Almost every business will benefit from a solid ecommerce offering. However, from those who are just beginning to dip their toes in the water to more seasoned online retailers, measuring the success or growth of an ecommerce strategy can be a challenge because there are more factors to consider than just sales. Here’s how you can measure your ecommerce success.
Define your KPIs
Before you can effectively measure your ecommerce success, you need to define your key performance indicators (KPIs). Success doesn’t look the same for everyone – it’s relative to what you’re trying to achieve. For example, you may be aiming for an average transaction value of £25 or you might want to increase subscriptions by 40%. Defining your KPIs will tell you which metrics you need to look at to define your success.
Use analytics tools
It’s important to make use of tools which will help you understand your ecommerce success in more depth. Google Analytics is very important for all ecommerce website owners, as it allows you to track and examine your traffic, website navigation, popular pages, time spent on site, conversion rates, top-selling products and more.
You might also consider using a tool like Hotjar which uses interactive heatmaps, sessions recordings and user surveys to provide you with feedback on how users are navigating your website and how their experience could be improved.
While it’s not the only measure of success, an increase in sales is a clear sign you’re moving in the right direction. More specifically, the metric you should be looking at is your conversion rate, which is the percentage of your website visitors who make a purchase.
A low conversion rate could be an indication that your marketing is drawing enough people to your site, but then something is going wrong. This could be your product offering, your pricing, or simply that your website is too tricky to navigate.
If you want to measure the success of your ecommerce marketing, then one metric you can take a look at is the volume of traffic your website is getting. This needs to be ‘true’ traffic rather than the overall figure offered by Google Analytics, as your website could be targeted by bot traffic, which is any non-human traffic to your website from spiders and robots. This will skew your data.
The first thing you need to do is go to the Admin settings in your Google Analytics account and navigate to view settings. You should see a ‘Bot Filtering’ heading with an option to exclude all hits from known bots and spiders. Make sure to check this box as this will give you more accurate numbers.
Even with this box checked, there is still a chance that certain bots will make their way to your Analytics data. You can keep an eye on suspicious traffic in Google Analytics – and big spikes that can’t be accounted for by your marketing activity could be bot traffic. You can also look at your Referrals under Acquisition to see where traffic is coming from and whether there are any suspicious domains here.
If there are specific domains that you want to exclude, you can create a new view for your website with filters to exclude certain domains. You can do this in the ‘Referral Exclusion List’ under Tracking Info in your Admin settings.
Even if your conversion rate is high, you might not be getting much traffic (which, if we’re being honest, makes the high conversion rate redundant in most cases). You probably need to revisit your marketing strategy and see how you can entice more people to your site.
Your cart abandonment rate is a metric that can indicate where your site needs improvement. If people are coming to your site, adding items to their baskets and then abandoning them, then the problem probably isn’t to do with your marketing or the products you offer.
There are a few reasons why you might be looking at a high cart abandonment rate, such as high shipping costs, a complicated checkout process, a poor returns policy, or concerns about the site’s security. If you are concerned about your cart abandonment rate, check that these areas are up to scratch.
Average value per transaction
If your ATV (average transaction value) or AOV (average order value) is climbing, this could indicate increasing confidence in your products or brand. Other factors may affect this, such as an influx of new customers checking out your brand for the first time and making smaller purchases, resulting in a dip, or a surge as a result of a new product launch or a successful marketing campaign. It’s important to look at your AOV in a broader context when using it to measure ecommerce success.
Number of mobile users
More than half of all ecommerce transactions are now coming from mobile devices. If you’re not getting many mobile users on your site, then you’re probably missing out on a huge potential market. To make sure this isn’t the case, you need to optimise your site for mobile use.
Related blog: How to Ace Usability in M-Commerce Design
Repeat customer rates
As with any traditional store, repeat customers are coveted, as they are an indication of satisfaction with your products or offering. This is an easy metric to track if your customers have an account with you and is a good indication as to whether your offering has repeat value, and potentially what the lifespan of certain products are.
There’s a load you can do to improve repeat customer rates. Encourage customers to create accounts with you (although don’t be too forceful), develop customer schemes which inspire brand loyalty, use email marketing to entice customers back with discount codes or new product launches, and more.
Email subscriber click-throughs/engagement
Having a long list of email subscribers is a good start, but you want those recipients to actually engage with the content you send them. Say goodbye to bland and boring templates and hello to emails that genuinely connect with your customer base!
One way to measure the success of your customer outreach is to see how many recipients open your emails, and how many click through on any links. If your conversion rate on email content isn’t very high, you need to take a long, hard look at what you’re sending out, as well as identifying whether your list of subscribers has gone stale.
How you measure your ecommerce success will depend on what your business is and what your KPIs are, but whatever your goals, all these metrics are worth tracking so that you can get a better overall view of how your online store is performing in all areas.
If you need help setting up or improving your ecommerce website, give us a shout and see how we can help!