Ecommerce site success largely depends on how you operate your site. And this means your operations must comply with the latest trends too. Else, you won’t be getting results, you expected. The operations your ecommerce site performs, must be tracked too. And therefore, there are special KPIs for it. More commonly called, Key Performance Indicators for your ecommerce site.
Performance should inform business decisions and KPIs should drive actions. Key performance indicators are like milestones. On the road to your online retail success. Monitoring them will help ecommerce entrepreneurs identify progress toward sales, marketing, and customer service goals.
A performance indicator is simply a quantifiable measurement or data point. Which is used to gauge performance relative to some goal. Take for an example, the goal is to increase site traffic by 30% in next 6 months. Relative to this goal, a performance indicator might be the number of unique visitors the site receives daily. Or which traffic sources send visitors. These source include – PPC advertising, SEO, brand or display advertising, or a YouTube video.
For some goals there could be many performance indicators, and often too many. So people narrow it down to just two or three impactful data points.Which are known as key performance indicators. These are those measurements that most accurately and succinctly show whether or not a business in progressing toward its goal.
Selecting KPIs begins with clearly stating goals and understanding what areas of business impact those goals. Of course, KPIs can and should differ for each of an online retailer’s goals. Whether those are related to boosting sales, streamlining marketing, or improving customer service.
It should be easy to see that there are many performance indicators. And the value of those indicators is directly tied to the goal progress measured. Monitoring which page someone visited before initiating a customer service call. Could help identify areas of confusion that when corrected would reduce customer service calls.
With the idea that KPIs should differ based on the goal being measured. It’s possible to consider a set of common performance indicators for ecommerce. However, while data is important, the right data is essential. With so much information available from a wide array of sources. It’s so easy to get buried under an avalanche of reports, stats and numbers. And lose track of what is really important.
Hence, here are some essential key performance indicators, which are need for every ecommerce site:
Ecommerce Site Conversion Rate
The conversion rate tells how effective is your store at closing deals. The basic calculation is: (Number of Sales) / (Number of Visits) = Conversion Rate. Take for example, a store is visited 5000 times and 200 of those visits end in a sale, you have a 4% conversion rate. But once again, be accurate with the number of missing transactions you receive by the Google Analytics.
Depending on what you’re counting, a good conversion rate is usually in the 1–10% range. If you have less than 1% you might have problems. Pulling site usability and design, pricing, product copy or developing a strong advertising campaign can help you increase conversion rates.
The most important statistic for your ecommerce site. The average can differ depended on what you sell. Here’s what you should consider – Are your call to action buttons clear enough. Have you A/B tested language, colours or buttons? Is your traffic qualified? Where is it coming from?
Conversion Rate is a great place to start because of two reasons – You are hard core focusing on Outcomes. And you are going to force the conversation about Objectives. The most fun is in identifying that happens to the 98% that don’t convert. Most of the time Conversion Rate is indeed thought of in terms of ecommerce websites.
But increasingly tools are making it ever more easy for you to track conversions of any kind. Form submissions (leads). Trial signups. Content consumption. Download Software. View support FAQ. And more. No matter what your website, you can start measuring “conversion rate”.
Ecommerce Site Bounce Rate
Bounce Rate is a percentage of visitors who leave your site immediately. After visiting and browsing through it. Probably because they didn’t find what they were looking for, Or the website was too complicated/annoying to use. The basic calculation is: (Number of visitors who leave immediately) / (Total number of visitors) = Bounce Rate.
High bounce rate is a conversion killer. If the bounce rate for your landing pages is high (80%+) you need to fix it. Attract the right visitors with the right keywords. Improve usability, use good layout, provide valuable & unique content. The key is to make sure that once visitors land on a page. They are drawn to visiting even more pages throughout your site.
Add links to more pages within your website in your content. Think about other pages that people interested in that piece of content will want to see. And link to them throughout the content. Go beyond just product pages. Instead of just having the sales copy, include some links such as a product manual. Guides on how to use the product to achieve a specific result. What other customers have said about the product.
Add links to content everyone will love to your sidebar. Include links on that sidebar that everyone would enjoy. Improve your content. Be sure to review pages on your website with a high bounce rate. And low average time on site. Look at ways you could provide more information. That would keep visitors on the page.
Shopping Cart Abandonment Rate
The average shopping cart abandonment rate is 68%. The basic calculation is: (#of people who don’t complete checkout) / (# of people who start checkout) = Shopping Cart Abandonment Rate.
