Getting Started: Essential E-Commerce Metrics to Track
You know tracking e-commerce metrics is essential to improving your online sales, but knowing how and where to start isn’t always easy. Well, these steps should help you get started.
Analytics and tracking plays a key role in the success of any online business, and e-commerce is no exception. If you aren’t tracking visitor engagement on your e-commerce website, you won’t know how to optimize it for higher sales. But which metrics should you really be tracking when running an e-commerce website?
This is a question I get asked all the time, even by successful e-c0mmerce store owners. It’s easy to become overwhelmed by analytic data, “I see a lot of numbers, but I don’t know what to do with them.” I find that the best way to begin making improvements to your site through analytics is to tackle it in bite sized chunks.
Here are 5 great metrics to start with:
New vs Returning Customers
This metric is simple enough. You need to track the number of new vs returning customers to your e-commerce website. If most of your customers are first-time buyers, with only a handful of returning customers, there’s probably some underlying problem that’s discouraging customers from coming back. Maybe it’s long ship times, or perhaps it’s poor branding. Regardless, you need to identify the number of new vs returning customers to your site.
Average Order Amount
How much does the average customer spend on your e-commerce website? Regardless of your site’s niche/industry, purchases will likely vary from big to small. However, you should add up the total cost of these purchases and divide this number by your customer base to get the average order amount. This is an effective way to gauge how much visitors are willing to spend.
Another simple yet essential metric to track for e-commerce sites is the conversion rate. As you may already know, conversion rate is the percentage of visitors who buy a product, regardless of order cost or size. Conversions rates will vary depending on a number of different factors, such as the quality of your traffic, web design/layout, load times, product pricing, and more. With that said, you should work to optimize your e-commerce site for a higher conversion rate. If it’s going in the opposite direction, something is seriously wrong and must be addressed.
Of course, you need to know from where your site’s visitors are coming. Common traffic sources may include direct type-ins, search engines, pay-per-click (PPC) ads, social media and referrals from other websites.
Shopping Cart Abandonment Rate
Assuming your e-commerce site has a shopping cart feature (and it should), it’s a good idea to track the number of shoppers who add products to their shopping cart but abandon it before checking out. Ideally, you want to shoppers to add products to their shopping cart and then proceed to buy those products. But certain things like lack of trust/authority may cause shoppers to abandon their cart before this happens. Monitoring your site’s shopping cart abandonment rate will give you a better idea of how many shoppers are not proceeding to buy their products.