Your e-commerce store website is up and running. You’ve done everything you know to prepare your online store for success. That includes making sure the front end is appealing and ensuring the back end is robust (e.g. by monitoring and storing log archives).
But how do you recognize your site is flourishing? You have to look at quantitative metrics that are good indicators of the progress your site is making. Keeping an eye on the following metrics is crucial to boosting your business.
Your mailing list is one of the most powerful arsenals of your marketing campaign. It allows you to connect with leads, reconnect with customers, enhance the onboarding experience, and improve brand engagement.
To keep your mailing list useful, it has to grow constantly. Any time you notice the signups stagnating, it could be that your audience no longer sees the rationale for signing up. In which case, you’d want to reevaluate your website, brand, value proposition and messaging.
Your e-commerce store exists to generate revenue and make a profit. It follows that transaction metrics are the most important. Keep an eye on the number and value of transactions on a daily, weekly, monthly and quarterly basis. Look at trends and investigate any significant and persistent dips in sales.
If your product is good and your marketing is right, the volume and value of transactions should grow each year. Of course, you have to take into account seasonal trends (e.g. a decline in transactions in January is expected, following a surge in the December season).
Tracking transactions are vital but you should move further back along the sales funnel to see what’s happening to each lead. Conversion rates should tell you what proportion of leads eventually follow through a call to action or make a purchase. You can then look at what type of user interactions are more likely to lead to a successful conversion.
Don’t only focus on major conversions such as purchases and document downloads. You’ll get more useful insights if you study the micro conversions too that eventually culminate in a macro conversion.
Increasing your e-commerce store’s revenue is important. Nevertheless, revenue is most useful to your business when it results in a healthy profit. Gross margin is what remains after you’ve deducted the costs of goods sold from revenue. The higher your gross margin, the more money you can retain for business expansion.
Many e-commerce stores fail due to cash flow problems. A good gross margin can go a long way in ensuring your business is cash positive. The gross margin may also be a trigger to analyze your costs to see whether there is room for better efficiency.
Average Order Value
If you have a store with tens, hundreds or thousands of products, there won’t be one constant value for each transaction. The average order value is a measure of the average revenue each transaction brings in. You not only want your customers to complete a transaction but spend more.
You can improve average order value in several ways including offering a discount for bulk orders, setting a minimum threshold before an order qualifies for free shipping, and promoting related products to your customers once they add an item to the shopping cart.
Cart Abandonment Rate
Cart abandonment is one of the biggest obstacles to the success of an e-commerce store. It takes money and effort to persuade a customer into choosing an item and adding it to their shopping cart. For them to abandon the cart just before they get to the payment stage should be a cause of concern.
To better understand the reason for abandonment, you have to track what specific point users drop out and where they go next. In Google Analytics, you can do that by going to Conversions>Ecommerce>Shopping behavior.
You cannot manage what you cannot measure. These metrics should make it easier for you to manage and improve your e-commerce store.