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The Ecommerce Metrics You Should Be Tracking

Ecommerce business owners have so much data at their fingertips that choosing which stats to focus on can be a challenge. Start with these key metrics.

Today’s ecommerce apps boast such robust analytics and reporting features that business owners can sometimes get bogged down with too much data. It’s not a bad problem to have—but only if you know how to wade through the weeds and pick out what’s important. With this in mind, retailers and brands must decide which metrics to track closely to better understand their business.

Staring down a jumble of numbers is undoubtedly overwhelming, so we’ll help you get started. We put together a list of the most impactful stats that unlock key insights into the health of your ecommerce business, from your online store to marketing and profitability metrics.

Deep breath, then let’s dive in. 

Online store metrics

Online Store Metrics

Website Traffic

How many users are actually visiting your online store? This metric will help you determine the reach of your store or brand and can inform decisions about expanding your audience through marketing or SEO. Look at total visitors, average visitors, or visitors over a certain period of time, like a week or a month.

Conversion Rate

Now that you have an idea of how many visitors you have, pay attention to how often those visitors make a purchase. Conversion rate is the percentage of visitors to your site who made a purchase over a certain time period. But don’t get discouraged—the average conversion rate for an online store is only 1-2% according to BigCommerce.

Return Rate

Returns are common in ecommerce—accounting for about 15 to 40 percent of online orders—but it’s critical to keep a sharp eye on trends in your business. Look out for certain products that are returned more often than others and adjust the products or listings accordingly. Try out techniques to curtail returns to make a big difference in boosting profits in your online store.

Shopping Cart Abandonment Rate

Nearly 70% of online shopping carts are abandoned, meaning the customer never completed the purchase. If your customers are abandoning their carts more often than average, it’s worth investigating why. Does your checkout process include too many steps and ask for too much information? Are customers being scared away by high shipping prices or long shipping times? If users are dropping off at a crucial point before checking out, consider making adjustments to the user experience. 

Average Order Value (AOV)

Determine the average order value by dividing your revenue by the number of orders over a certain period. The higher the AOV, the more value you get out of your marketing efforts. If your AOV is lower than you’d like, add product bundles to your store or consider adding a free shipping threshold to get shoppers to add more to their carts.

Repeat Customer Rate

Repeat customers are worth their weight in gold in ecommerce. Look out for those customers who keep coming back, and make it a priority to continue nurturing the relationship. Add them to a loyalty program if you have one, or encourage them to leave product reviews or follow your brand or store on social media.

Marketing metrics

Marketing Metrics

Email Opt-In Rate

Out of all your site visitors, how many people are clicking that “Subscribe” button or entering their email to get 15% off a purchase? Email is a tried-and-true way of reaching prospective customers and promoting your products and sales. Being able to reach your customers directly can make a big difference to your business, so make sure your incentives to subscribe are strong enough.

Email Opens & Click-Through Rate

Having a customer’s email address is only the first step—you want to maximize the power of those emails to bolster sales. Track how often users are opening your emails—if it’s low, consider a more enticing subject line. Track the click-through rate (CTR) of your emails to gauge how interested your customers are in the offers presented.

Social Media Metrics

Grow your audience and build your brand by establishing a strong social media presence. Track engagement rate, reach, and followers each month to see if your content is resonating and if your audience is growing. Also take note of any posts that are performing higher than others and brainstorm how that success can be replicated.

Net Promoter Score (NPS)

Measure customer satisfaction and loyalty with a net promoter score (NPS). NPS is a measure of how likely your customers are to become advocates for your business. The survey is a simple question that asks the customer, “How likely are you to recommend [business] to a friend or colleague?” Regularly conduct an NPS survey to keep a pulse on the customer experience.

Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC)

To find out if you’re getting the most bang for your marketing buck, find your customer acquisition cost (CAC) by dividing your marketing costs by the number of new customers over a certain time period. This metric can indicate whether or not your efforts are paying off and if you should shift some of your marketing budget around.

Profitability Metrics

Profitability Metrics

Total Overall Gross Profit

How profitable is your business? Your total overall gross profit is the difference between your revenue and your expenses—it’s what money is left after factoring in fees, cost of goods sold (COGS), salaries, and more. Even if your revenue is dazzling, it doesn’t mean much if your expenses are even higher.

Most & Least Profitable Products

Find the diamond (and the coal) in the rough by tracking how profitable your individual products are. Determine your top 10 most profitable and least profitable products over a certain time period. These insights can help you make better business decisions on improving those products that aren’t performing well, and further optimizing your best sellers.

Gross Profit by Sales Channel

For ecommerce businesses selling on multiple platforms, it’s essential to determine which sales channels are your most profitable. By viewing channel-specific profitability, you can make better, data-driven decisions about where to sell certain products and focus your time. 

Total COGS vs. Total Sales

Another way of looking at ecommerce business profitability is comparing total cost of goods sold (COGS) and total sales over a time period. Total COGS is all of the costs involved in producing your products. Research what a healthy benchmark is for your product category and see how your sales stack up.

Expenses by Sales Channel

Another view into sales channel financial data is ​​a breakdown of expenses by sales channel. With extra expenses like marketplace fees, sales channels are not all created equal. Look out for red flags where you may be paying more expenses on a channel that is not performing as well as you’d expect.

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Leah Allen-Manning, Content Strategist

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