eCommerce is an ultra-competitive niche that needs a variety of optimizations for positive revenue growth. With so many factors to consider, it can be hard nailing down just a few to track their effects on your bottom line. It can feel like a fruitless enterprise if you start tracking metrics which don’t correlate well to added revenue. In order to make sure you’ve got your eye on the right data, here are 5 different ROI metrics to track to make sure your eCommerce store is growing in the right direction.
Customer Acquisition Costs
You can imagine your sales process as a funnel that customers go through. Some customers will just browse through your catalog while others will follow through and make a purchase. How much it costs you to bring in a new customer can be pretty valuable knowledge. These costs can vary based on where you are advertising. The ad prices for social channels like Facebook and Pinterest can be cheaper than pay per click marketing channels, but your conversion rate will likely be lower. That’s because people on social networks are more likely to be in browse mode compared to search engine visitors who are entering specific phrases to reach your landing pages.
Each of your product pages for your store can be thought of as a landing page. The better those landing pages convert, the more likely visitors will be to add an item to their cart. You can improve an eCommerce product page‘s conversion rate by improving the pictures, streamlining the layout, adding more customer reviews and including insightful, thoughtful descriptions of the product.
Order and Repeat Order Metrics
Once you know what your client costs are and how well those visitors are converting into customers, you can next focus on how much they are actually buying. Two great eCommerce metrics to watch for when a customer is ordering include:
- Shopping Cart Abandonment
- Average Order Value
When people abandon their shopping carts, that means they haven’t gone ahead and completed the checkout process. Was there too much to fill out in the checkout form? Perhaps you didn’t offer a payment option that they were expecting? Was the user experience not streamlined and easy to understand? Whatever the reason, shopping cart abandonment needs to be shored up if you want to run a successful eCommerce business.
The average order value denotes what the expected order size is for each customer. This is a useful metric as it allows you to better plan your ad spend and more accurately budget. If each customer spends on average $50, then you can adjust your advertising bid prices to make sure you stay profitable after advertising costs.
Revenue is the simplest measure of how well your online store is doing. It’s basically all the money that you take in via operations. The nice thing about charting a simple indicator like revenue is that you can graph it and see at a glance if you’re bringing in more money compared to the last month or quarter. The more revenue, generally, the more you have to pay for equipment, stock and advertising.
The big problem with eCommerce stores is that they rely on databases to show customers information which can lag in speed if the hosting isn’t optimized. Some eCommerce stores elect to host their databases on a separate server to speed up database queries. Almost all rely on solid state drives to speed access time and most have caching enabled to make subsequent page loads faster for the customers. Site speed matters for customer satisfaction, so make sure your dev-ops team (if you have one) is constantly tracking your site’s speed. Literally each additional second it takes to load a page is lost revenue.
Many eCommerce stores look at their email newsletter metrics to chart how well their customer communications are going. Some factors to track include:
- Number of email subscribers in your database
- The open rate of your emails
- The click rate on your email offers (usually in the form of new product announcements or coupons)
- The unsubscribe rate
- How engaging is your content to keep subscribers interested?
This is not a complete list of course, factors such as –
- How long do customers stay on the site?
- Customer lifetime value
- Overall traffic to the site
- What time of year is your company busy? When is your slow season?
Are important as well, and you don’t have to master all of these eCommerce metrics at once to have a successful store. Just tracking a few at a time will give you greater insight into what works and what doesn’t when optimizing your online store for more sales and revenue.
Read more: Measure Your B2B eCommerce ROI