1. Top of the Funnel Metrics
Running an online store means keeping an eye on top-of-the-funnel metrics. At their core, these are awareness-based metrics that measure how many people you’re reaching with your marketing campaigns and brand. This could include metrics such as impressions, reach, social media engagement, branded searches, and, eventually, web traffic.
Impressions measure how often a relevant user is presented with your product or service. This is an important metric because it helps you understand how successful your marketing campaigns have been in reaching potential customers.
Perhaps the easiest to track, impressions can be found in the analytics dashboard of each platform you’re running your campaigns on or simply posting content to, like Facebook, Instagram, Google Ads, and so on.
To improve impressions, try running more targeted campaigns that focus on reaching potential customers in the right place at the right time. You should also invest in creating high-quality content that will likely be shared by other users and viewed by their followers. This will increase your reach and ultimately improve your impressions as well.
Reach measures how many unique users saw your content, unlike impressions that measure repeated views as well.
Reach = Impressions/ Frequency of Views
Reach helps you to understand the total size of your audience, so you can tailor content accordingly and maximise the effectiveness of your campaigns. Reach is also useful in understanding what platforms are most effective for reaching the right customers.
You can work on improving your ecommerce store’s reach by
- creating high-quality content that stands out from other digital content pieces and drives user engagement.
- exploring PR and influencer marketing opportunities to reach new audiences and leverage their existing relationships with followers.
Engagement metrics measure how often users interact with your content, including likes, shares, comments, questions/messages, and mentions. You can use this to figure out the type of content that resonates best with your audience. Plus, having an active engagement with your audience builds lasting customer relationships and improves brand loyalty.
To improve engagement,
- try running social media contests or campaigns that inspire users to interact with your content.
- create content around trending topics and events [always relevant to your business] to catch attention of potential customers.
- make sure to respond quickly and consistently to any messages or comments from your followers and customers, as this will improve customer relationships and build trust.
2. Website Traffic
As an ecommerce business, your website is crucial to your digital presence – after all, your marketing efforts across all channels are meant to ultimately drive customers to your website.
Think of website traffic as nothing less than the lifeblood of your ecommerce store, and track it closely.
A number of metrics can be used to measure your website traffic, including:
- Number of visits
- Page views
- Average page views per session
- Average session duration
However, it’s not enough to just measure the number of people visiting your website.
It’s important to understand what channels are driving the most traffic. That way, you can focus your time and resources on those digital channels. These could include
- Organic [search]
- Paid [e.g. Google Ads, Facebook Ads]
- Referral [e.g. from another website]
- Direct traffic [e.g. people typing in the URL directly]
When preparing marketing campaigns, you can dig a little deeper to understand the demographics of your website visitors as well.
Taking a simple example, if you know that most of your site visitors come from Melbourne, are females and are between the ages of 18-25, you can create ads specifically tailored to this demographic.
The best way to boost web traffic?
- Invest in on page, off page, and technical SEO [Search Engine Optimisation] so that when people search using terms related to your products or services, your website appears higher up in the search results.
- If you sell multiple products, you can then explore online advertising opportunities such as Google Shopping or Performance Max Ads to direct more potential customers toward your website for a purchase.
3. Cost Per Acquisition [CPA]
Cost Per Acquisition [CPA] measures the cost of acquiring an action on the customer journey which is other than a purchase, such as an email sign-up, add-to-cart, form submission, etc.
If you’re wondering whether this is the same as Customer Acquisition Costs [CAC], it’s not. But, more about that later.
CPA is a key component of the acquisition metrics for ecommerce businesses, identifying how much it costs to acquire each user [not just a paying customer]. CPA falls in the consideration stage of the marketing funnel – just before the purchase stage.
To calculate CPA, divide the total cost of a campaign by the number of conversions it generated:
CPA = Total Cost of Marketing Campaign / Number of Conversions [or Acquisitions]
For example, if you spent $1,000 on Google Ads and got 100 email sign-ups through it, your CPA would be $10.
