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9 E-Commerce Metrics Every Online Merchant Should Be Tracking
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9 E-Commerce Metrics Every Online Merchant Should Be Tracking

September 18, 2019

Ok, let’s face it! E-commerce is all about numbers, analytics, and metrics!

On the one hand, it is perfect that you can measure everything and track your progress.

On the other hand, it is so easy to get overwhelmed by the enormous amount of metrics you have at your disposal.

No worries! This article will help you identify which metrics you should track on a daily basis and which metrics are the so-called vanity metrics which are good to know but not so vital for your business success.

But let me just start with listing some of the vanity metrics before we dive into the interesting stuff.

Vanity metrics are:

“Measurements and calculations that are designed to be IMPRESSIVE as opposed to ACTIONABLE or RELEVANT to core business goals such as revenue and operating margins”.

Pretty clear!

They are there to impress not to offer any actionable insights!

Some of the so-called vanity metrics which you DO NOT need to track are:

  • Social media following
  • Pages per Session
  • Average Session Duration
  • Unique Users

Now that you know some of the metrics you should NOT spend your time, let’s see the vital ones!

Total Sales

It seems intuitive but sometimes you are so caught up with other stuff about your store that you forget the main reason you are in business.

This is not other than generating sales!

Set your desired goal of revenue, think backward on how you can make it happen and keep track of your progress on a monthly or quarterly basis.

Keep everything that worked for you and get rid of anything that didn’t make any significant difference for your store.

Remember, what works for you may won’t work for others and vice versa.

Average Margin

Well, yes, obviously it is important to generate sales as mentioned before!

But, it is far more important to be able to generate a higher profit margin. Don’t you agree?

I’m sure you do!

I cannot highlight enough that you need to calculate for every product you are going to advertise your profit margins.

You should make accurate calculation including COGS (cost of goods sold) + ad costs + transaction fees and then see what is left for you.

I’d suggest that if you cannot price and sell at least 2.5 to 3 times more than the COGS you should probably abandon this product idea.

Traffic

Online stores without traffic simply cannot exist!

If you think that you will build your Shopify store and visitors will start flooding without any action from your end, you are far away from reality.

Once you start running ads and sending traffic to your store, you should also keep track of it on a monthly basis.

Using the Shopify analytics tab is fine for this scope and it should look like this:

Conversion Rate

Another super important metric that can make or break your business is conversion rate.

Imagine that 1 out of 100 of your visitors will finally purchase from your store. Then your conversion rate is 1%.

Now, imagine that 4 out of 100 of your visitors will convert. That means your conversion rate is 4%.

Do you see how powerful metric is this?

Conversion rate optimization is a whole separate part of E-commerce and cannot be extensively covered here.

However, it is one of the most important metrics you should keep track of and you should always strive to increase.

Use your Shopify analytics tab to track it.

Customer Acquisition Cost

Do you really know how much money you spend on acquiring a new customer?

What if every new customer you acquire costs you more money than their spending on your website?

Customer acquisition cost is also a vital metric you should keep tracking regularly.

It can literally make or break your business.

Why?

Imagine having a lower compared with the industry’s standard customer acquisition cost that enables you to make a good profit out of every new customer.

Now, because you acquire new customers CHEAPER than your competitors you can spend more on your advertising campaigns and acquire more customers.

How awesome is that?

You had probably heard the phrase “we can outspend our competitors” and this is what it actually means.

Now, what customer acquisition includes is simply any expense of gaining one customer. This can be everything from marketing expenses or salaries and other operational costs.

Average Order Value

AOV! AOV! AOV!

By now, you must have heard so many times about your store’s average order value!

Well, it makes sense!

Remember the cost of customer acquisition that we discussed before?

Usually, this cost is quite high and so what you want to achieve is that every customer (that you’ve paid to acquire) will spend a good amount of money on your store.

This is the so-called average order value.

You have to always track your AOV and always strive for increasing it.

Because you basically have 3 ways to scale your business and these are:

  1. Increase the number of your customers
  2. Increase the average order value
  3. Increase the number of repeat purchases

Here’s a good guide from Flashchat.ai which will help you increase your average order value.

Customer Lifetime Value

What an important metric as well!

What it actually means is the amount of money a customer is willing to spend on your store once they became first-time customers.

Why do you need to know this?

Well, if you are able to know how much a customer will spend on your store then you can adjust other metrics mentioned before such as your customer acquisition cost and so on.

So, it is very important to be able to calculate your CLV and this is a good free tool to use for doing so!

Add To Cart Ratio

Pretty intuitive metric as well!

It shows you the percentage of your store’s visitors who actually added to their cart one or more of your products.

You can understand a lot by tracking this metric.

First, if you are sending lots of traffic to your store and the ATC ratio is low that means that:

  1. You are sending the wrong audience (they are not interested at all to your offer).
  2. You are sending the right audience, but with the wrong offer.
  3. Your product page and sales copy do not meet expectations.

Shopping Cart Abandonment Rate

7 out of 10 visitors abandon their cart!

It hurts a lot, I know!

This is the so-called cart abandonment rate.

It is more than usual for a visitor to navigate through your store, add to their cart, initiate checkout but then leave without buying.

You should keep close track of it and you should try techniques to initially decrease the rate and also recover some the lost sales.

Reasons that usually cause visitors to abandon their cart are:

  1. Anything unexpected such as hidden shipping costs
  2. A complicated checkout process
  3. Account needed
  4. Not suitable payment options

If you need help with recovering lost sales, you should check this guide.

That’s it!

If you are serious about your online business then these are the most useful metrics that you should keep tracking on a weekly and/or monthly basis.

What I’d suggest is make a spreadsheet where you keep your progress on all of them.

That way you can overall track your situation and make adjustments accordingly.

To your success!

Panos


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