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ECommerce Metrics That Matter

4 min read

Using data in online sales in nothing new. eCommerce brands have been using data to drive sales, reach new audiences and upsell for the better part of two decades. But customer and audience data has gotten deeper, wider and even more useful.

Emma Miller, Senior Editor at Bizzmark, calls metrics the “one thing that can make or break your online presence.” She goes on: “To succeed in the competitive online market, you need to set measurable goals, choose the right metrics to track, and analyze your online performance continuously.”

Making the Connection: Advertising Metrics

There are dozens of different advertising metrics you can track across many different channels and platforms. Some for search, others for social and still others for paid advertising. 

According to one guide from Klipfolio, setting up measurable marketing metrics can help you track digital marketing performance across SEO, social media growth and more: “With such a wide variety of channels being used, it’s important for marketing teams to actively track progress and performance in real-time with the right marketing metrics.” 

So which are the ‘right’ marketing metrics? These are the five we recommend eCommerce brands start with.  

  • Marketing Attribution: Identify where your traffic is coming from — organic search traffic or a paid ad? Are people browsing from a mobile or desktop device? 
  • Click-Through Rate: You’re getting your message out, but is it landing? Look at how often people click for emails, social campaigns, PCC, and more. 
  • Returning Visitors: Are you building a following or just getting people passing through? Returning visitors is a good indication that your marketing content is working — you’ll just need to make a few tweaks to boost actual conversion. 
  • Funnel Abandonment: Highlight where you can optimize based on where people are abandoning their journey. Was it on the second drip email? Once they reached the landing page?

Selling Your Brand: Storefront Metrics

Marketing and sales are more connected than ever before, so some of these sales metrics overlap with advertising metrics. Track these KPIs to see how well your storefront is doing once people land there.

  • Bounce Rate: How many people leave your site after just one page? If this number is high, you should rethink your website design and content to encourage visitors to stick around.
  • Customer Lifetime Value: Think of this as customer retention. Include: segmented revenue. The higher your purchase frequency and the larger your customer base, the more critical your LTV will be for your business to factor in future decisions.
  • Pageviews: Are you reaching the people you want to reach? Looking at pageviews relative to your other marketing metrics will give you an instant snapshot of effectiveness.
  • Cart Abandonment: You’ve reached your audience, brought them to your site, shown them your products, encouraged them to ‘add to cart’ — only for them to abandon before payment is processed. What went wrong? eCommerce brands often make the checkout process too difficult or tack on surprise shipping fees, causing customers to abandon ship. If your cart abandonment rate is high, it’s time to reassess your checkout and account creation process.

Bringing it Home: Shipping Metrics

Context: Your relationship with customers doesn’t end once you make a sale. How can you improve their experience through the last mile?

  • Inventory Accuracy: An ‘out of stock’ message is a good way to get customers to never come back to your store. Be sure that the stock you list online is reflective of your actual inventory.
  • On-time Delivery: Want great customer reviews? Fast and reliable delivery is on the top of everyone’s lists these days, so be sure to keep this number as high as possible. 
  • Return Rate: This one covers all of your bases, depending on the reason for the return. If the rate is high, dig into where these returns are coming from and how you can improve satisfaction from the jump.

As a bonus, look at Net Promoter Score as a good final indicator and relevant metric. NPS takes into account ad effectiveness, storefront engagement, and shipping satisfaction, bringing all three areas under one roof. 

Multichannel: Bringing Marketing, Storefront and Fulfillment Together 

With multichannel eCommerce, you can’t separate out marketing efforts from your sales or your inventory management from your sales. Your efficiency in marketing will affect the size of your sale, the size of your sale will affect your shipping costs, your shipping costs will affect your profitability, your profitability will affect your ad spend… you get the idea, right? 

They are all interconnected, and you should treat them as such. 

To keep things straight in multichannel eCommerce, you’ll need two things: a short list of critical KPIs for your eCommerce brand and a way to visualize how these metrics interplay, ultimately affecting your bottom line. You can use the metrics identified above as a starting point, and narrow them down based on what is most important to your brand. 

Changing your mindset to think of marketing, sales and fulfillment as part of the same entity is one thing. But actually bringing them under one roof is another.

Having the platforms separate doesn’t mean your metrics have to remain in a silo. You can use a profit analytics dashboard, for example, to bring together the most relevant metrics for advertising, sales and fulfillment. Monitoring your profit and marketing performance in eCommerce shouldn’t be hard — and a single dashboard for all your metrics makes it easier. 

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