It seems pretty clear that keeping your CPA down can improve your total revenue. What can you do to achieve that?
- One way is to optimise your campaigns for the right keywords and target the most relevant audiences which in turn can also improve your Google Quality Score.
- You can also focus on creating optimised and high-converting landing pages that speak directly to your target audience’s pain points.
4. Bounce Rate
Bounce rate measures the percentage of visitors who leave your website without taking any further action, such as clicking on a link, making a purchase, or signing up. Bounce rates can tell you how “sticky” your website is – how successful it is at keeping visitors on the site.
Bounce Rate = One Page Visit / Total Number of Visits
Consider this: if you have 500 visitors to your website, and 120 of those visitors close their browser after viewing a single page, then your bounce rate will be 24%.
Bounce rates vary greatly depending on the site type so you may want to learn about good bounce rates for your type of business. For example, the average ecommerce website has a bounce rate between 20% and 45%, while a blog or news site might have a higher bounce rate since people tend to read a single article and then leave.
A bounce rate is different from exit rates, but all bounces can be thought of as exits.
An exit rate shows the percentage of visitors who left your website from a particular page. They may have visited multiple pages before that one, so the exit rate helps you to identify which pages might need improvement.
To maintain a low or average bounce rate:
- Optimise your website’s user experience by making navigation and checkout processes as easy and seamless as possible.
- Provide clear calls-to-action [CTAs] throughout the site so people know what they should do next.
5. Email Subscription Metrics
While many ecommerce stores skip email marketing, it’s actually one of the most effective ecommerce marketing strategies you can use to engage customers and increase sales. In fact, 60% of consumers say they’ve made a purchase as the result of a marketing email they received.
Email flows that are typically part of ecommerce marketing include sign-up welcome emails, campaigns & promotions, loyalty club member perks, sales & new arrivals notifications, shopping cart reminders, and purchase feedback surveys.
With an email marketing strategy in place, tracking email subscription-related metrics is important. This includes:
- Number of visitors who join your email list
- Email open rate [the percentage of subscribers who open an email]
- Click-through rate [the percentage of people who click on a link or CTA in your email]
- Unsubscribe rate [the percentage of subscribers who opt-out]
These metrics can provide valuable insights into how well your emails are performing and where you can improve.
If your email subscription metrics aren’t looking great,
- consider using eye-catching pop-up forms on your website’s homepage or other key pages, perhaps coupled with a sign up discount offer to increase the number of sign-ups.
- take advantage of A/B testing tools that allow you to test different email versions to see which performs best.
6. Click Through Rate [CTR]
Click-Through-Rate [CTR] measures how often people who see your ad or email engage with it. It tells you how many clicks you received against the number of impressions [for Google Ads] or emails sent out [for email marketing campaigns].
This is a must-track metric as it can give you a better understanding of how your campaigns are performing and where to focus your efforts to get a higher CTR.
For PPC Google Ads, a high CTR means that people find your ad helpful and relevant; this leads to a higher quality score and a lower cost-per-click [CPC]. This can help maintain your ad position and you will be able to get more clicks. You also have a higher chance of conversions.
The same applies to email campaigns. A high CTR means that your emails are more likely to be opened, which leads to increased chances for ecommerce sales.
Typically, the average CTR for ecommerce search campaigns is around 5%, while the average for email marketing campaigns is 2.07%. However, studies have shown that CTR can vary across devices; for example, mobile CTR is usually higher!
To increase your CTR rate, it’s important to:
- Optimise ads for the device you’re targeting.
- Create relevant landing pages for your campaigns.
- Ensure your CTA buttons are prominent.
7. Sales Conversion Rate
The sales conversion rate measures how many customers make a purchase [or your desired action] after visiting your website. It’s calculated by dividing the number of sales per customer by the number of unique visitors.
Conversion Rate = Number of Sales / Number of Leads
Since this number is directly related to sales and revenue, it’s important to track this metric and ensure that your conversion rate is sufficient.
On average, an ecommerce website should aim for at least a 2%-3% conversion rate.
