Ecommerce Analytics: Top 6 Metrics for Growing Your Online Store
You have millions of opportunities to attract attention online. Going after each one will result in a lot of effort, without the focus necessary to win the war that is competitive ecommerce.
Pay attention to the right metrics in your Ecommerce analytics, double-down on moving the needle, and you’ve got a chance to create a powerful platform for generating income and establishing your brand as an industry leader.
These 6 metrics helped me to grow my own ecommerce success in 9 months, and it’s the things I zero in on when helping my clients optimize their sites.
Read on if you’re ready to cut out the noise and gain clarity over your site’s performance!
1. Bounce Rate: A Measure of Online Engagement and Customer Disappointment
One of the key factors I look at in Google Analytics (Need a handy Google Analytics guide?) is bounce rate. It’s a single metric that tells many stories.
Bounce rate is a percentage that represents how many of your site’s visitors are leaving your site within seconds of arriving from google or other traffic sources.
What does a high bounce rate mean?
A high bounce rate could mean a few things:
- Your site is ranking in Google for the wrong phrases and keywords – delivering an audience that isn’t going to find your site useful.
- It’s hard to quickly understand what your site is about, and how it can help your target audience.
- Your back-link profile is full of irrelevant links – often a side-effect of a low-quality SEO campaign (something that could result in a penalty from Google).
To better understand how Google calculates your bounce rate, read more here.
2. Cost per Acquisition (CPA) – Can You Afford to Stay In the Fight?
As you dig deeper into all of the information that Google Analytics provides, you’ll quickly realize how complex and sophisticated the world of online marketing has become. With a little luck, and a whole lot of effort, you can make the customers roll in.
But, the question many site owners forget to ask is: “Can I afford to continue down this path of aggressive online marketing?”
The answer depends on the margins in your product pricing, the competitiveness of your market, and how big your war chest is.
To calculate your Cost per Acquisition, you need to add up all of your marketing cost for a set period of time. Then divide this sometimes scary number by the number of new clients that spent money with you during that time period.
This ecommerce analytics metric will tell you:
- Is your CPA trending up (bad) or down (good)?
- Can your new customers cover the cost of acquiring them with their first purchase? Average basket size will become important for this calculation.
- Do you have room to increase your ad buys on the things that are working?
- Is your success in acquiring new customers slowly (or quickly) killing you?
No matter how many clients you have, if you’re out of working capital, you’re dead. Find ways to improve (lower) your CPA without sacrificing a quality stream of new customers. You’ll earn the right to stay in the fight longer and increase your chances of surviving the war.
3. Conversion Rate: Your Website’s Batting Average
What do you want your customer to do once they arrive at your site?
- Provide their contact information?
- Download a digital asset?
- Complete a purchase?
- Watch a video?
- Click a link to visit another particular address?
The goal you set should be different, based on the page the user entered the site on. Each landing page, for example, is targeted to elicit a certain result – an immediate sale or a stepping stone down the funnel. Whatever your end goal is, you need to understand how your ecommerce site is performing.
The conversion rate is calculated in Google Analytics by dividing the number of successful conversion events with the number of site visits. I like to see a conversion rate of 3-5% or higher.
4. YouTube Video Engagement: Lights, Camera, Sales
One of the most powerful mediums for educating consumers is a brand’s YouTube channel. 80% of millennials find videos helpful when shopping online.
Creating great video content and embedding it in your web page is a reliable way to improve your engagement and average session time.
After you’ve produced a targeted video (tutorial, vlog episode, etc.) and uploaded it to your brand’s channel, YouTube provides a variety of tools to measure your video’s effectiveness. I use the Significant Discovery Events data for each video on my branded videos.
Why is this metric important? It informs you where your video’s viewership is coming from. You’ll see the places your video has been embedded by other sites. And you’ll see which sources of traffic your video is benefiting from the most.
Careful analysis of this data will:
- Tell you where your customers are spending their time researching your products.
- Highlight sites that may be open to further cross-promotion.
- Provide a list of successful sites in your industry to model and learn from.
- Help you reverse engineer successful videos to better understand how and why they’re being used by others as a resource for their sites.
By analyzing YouTube’s video metrics for your channel, you’ll be able to make educated guesses about what is working well (generating views and shares), and pain points in previous videos. Take these insights with you into future videos and you’ll increase the chances that you’ll gain views from motivated customers, as well as appear in Google’s video results for key-phrases and terms.
5. Social Media Traction Measures the Success of Buzzworthy, Shareable Content
Social media should be a huge part of your ecommerce marketing strategy. When a major online publisher releases a new article, one of the key metrics they watch is how many times their article is shared on Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms. This guides their future articles – the topics they cover and how they cover them. You can benefit from this strategy too!
Social media echoing is an important part of well-rounded ecommerce analysis. The best ecommerce platforms offer built-in social media sharing buttons and tracking. A visitor that clicks “share” or “retweet” is instantly sharing your content with their online followers, at no cost to you.
If a page on your site sparks more than a few hundred social media shares shortly after publication, it’s time to double-down and provide additional content related to the topic that your visitors are finding exciting. This is free advertising in the form of a personalized suggestion to your visitor’s followers.
Under performing pages on your site should be updated or reformatted based on the insights you gain from successful pages.
6. Google AdWords: Targeted, Measurable and Budget-Friendly
Google AdWords is a powerful tool for attracting targeted users to your ecommerce site – it’s one of many ecommerce tools Google provides to help brands reach customers on the web.
AdWords offers a lot of bang for your advertising dollar, including:
- A free keyword planner with in-depth insights that go beyond your Adwords campaign.
- Competitive Ecommerce analytics; the cost of a CPC campaign for a particular keyword is a rough representation of how competitive your market is.
- An idea of the market size – based on how often terms are searched for in Google.
- Almost immediate delivery of targeted traffic to the pages of your site you’d like to test. This is great for A/B testing.
- Marketing campaigns that fit almost any budget.
A great deal of information is available online – and if your site has been online for more than a few weeks, it’s probably waiting for you to discover it!
Plugging the right information into your broader ecommerce analysis efforts will help you focus on the things that are working, discontinue practices that aren’t working and generate a stronger ROI.
Ecommerce Analytics is extremely important to understand the effect of your strategies on your business performance. It helps brands and businesses understand how they are doing, and what factors are contributing to its growth. Every online business needs to study these 6 metrics listed above in order to understand numbers and grow their business online effectively.
Darren has an MBA in Internet Marketing, but hangs his hat on 10+ years of experience in the trenches.
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