27 Key eCommerce Metrics You Need to Track

By Elise Dopson on February, 20 2019

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Elise Dopson

Well versed in the B2B, SaaS, and marketing realms, Elise helps merchants navigate the ever-changing world of online channel management.

Reporting is essential in eCommerce--not only to track whether you’re doing well and meeting your goals, but to also double-check your gut feeling of success is reflected in overall performance.

After all, a hunch that performance is good won’t appease your boss or the board of directors.

You need to back it up with numbers, and prove you’re actually turning a decent profit.

But which eCommerce metrics actually prove your success? And where can you find them?

In this guide, we’re sharing 27 key eCommerce metrics you’ll need to continually monitor, track and evaluate.

Basic Ecommerce Metrics

Before we dive in with the KPIs you can breakdown for each department, let’s get the basics covered.

Here are the important metrics you should be tracking (at the very least!):

1. Gross margin

Gross margin is the percentage of profit you’ll generate on a product after costs.

You likely already monitor your gross margin since it’s a core metric for any eCommerce business to keep an eye on. But if not, you can calculate your gross margin percentage by:

(Gross margin / net sales) x 100 = gross margin percentage

For example: If your product costs $5 to make and you sell it for $25, your gross profit will be $20 and your gross margin will be 80%.

Most eCommerce businesses will operate with a gross margin of between 20-50%, although this may be higher for direct-to-consumer businesses where there are no product buying costs.

But regardless of whether you fall below or above those guidelines, understanding your gross margin can prevent you from selling products or services that aren’t generating you any profit--and stop your eCommerce business from falling into the red.

2. Transactions

No eCommerce business can survive without sales, which is why it’s crucial to track the number of transactions on your website--and hopefully see them increase.

Transactions show the amount of orders that’ve been made on your website.

But what’s classified as a “good” number of transactions? It isn’t as clear-cut as you think, and it depends on the type of business.

For example: A business selling smaller products, such as hair bands, might be able to shift a high number of products due to the low cost. However, retailers selling higher ticket items might see a smaller number of transactions because the purchase journey is more complex.

Either way, you can use Google Analytics to report on transactions by setting-up eCommerce tracking:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c4ExcwbtkNM

But if you’re using an eCommerce platforms to run your online store, such as Shopify, BigCommerce or Big Cartel, simply sign-in to your sales dashboard to view how many transactions you’ve made.

3. Conversion rate

As an eCommerce business, you’ve likely got one main goal: Turn everyone visiting your website into a paying customer. That’s why you’ll need to track conversions--a metric which tells you the percentage of website visitors that made a purchase.

Calculate your conversion rate using this formula:

(Number of customers / website visitors) x 100 = conversion rate

The average conversion rate for an eCommerce landing page is 2.35%, but you’ll want this figure to be as high as possible across all URLs on your site.

Bonus tip: Don’t just calculate overall conversion rates--take a look at the conversion rate by channel. For example: Do 5% of visitors from organic search convert, versus 1.3% from Facebook Ads? Use this data when planning your marketing and advertising strategies to maximise results.

Ecommerce Metrics Related to Sales

...Do you know how well your sales department is performing?

...How many of the customers who’re visiting your site are returning, and purchasing again?

...Are a large percentage of shoppers adding products to their online basked, only to exit their browser and abandon their purchase?

Analyze these seven eCommerce metrics to find the answer to each common eCommerce sales question--and get more customers:

4. Average order value

A customer has added a product to their cart, but you want them to spend more cash, right?

You can do this by evaluating the average order value (AOV) of your customers--a figure that tells you how much people spend, on average, per transaction when buying from your site.

AOV is calculated by:

Total revenue / number of transactions = AOV

If you see your AOV is low, try to think of techniques you can use to increase the amount shoppers spend on your website--such as upselling or cross selling.

5. Customer lifetime value (CLV)

Customer lifetime value, or CLV, calculates the amount of revenue you can expect to make from a single customer account. It’s essentially the total amount of dollars they’re likely to spend on your eCommerce store.

To calculate CLV, figure out how many times a shopper usually visits your site. Then:

(Order frequency x AOV) x customer lifespan = CLV

For example: If your average customer spends $30 per order, and orders every month for 4 years, your calculation would be: 30 x 12 x 4 = 1,440

Your CLV would be $1,440--and this is the amount of revenue you’re likely to generate, per customer.

6.Customer retention

When you get a new customer, you want to keep them, right?

Especially when increasing customer retention by just 5% can help to increase profits by up to 95%.

Keeping track of the amount of customers you’re retaining (through calculating your customer retention rate) is a great way to determine how well you’re performing, and identify what could be causing customers to leave--so you can fix it.

Here’s a tool you can use to calculate customer retention rate:

If you see a large volume of customers are returning, great job!

If they aren’t, ask your customers for feedback. Your customer retention rate might be low because you’re selling a one-time product, but always ask your customers why they’re not repeatedly purchasing to see if there’s a problem you can fix.