This isn’t set in stone though, as average conversion rates can vary depending on the industry. For example, luxury fashion brands have an average conversion rate of 1.4%.
To improve your sales conversion rate, focus on customer experience optimisation. This includes optimising product and category pages for better visibility and conversions, ensuring user-friendly website navigation, and providing helpful customer service.
Pro Tip: To make the best analysis of conversion rates, think carefully along customer journeys and buyer funnels. For instance, look for drop off points in the customer journey and focus on how you can optimise those sections to encourage customers to complete their purchases.
8. Average Order Value [AOV]
AOV measures the average dollar amount spent every time a customer makes an order.
AOV = Sales Revenue / Total Number of Orders Placed
Since it examines sales per order, it provides insight into the profitability of your ecommerce store and is a key revenue metric to consider when looking to increase profitability.
A low AOV could indicate that customers mostly make single-item or low-value purchases. This can be improved by encouraging customers to purchase more items with upselling, cross-selling, and bundle offers.
On the other hand, if your AOV is high, that’s a good sign.
You’ll be able to generate more revenue from fewer customers and have a higher return on investment for your marketing campaigns. To continue increasing your AOV, you can introduce loyalty programs that offer exclusive discounts or early access to limited products for repeat customers.
9. Shopping Cart Abandonment Rate
Shopping cart abandonment is when customers add items to their cart and then drop out of the buying process without completing a purchase. You can’t miss this metric because it tells you how many potential sales you’re losing due to customer attrition. You can calculate it by:
Cart Abandonment = 1 – [Total Number of Completed Transactions / Total Number of Carts]
If you have 120 completed transactions, while the number of carts created is 250, your cart abandonment rate would be 52%
This metric is especially relevant for businesses with high cart value or large ticket items, such as furniture retailers and electronics stores. Since customers need to invest more money and are usually more hesitant about making a purchase, they may often abandon their online orders midway.
Another sub-metric of cart abandonment is checkout abandonment, which occurs when customers start the checkout process but then leave without completing the purchase. This happens when customers experience too much friction during the actual checkout, such as having to fill out too many forms or being forced to create a user account.
To reduce cart abandonment, you can:
- Offer discounts for completing purchases within a certain deadline or
- Provide free shipping for orders that exceed a certain value
As for checkout abandonment:
- Simplify the checkout process by auto-populating forms where possible
- Provide multiple payment options
- Offer a guest checkout option
Considering the end goal of an ecommerce business is to make sales, measuring and keeping the cart abandonment rate at a minimum is essential to increasing revenue.
10. Customer Acquisition Costs [CAC]
Customer Acquisition Costs, or CAC for short, is a metric that includes all the sales and marketing efforts put into acquiring a customer.
CAC is calculated by dividing the total cost of marketing efforts over a given period by the number of customers acquired within that same period.
CAC = Total Cost of Sales & Marketing Efforts / Total Number of Acquired Customers
On average, CAC can be between $45-$50, which varies across businesses. Ideally, it should be well below your customer lifetime value [CLV].
The best way to improve CAC is to improve customer engagement and retention. Repeat customers are more profitable than new customers and cost much less to acquire.
11. Customer Retention Rate
The customer retention rate is the percentage of customers who return and make repeat purchases. You can calculate it using the following formula:
Customer Retention Rate = [Total Customers at End – New Customers] / Total Customers at Beginning
We can’t stress enough how important increasing repeat customer rates is for any ecommerce site. Retaining customers is much cheaper than acquiring new ones, and loyal customers are more likely to refer their friends or leave positive reviews that can increase your store’s social proof.
Increasing customer retention rates by 5% increases profits by 25-95%! For that reason, you need to have retention strategies in place to keep customers coming back for more. Consider incorporating:
- Loyalty reward programs
- Exclusive member-only sales campaigns
- Exclusive ‘First looks’ at new arrivals
Ultimately, maintaining customer relationships should be a top priority for any ecommerce business seeking to increase profitability. Aim for having more returning customers alongside new customers, and you’ll be on the right track.
