on your site and can mean different things for each page. For example, you may get a higher bounce rate on an article page compared to a landing page.
Rather than worrying about keeping up with the average industry bounce rates, set a baseline for your site and work to improve the bounce rate in relevant areas.
Vistor Navigation Path
UX comprises many moving parts, including your site’s navigation, which has a positive impact on how visitors feel when they enter your site. Navigation is about designing a site layout that reduces the number of clicks users take to find what they need on your site.
Your site’s design should quickly draw visitors in without them having to click more than two places to find what they’re seeking.
A few basics to keep in mind:
- Create an aesthetically pleasing design that grabs your visitors’ attention without confusing, frustrating, or making them forget why they came to your site.
- Focus on making the site intuitive and functional for your visitors using specific labels.
- Group products and add subcategories as customers expect them to be. For example, a fashion e-commerce site can have categories like ready-to-wear, accessories, new arrivals, jewelry, and more.
Pageviews measure the number of times users have accessed a page on your site within a particular time frame.
While a high number of pageviews on your site could indicate that visitors are interested in your product, don’t count on it being always like that. It could mean that people are just browsing your site and not finding what they came for.
If pageviews are higher than conversions, your visitors probably aren’t finding what they need to follow through with the process.
Pageviews are also good for measuring user engagement. Check back on your goals and conversions, and correlate pageviews with other engagement metrics.
Session length shows how much time a visitor spends on your site during their entire visit, and the time between their first and last interactions within a time frame.
For instance, if a visitor lands on your homepage at 10.00, navigates to a category page, product page, shopping cart, and exits at 10.20 from the checkout page, their action happens within the same session. This means the visitor’s session began at 10.00 and ended at 10.30 ― 30 minutes in total.
When viewed out of context, the average session length metric doesn’t say much about your site.
Find out the average number of pages your visitors view per session. The higher the number of pages they visit, the more engaged they are.
Perform analytics on your site using tools like on-site surveys, heat maps, and session recordings to discover what’s happening during the session. That way, you can detect any UX issues and see how certain parts of your sites are performing.
New, Returning, and Unique Visitors
There are different types of visitors to your site:
- New: Visitors who navigate your site for the first time on a particular device
- Unique: Distinct visitors who enter your site at least once in a given time
- Returning: Visitors who have previously visited your site from the same device within a particular time frame
The number of new, unique, and returning visitors varies depending on your website goals and the industry you’re in.
For instance, you could have a low number of returning visitors, which may be a sign of poor UX, or a high level of new visitors and returning customers, which equals higher revenue.
Conversion rate measures the number of users that take a desired set of actions you want them to. These actions may include filing a form, registering for a freebie, or making a transaction.
Measuring your site’s conversion rate helps you see where your visitors are dropping off in various stages of their shopping experience as they navigate your site.
“It is an important goal for online retailers to turn potential customers into paying customers. You can see what percentage of visitors to your site or landing page make a purchase, resulting in additional revenue for your business. A high conversion rate depends on a variety of factors, including but not limited to marketing campaigns, website content, product descriptions, and the user experience. As a result, you risk wasting time and resources on pointless marketing efforts if you ignore this critical e-commerce metric.” ― Andrei Kurtuy, cofounder and chief customer officer (CCO), Novoresume
Website visitors can access your online store through mobile devices like a smartphone, tablet, or laptop, and desktop computer.
Find out the devices from your site data and break them down by type. This way, you can see the frequency of use for each device and use the insights you get to optimize the experience for your visitors.
Internal Search Failure
Your site’s search box contains valuable insights that tell you what’s missing or hard to find on your site.
You can see the different words customers used to describe what they’re searching for and identify the areas in your site’s navigation that don’t work.
Some quick tips to help you fix internal search failure include:
- Placing the search box where it’s visible and accessible by visitors easily
- Making sure the search box returns results
- Analyze searches that go unanswered so that you can know where to improve your site
Why Should You Track E-Commerce User Experience Metrics?
You can’t manage what you can’t measure. Tracking your e-commerce UX metrics regularly helps you get more accurate data so you can make better-informed decisions about running your store.
Tools for Tracking Your UX Metrics
One of the best ways to track UX metrics is to use analytics software. Most e-commerce business owners start out with Google Analytics as their default too, but there are other website analytics tools that can add value to your business.
For example, Philip Pages, Founder of PostPurchaseSurvey, uses Delighted, a self-serve experience management software to track UX metrics. “The tool allows us to automate the collection of our data so we can improve our e-commerce brand on autopilot,” says Pages.
What Should You Do Next?
There’s no universal checklist that guarantees a good customer experience for your site’s visitors. However, you can take several steps to achieve it:
- Prioritize listening to your customers
- Use the feedback from your site’s visitors to understand what they want – and give it to them
- Implement a system to track UX metrics, analyze them, and act on the insights you receive
Remember, a happy customer spends more, so make the experience memorable and enjoyable.