Maintaining and improving an E-commerce site is something that is important for businesses, particularly those in the retail sector. But just how to do this can become quite confusing and complicated in the ever developing and fast growing world of E-commerce and online culture. This blog breaks down the key elements that are crucial in understanding exactly how to make or maintain these improvements.
- Acquisition Data: Information associated with getting traffic
- Engagement Data: Info about how people interact with the website
- Conversion Data: Info about business success
- Foundational Data: Other metrics that we should check every now and then
This tells us how we get customers to an e-commerce website. It is key for marketers to know which campaigns are working and which are not. The types of campaigns and how we measure them can vary. Whilst some campaigns may be direct-response activities others can simply be used to spread our brand. Therefore the way in which we measure campaigns is crucial. We might measure direct-conversion campaigns with the following questions; Which marketing activities are most effective at reaching people in the early buying process and which are best are engaging consumers late in the buying process? What time of day are certain campaigns successful and which marketing channels generate the most revenue?
Whilst basic metrics such as Bounce rate can be easier to understand and monitor it is important to look a little deeper and actually see how people communicate with an e-commerce site. As with many other e-commerce sites there are a number ways in which people can interact with an e-commerce site. These interactions are commonly referred to as micro-conversions and though they may not directly generate revenue immediately they can often lead to it.
Here are a few key Engagement metrics:
- Bounce Rate: Bounce rate measures the percentage of single-page visits. Though this is often not very useful at a site-wide level, it’s very useful when segmented by marketing campaign or channel.
- Newsletter and RSS Subscriptions: This is still very important. A subscriber is someone that is interested in your product/service.
- Add to Carts: This is a critical step in the buying process. If people do not add items to their cart then how will they purchase them?
- Wish List: This is a useful metric which allows us to trace how many people save an item to a wish list or save their cart, and then how many people actually complete the transaction later.
- On-site social interactions: (Tweets, Likes, +1): An important factor to monitor, which can allow you to gain insight into the groups of people that are clicking on your social media links and expressing interest in your product or service.
- Product Ratings: This can be a useful tool for gaining insight into what your customers like and do not like. Interaction = engagement = future revenue.
- Product Video: Videos are a great way to deliver the message of your product or service. Thus it is important to measure the impact of videos and how people interact with them, and whether or not they make a difference when it comes to potential revenue.
- Look to Book: This measures how many people look at a product or category and then do not buy that product. If people are looking at a product, but not buying it, there is some friction there. Remove the friction!
There are several revenue-related metrics that are important to keep an eye on:
- Return on Investment: This helps us understand how much money we make based on how much money we spend.
- Average Order Value: On average, what do people spend per transaction? AOV can be used to identify high-value channels like email, search and social networking platforms.
- Revenue by Repeat Customers: Almost every business wants repeat customers. It takes less effort to attract a repeat customer versus a first-time customer.
- Revenue Per Visit or Per Visits Value: This metric normalises the value of traffic from different sources. It allows us to compare the performance of different traffic sources.
- Internal Campaign Performance: Many businesses will run some type of promotion or campaign directly on their site. The ability to segment revenue and measure the effectiveness of these campaigns is performance.
- Visitor satisfaction and intent: Are the people coming to the site happy with their experience? Is their visit a success? Even more important, why are they coming to the site?
In addition to all of the data related to the purchase life-cycle, there are many other metrics that can help us understand the business performance. Some of these are as follows:
- Time Before Purchase: How long does it take a customer to buy a product? Knowing this can be very helpful when it comes to implementing marketing campaigns.
- Website Visits before Purchase: How many web hits are made before the final purchase?
- High-value Customer Behaviour: Finding out details about where those customers who spend more than a certain amount come from geo-graphically, and what sort of marketing campaigns have a beneficial effect on them can be extremely useful.
Site Performance Metrics
There is also an entire world of metrics that help us understand the technical health of our website such as. These metrics are still important! A slow and congested site can discourage potential customers. These are things that can impact revenue and should be monitored. What is the average page load time for the site? Specifically, which pages take a long time to load? And how does this impact bounce rate and revenue?
Reporting frequency: Bi-weekly (for heavily trafficked sites) or monthly.
- Mobile App/Website Data: It is important to not only monitor how a site works on a specific device, but also how it might be accessed through apps or either mobile phones or tablet devices. Which devices are most popular?
Which versions of the device are most popular?
Reporting frequency: depends on initiatives
- Site Search: This can also be a useful data set but perhaps something that only needs to be monitored bi-weekly or monthly.
If you would like to find out more about how to improve an E-Commerce website using WordPress, Magento or a bespoke solution then please do not hesitate to get in touch with one of our team on 0117 205 0425 or at [email protected]
I'm Mark Probert
Digital Strategy Director at Newicon