12. Customer Lifetime Value [CLV]
Customer Lifetime Value [CLV] estimates the total value of a single customer to your business over their entire life cycle as your customer. It’s calculated by multiplying your customer’s average order value [AOV] by their average order frequency [AOF] by their average customer lifetime.
Customer Value = Average Customer Order Frequency x Average Order Values
Customer Lifetime Value = Customer Value x Average Customer Lifetime
CLV paints a picture of the profitability of your customers and can help you determine which customers provide the highest return when it comes to marketing efforts. Similarly, pinpointing customers with a low CLV can help you identify potential problems such as lack of satisfaction.
Your customer lifetime value should be higher than the cost of acquiring a customer – if it isn’t, your company may actually be losing money from repeat customers with a low CLV.
To improve CLV, consider implementing tactics such as:
- Increasing AOV
- Launching customer loyalty programs
- Providing tailored customer service to long-term customers
13. Net Promoter Score [NPS]
If you’ve ever made an online purchase, you’re probably no stranger to the survey email waiting in your inbox soon after your order is delivered.
The Net Promoter Score [NPS] measures customer loyalty and satisfaction by asking customers how likely they are to recommend your company, product, or service.
It’s typically calculated through a survey sent out after a purchase has been made, and the score is based on responses ranging from 0-10. You then subtract the percentage of customers who gave a score of 0-6 [the detractors] from those who gave a 9 or 10 [the promoters], resulting in your company’s NPS.
According to the creators of the metric, any score above 0 is considered good, higher than 20 is excellent, and a score of 50 or higher is extraordinary. As for above 80, that’s usually a sign that the customer is incredibly loyal and has a great experience with your company.
To improve your NPS:
- Deliver a seamless customer experience throughout the purchase journey – from finding products your target segment needs to making payments quicker and easier.
- Ensure customer service is up to scratch, as negative experiences can pull down your NPS.
Tools for Tracking Ecommerce Metrics
To get a holistic view of your business performance and make data-backed decisions, you’ll need the right tools to track your ecommerce metrics. Thankfully, there are plenty of ecommerce analytics platforms available that can help you do just that. While some platforms are purely for analysis, others allow you to build complete online stores and track their performance.
- Google Analytics is an invaluable tool for tracking your site’s user engagement and conversion rates.
- Google Search Console, similarly, can be used to monitor organic search traffic and identify opportunities for improvement.
- SEMRush & Ahrefs can help with keyword research and tracking organic search performance.
If you’re looking for more detailed insights, consider using a tool like HotJar to track customer behaviour on your site or ecommerce platforms such as Shopify to create an ecommerce store and monitor its performance.
How Often Should You Track Your Ecommerce Metrics?
So, how often should you track your ecommerce metrics?
It depends on the type of metric and your goals. Your store’s volume also plays an important role: if you’re working with a high volume of customers or transactions, it might be better to track your metrics more frequently.
Monthly or quarterly tracking is often enough for long-term metrics such as customer lifetime value and net promoter score.
Whereas, a weekly check on short-term metrics like sales and cart abandonment rate is important, as these can hint at how your business is performing.
It’s also worth monitoring any sudden changes in your business metrics and finding the cause. If there’s an unexpected dip in sales, for instance, you may need to investigate the reason behind it so you can correct it.
Track to Succeed
Now that you’ve had the most important ecommerce metrics laid out for you, tracking or not tracking these performance metrics can be the difference between a successful and failing business, so don’t risk ignoring them. It allows you to identify areas for improvement, measure the success of your strategies, and make decisions based on data-driven insights.
With that being said, it’s also important to remember that pulse checks alone won’t guarantee ecommerce success – you’ll need to put in the hard work to fix issues and meet those benchmarks to come out on top!
If you want to get the most out of your business, look no further than an experienced ecommerce agency to handle your metrics tracking, analysis, and optimisation. With the right tools and expertise, you can take your ecommerce store to the next level and enjoy lasting results.