When optimizing your website to increase conversions, establishing ways to assess the effectiveness of your efforts is just as important as putting optimization strategies in place. In a brick and mortar storefront, it is easy to gauge whether or not marketing strategies are working because you can physically count customers and observe their interaction with your store. Effective planning for ecommerce optimization requires both forward thinking and reverse thinking in order to keep your efforts worthwhile and manageable. No optimization strategy is guaranteed, so not knowing what to look for and which metrics to pay attention to when gauging your site’s success could mean wasted time and lost revenue – both of which are invaluable in the ecommerce world. To keep your efforts pointed and potent, consider keeping your eye on these 7 statistics when measuring the success of your ecommerce website.
Bottom Line Net Profit – It can be easy to think that an increase of sales and revenue is the ultimate measurement of success in business but this number can be deceiving if you don’t look at the whole picture. Instead of just relying on revenue counts, look at profit margins to gauge success. Sometimes increasing ecommerce efforts means an increase of expenses for payroll, cost of goods, outside contracting and tools for managing higher traffic and conversion volume. To attain your bottom line, make sure you are subtracting any extra expenses from your revenue to get a truer picture of your ecommerce profits.
Conversion Rate of Visitors – All websites are created with an intention, whether it is sales, lead generation or communication. However, if your site is not constructed in a way that encourages or allows visitors to complete the desired actions, then you aren’t gaining anything from having the site. To calculate your conversion rate, divide the number of visitors who performed your desired action by the total amount of visitors. If your rate is below 4%, chances are there are many different strategies that you could implement to turn visitors into customers.
Engagement of Email Subscribers – Email campaigns are great for bringing back former customers and targeting new ones with special promotions and sales. It is easy to think that your email marketing is successful when your list has thousands of email addresses, but you may be wasting your time if a majority of those leads are now stale. Use simple email campaign tracking tools to see how many leads open your email and then how many actually convert from email click-throughs. These metrics can be an indication of how effective your marketing and outreach strategies have been. You can also look at lead-list growth to gauge how well you are reaching new audience members and opt-in participants.
Cart Abandonment Rate – Trillions of dollars worth of merchandise is abandoned in shopping carts online every year. You might be getting customers to your site and engaged in pursuing your product, but if they aren’t completing the transaction then you need to do a little more work to convince them to click that last button. Don’t let the fish get away – make your checkout process simple with as few clicks as possible and make all relevant information such as pricing, shipping, delivery estimates and contact information clear and highly visible. Abandoned shopping carts also make great targets for remarketing campaigns. Send emails and friendly reminders to those that bounce out before check out to create a conversion.
Visitor Traffic – This seems like a “duh” statistic to measure when dealing with a website, but understanding your visitor statistics and the story behind those numbers can help you make better decisions when it comes to maintaining your ecommerce site. Where is your traffic coming from? If your PPC ads aren’t bringing in visitors, you might need to revisit your keywords and do some more research. If social media pages are driving in traffic then work on ways to capitalize on it even more. How long are your visitors on your site? If you find yourself with high bounce rates your site either turns off your visitors or they think they are at the wrong place when your page loads up. If you notice a trend of visitors bouncing out on a particular page then something about that page’s structure needs fixed. Pay attention to unique visitor numbers as this tells you who is a returning visitor versus new visitors with new lead potential. This metric also takes into account your shoppers who like to research a product and the market before making a purchase. If you find yourself with stagnant traffic over an extended period of time, view it as an opportunity to begin new marketing campaigns or to revisit your SEO strategies.
Average Value Per Transaction – Having a lot of transactions is fantastic for revenue numbers and conversion rates – but if all of those transactions are low value products then your net profit could suffer. Pay attention to both the number of items your average customer purchases and the average value of their cart. If your customers are “one and done” buyers, consider building in some cross-selling strategies such as product suggestions based on their selected items. If your best-selling products have low margins for profit, consider price testing to see if you can get that bottom line a little higher on products that you know sell well. Another simple way to boost average transaction value is to offer free shipping at certain price points to incentivize your customers to add more product to their carts.
Mobile Users – Everyone knows by now that more and more users access the web through mobile devices and tablets. It cannot be stressed enough how important it is to have a mobile version of your site separate from your desktop version – trying to load your basic site onto a device is frustrating with long load times and clunky navigation. Use your mobile user data to guide the design and navigation of your mobile site. If you have a lot of customers attempting to complete actions through a mobile device you might want to consider building a stand-alone application for your site to make transactions quicker and easier for your customers.