7. Lead score

Lead scoring is a process used in sales to identify the quality of a potential customer.

It works by applying values to potential customers based on their shopping behaviour and interest in your products, to determine their likelihood of buying.

You can use this to target the right demographics and reach your ideal customer.

For example: Leads with a high score should be prioritized, whereas leads with a low score aren’t--and likely not worth your sales department following-up with.

Determine yours using Marketo’s worksheet, and let your sales team become more efficient with their time!

8. Cart abandonment rate

Do you know how many people add products to their online shopping cart, but fail to follow-through with their purchase?

Monitoring cart abandonment rates in your analytics account or order management platform helps to show the percentage of users who add products to their basket with the intention of buying, but don’t complete the purchase.

A high abandonment rate can signal problem with your checkout process, or perhaps show that people are put off by delivery costs.

So, it’s important to work on--particularly when almost 70% of online carts are abandoned.

9. Net promoter score (NPS)

Net Promoter Score, or NPS, is an index that gives an indication into how likely a customer is to recommend a company’s products. It’s an especially useful eCommerce metric for teams to learn more about customer satisfaction.

NPS is scored on a scale of 0-10, with respondents segmented into three groups:

  • Detractors: Who score the company between 0 and 6, and are unlikely to recommend

  • Passives: Who score between 7 and 8

  • Promoters: Who score 9 or 10, and are classed as loyal, satisfied customers

Source: https://www.medallia.com/net-promoter-score/

Marketing and Advertising Ecommerce Metrics

Do you rely on advertising to raise brand awareness, drive more traffic, and generate more sales on your eCommerce website?

Here are 18 crucial metrics your marketing and advertising departments need to monitor:

10. Revenue by channel

By using Google Analytics, you can identify which channels bring the most revenue to your eCommerce business.

Head over to Acquisition > All Traffic > Channels to find this data:

Source: https://www.annielytics.com/blog/analytics/multi-channel-funnels-acquisition-reports-dont-get-along/

Why not use this report to improve your marketing campaigns?

For example: If you see that organic search is driving more sales than Display ads, it might be worth re-assigning more budget to SEO since it’s generating the most revenue.

11. Pages per session

In Google Analytics, you’ll have probably seen a pages per session metric.

This shows the average number of pages a user visits on your site during their session.

For example: If Customer A Visits two pages on your website but Customer B browses 11, your average pages per session metric would be 6.5.

Measuring pages per session helps to show how engaging your site is, and whether users find it easy to move through your buying funnel or navigate to different pages.

12. Bounce rate

Bounce rate refers to the percentage of visitors to your site who don’t interact with it further (by visiting another page) during their visit.

Shown in Google Analytics, a high bounce rate shows that people are only visiting one page before exiting, and it can be an indicator that your content isn’t engaging, or your products are not relevant to the traffic landing on your site.

Along with using bounce rate to measure engagement on a page-by-page basis, you’ll need to work on reducing your bounce rate to lift organic rankings--especially as it’s the 4th biggest organic ranking factor, according to SEMrush:

13. Average time on page

Another metric you’ll see in your Google Analytics account is average time on page.

This shows you how long people spend on each page of your website, on average, during their visit.

Find yours by heading to Behavior > Site Content > All Pages:

The time people spend on your site is also thought to be a leading Google ranking factor.

A high average session duration can also indicate that your site is engaging to your audience, too--hence why you’ll need to work on improving this eCommerce metric to make more sales!

14. New vs. returning users

The new vs. returning users metric in your analytics dashboards shows you the ratio of visitors that are new to your site, compared to those that are new.

And, when segmented by channel, the number of new vs. returning users to your eCommerce website can help show where your most loyal customers are coming from--along with which channels are driving new visitors to your website.

Remember what we said about the value of repeat customers?

You’ll need to get shoppers to return to your website if they’re to make another purchase!

15. Unique pageviews

While pageviews shows you the total number of pages visited on your site, unique pageviews shows you the aggregated pages viewed by a user in a single session.

For example: If a shopper views the same 3 times, it’ll count as one unique pageview.

Unique pageview metrics can be used to see which URLs have been visited by the most people, rather pages viewed the most (potentially by the same person), giving you a clearer view of which pages need to be perfected or re-optimized.

16. Impressions

An impression is when an advert is seen by a user, and gives advertisers a good indication of how many people are being exposed to your campaigns.

This metric should be tracked by both advertisers and marketers, especially if you’re working on:

  • SEO: How many people are viewing your website in a search engine results page? Find this in Google Search Console to get an accurate understanding of your organic visibility.

  • Advertising campaigns: How many people are you paying to expose your brand to, through Facebook, Reddit, LinkedIn or Twitter advertising?

Source: https://sproutsocial.com/insights/reach-vs-impressions/

Remember: Adverts don’t have to be clicked-on to count as an impression.

It’s simply the volume of people who’ve had your eCommerce website appear on their page.

