E-Commerce Metrics Retailers Should Track
In today’s e-commerce environment, there's no shortage of data. However, what sets successful online retailers apart from the rest is how that data is analyzed and used.
Savvy retail marketers are using the information they collect from consumer interactions online to better understand existing and prospective customer interests. These retailers then tailor marketing communications and campaigns to drive greater engagement.
If you want to tap into the power of your data too, here are metrics to look at and use to steer your marketing efforts.
Site Traffic and Sources
Understanding how much traffic your e-commerce site receives, and where it comes from, should be a top priority as you begin evaluating the performance of past marketing tactics and plan for the year ahead. Using Google Analytics, or digital marketing tools integrated with Google Analytics, you can easily evaluate site visit trends and referral traffic and gather additional insight to better build an ideal customer profile.
Armed with this information, you can begin to make smarter decisions about the types of audiences to target, messages to use, places to advertise and timing of campaigns.
Conversion Rates and Abandoned Carts
When it comes to site traffic and sources, one must-have metric to evaluate is conversion rate. Conversion rates often equal how many sales are driven from a marketing initiative, and therefore are a true measure of marketing success. This metric also can offer a window into areas where campaigns can be improved.
For example, let’s say a loyal customer clicked a link in a promotional email from your brand, and the link sent them to a landing page featuring various items for sale. If this typically loyal shopper didn’t make a purchase (aka convert), it may be an indicator that your email message overpromised, or that the items offered on the landing page aren’t of interest. You can run A/B tests to improve your strategy.
Tracking abandoned shopping cart rates to see if users aren’t converting during the checkout process is also important. If you suffer from high abandoned cart rates, this could be caused by too many steps before finalizing the transaction. Or, maybe your customers are discovering a catch that prevents the sale — e.g., they don’t qualify for free shipping. Tracking consumer behavior as shoppers move through your site can help you pinpoint issues like these and drive increased conversions.
Social Media Engagement
Instagram is for more than cat GIFs. According to Marketing Week, one in three online shoppers uses social media when searching for new products. You can be certain they notice the size of your following, what you’re posting and whether it’s falling flat with other shoppers.
Tracking which platforms and posts receive the highest engagement can help you adjust your social media strategy. While Facebook, Twitter and Instagram all offer free native analytics to track content engagement, businesses that want to key in on social media outreach should consider adopting digital marketing software to gain deeper insights such as how much traffic and revenue is driven from each post.
Let the Data Guide Your Strategy
Once you’ve reviewed these data points for your business, set concrete goals to push your marketing efforts further (e.g., increase traffic from Facebook by 30 percent or reduce abandoned carts by 20 percent). There’s no need to step into marketing efforts blindly; let your data and goals be the backbone of your strategy.
Joe Reger is the co-founder and chief technology officer at Springbot, an e-commerce marketing automation platform.
Related story: Why Retention Rate is Your Most Important Metric