If your site visitors put an item in their carts. But stop along the way. There could be several reasons for that.
Something took their mind off. Or they found a form too long and complicated. In Google Analytics, there are tools to understand where exactly visitors leave the checkout process. And why it’s happening. Here are some ideas for checkout abandonment rate improvement – Remove fields from the too long registration for. Add security badges and trust seals. Be transparent about shipping costs. Reduce checkout steps.
A vitally important statistic. That if analysed thoroughly can result in a great up-turn of sales. This statistic isn’t originally in your account. And can be tricky to set up. Around every 2 in 3 people will abandon their cart of your site. Which is indeed a frightening figure.
By clearly showing customers where they are in the checkout process. You are eliminating the potential worry that actually buying something from you is going to take more time. Than the prospect is willing to commit. It assures visitors that they’re almost done. It also helps eliminate ambiguity. And makes the process clearer and easier for customers to understand. Several studies have shown that a majority of consumers prefer having a clear indication of their status in the process of completing a task.
Page Views Per Visit
Waiting for a page to load could be as frustrating and boring as waiting for an elevator to arrive. Visitors realize that they are sacrificing their time for content. The more they enjoy your content, the less they will mind waiting. If users cannot find what they want on a website. They will regard the download time as slower than it actually might be. Conversely, if users do find what they want on a website quickly and easily. They perceive the download time as faster than it actually might be.
What does this mean for your site? It means that including a table of contents. To help your visitors find the answers they’re looking for. Writing a highly relevant meta description. And highlighting important parts of your post. Can make your readers feel that it was worth their time to wait for the page to load. A happy reader is much more likely to click on other links to posts on your site than a frustrated reader.
Your message comes first, so eliminate distractions. The message needs to be front and center. Whether it’s on a landing page or a blog post. It’s what your visitors are there to read. This falls under multiple UX categories but mostly accessibility. If you make content easily accessible, readers will continue to read. If you make it difficult, many will either leave right away or not be excited to visit another page on your site.
Exit pages are the pages on your site from which people leave your site. An exit page is the last page they are on before they go somewhere else online. Ideally, visitors would stay on your site forever. Of course that’s not possible, but it is possible to improve your exit pages to increase the chances.
Why should I optimize or improve my exit pages? By “optimize” it simply means you should make your exit pages more interesting. So when people visit, they will stay on your site longer and not click away so quickly.
How do I optimize exit pages? There’s not a one-size-fits-all solution. Since different exit pages exist for different reasons. It’s a good idea to take a look at your top ones though. To see if there’s anything you can do to lessen their exit-proneness. Here are some things you can do to improve them – Update outdated content. Fix any errors.
Sprinkle more internal, relevant links throughout the content of your post or page. It’s likely you have written more posts or pages. Related to the topic since this one was published. So read through the post body again and link to newer posts. Add related and relevant links to other posts on your site at the end of the post.
The idea here is to provide further reading to someone who has made it through your post and wants to know more. There are plugins and services that do this automatically. LinkWithin (a widget you can use on WordPress or Blogger. Or nRelate (a WordPress plugin) are popular.
Ecommerce Site Traffic
The days of easy profit simply by having an online shop are long gone. In order to compete in the rapidly evolving marketplace. You simply can’t afford to ignore some things. Send paid traffic to landing pages for products not to the homepage. Or send paid traffic to categories that match the users intent. Optimizing landing pages is a must.
Use product descriptions, and make sure they are both engaging and original. There are reasons for both of these rules. The text description gives search engines something to index. And well-chosen keywords ensure that you can be found. Creating unique descriptions prevents you from being accidentally filtered out as spam by search engines.
Attracting customers to your site is only half the battle. Helping them find products on your page is essential to close the sale. And the best way to do this is with an easy-to-find and easy-to-use search function. Utilize every aspect of design to help it stand out.
Page abandonment is an avoidable annoyance for any website. But for sales-based sites it can be disastrous. Your customer is entering the home stretch. Now is not the time to slow things down! Overly complex and lengthy checkout process lead to abandonment. Right when all of the hard work of identifying and satisfying the customer’s needs has been done.
Ways to shorten checkout include selecting the cheapest default for shipping and other options, making it easy for returning customers to sign in, and smart algorithms to save the customer a step. Be upfront about shipping costs. Always.