17. Cost per click (CPC)

Perhaps one of the most important metrics for eCommerce marketers, CPC is a monetary value that reflects how much you spend every time a user clicks your ad.

It’s calculated using this equation:

Total ad spend / number of clicks = CPC

We all want to drive more clicks at a lower price, and improve your profit margin, right?

That’s possible by constantly monitoring your CPC, and split-testing elements of your advertisements to generate more clicks at a cheaper cost.

Source: https://www.wordstream.com/blog/ws/2016/12/14/why-use-twitter-ads

18. Cost per 1,000 impressions (CPM)

For some ad campaigns, visibility is more important than conversions--especially if you’re an   eCommerce business targeting people at the start of the marketing funnel.

These people aren’t ready to purchase yet, but finding the cost to reach 1,000 people allows you to understand how much money you’re spending to advertise to them.

CPM is calculated by:

(Cost / impressions) x 1,000 = CPM

Some advertising platforms (like Google Ads or Facebook) allow you to pay on a CPM basis, too, which is helpful during awareness campaigns.

19. Click through rate (CTR)

Average click through rate is the percentage of people who click your ad or search engine result to land on your site. It’s calculated by:

Number of clicks / number of impressions = CTR

For example: An ad with 1,000 impressions, that generates 50 clicks, has an average click through rate of 5%.

You should check the CTR of these campaigns:

  • Social media ads

  • Email campaigns

  • External links from guest posts

You want to make sure the people you’re targeting are actually visiting your website, right?

The only way to measure that is by keeping an eye on your CTR.

20. Cost per acquisition (CPA)

CPA is a figure that tells you how much it costs to acquire a new customer.

Most ad reporting software will provide a CPA figure. But if you want to calculate it yourself, use this formula:

Cost of your ad campaign / number of conversions it drove = CPA

For example: If you spent $100 on advertising and 20 people converted, your CPA would be $5.

(In other words, it cost you $5 for each of the customers that converted.)

21. Search impression share

Another metric highlighted in the Google Ads platform is search impression share.

This shows you the percentage of impressions your paid search ads received, from the impressions you were eligible to receive.

It can be used to identify where more budget is needed, or where competitors may be stealing a march on your activity by outbidding you.

You can see your search impression share within the Google Ads platform under “competitive metrics”.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pKAVPvGUGmU

22. Display impression share

Display impression share is the same (and is calculated in the same way) as search impression share, but refers instead to ad campaigns served using the Display Network.

These are the ads that appear on other websites, rather than the paid listings you see on the search engine results pages.

23. Quality score

If you’re using Google Ads campaigns, keep an eye on your Quality Score--a metric that shows the overall quality of your advertising campaigns.

It’s calculated by an algorithm taking into account your click through rate (CTR), and the quality and relevance of landing pages, keywords and ad copy:

Source: https://www.wordstream.com/quality-score

The better your quality score, the more likely you are to rank better in the Google Ads auction (meaning higher ad positions).

You’re also likely to see lower advertising costs, so it’s important to report on quality score and try to improve it.

24. Return on ad spend (ROAS)

If you spend on paid media campaigns for your eCommerce site, ROAS is a useful metric to report on.

It calculates the amount of money you make for every dollar you spend on advertising.

25. Video view rate

If you use video as part of your eCommerce marketing strategy, video view rate is an interesting metric to monitor.

This is a percentage figure that tells you how much of your video is viewed, and can be found within Google Ad and YouTube dashboards.

For example: If people typically watch only the first 15 seconds of a 30 second clip, your video view rate would be 50%.

Video view rate is a helpful eCommerce metric that shows how engaged your audience are with your video content, which can be used to improve your video content, in future.

26. Email open rate

Email is still the most effective marketing channel in terms of return on investment:

Image source: https://www.campaignmonitor.com/resources/guides/email-marketing-new-rules/

That’s why over 59% of B2B marketers say email is their most effective channel in terms of revenue generation.

But if nobody opens your emails, it’s pointless--which is why you’ll need to track your email open rate.

This shows you the percentage of people receiving your email that actually open it. Whether you use Campaign Monitor, MailChimp, AWeber, or any other email marketing platform, you should be able to see your open rate within your campaign dashboards.

27. Unsubscribes

Another key email marketing metric to monitor is unsubscribes.

This is fairly self-explanatory; it’s the number of people who unsubscribe from your email list when you send a campaign.

If people are unsubscribing in droves, it might signal an issue with the frequency of your emails, or perhaps the quality of the content. Try to figure out why, and see if you can find a solution to stop people opting-out from your email campaigns.

Final thoughts

Reporting is essential for any eCommerce business. Without it, you’ll never know how you’re performing--nor predict for the future.

Remember to check these eCommerce metrics periodically, collect the metrics from reputable and trustworthy sources, and use the data you’ve collected to find ways to improve your sales or marketing campaigns.

Everything’s easier when you know what you’re working with!

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