Archive for Web Articles

Key Stats to Measure the Effectiveness of your eCommerce Website

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.

Calling It Time For a Website Redesign

It is hard to admit that your website is ugly or isn’t performing. Your digital baby, if you will, took hours of thought and development, you labored over color choices and photos, either paid exorbitant amounts of money to a designer or slogged your way through books and webpages to do it yourself and all of it was fairly exhaustive. The thought of starting this process over again can be daunting to anyone. However, having a website that misses the mark with visitors is not only a poor decision in regards to the aesthetic quality of your site, but also is a poor decision in terms of conversion rate opportunities and overall ROI.

Signs You Need a Website Redesign:

  • Your conversion rate has dropped
  • Sales or leads are down
  • It just doesn’t look good. You’re embarrassed to show people
  • The website isn’t mobile friendly
  • You don’t have the company “look” that matches your brand
  • Your competitors are beating you in every way
  • You’re not ranking on Google
  • The website is hard to manage and has an old CMS

Deciding to go through a redesign is no easy process. However, if your site is not showing year-over-year growth then chances are that you are long overdue for an overhaul. The goal of any ecommerce website is to convert visitors into customers and if your site design and/or structure is a barrier in that, it needs fixed. Identifying the problems that hinder your site from being conducive to conversion and visitor engagement is an important step in the right direction. Much of this can be done be just deciding what isn’t working with your site and finding strategies for making it work and work well with your audience. Below are a few reasons why a redesign should become a priority for your company’s web presence and some negative effects you could face by not taking action now. If any of these statements are true about your site, consider a redesign to recapture your audience and remain relevant in today’s vast world of the internet.

Poor user experience

If users don’t like your site – they won’t use your site. Sometimes we create things thinking that they will work great but our visitors have other opinions when sites are glitchy, broken or nonsensical to them. Not all users think like a designer so they can become lost when navigation is unclear or unspoken. Sometimes the best way to identify usability problems is to ask your visitors to identify the pain points of your site and barriers between them and completing a transaction. You can get valuable quantitative information through Analytics information by looking at bounce rates and exit points, but user surveys and targeted market research can guide you in the right direction with qualitative information. Don’t invest a large amount of money on the design your site until you have spent a large amount of time investigating your customers – what they like, what they are attracted to, and what they need to be confident in making a transaction with you. If the site usability problems are a barrier to your sales or lead generation, than a site redesign can potentially not only fix your sales deficits, but also increase the value of your company as a whole.

Your site doesn’t play well with mobile traffic

If your site does not support mobile traffic you are missing out on a huge customer potential. More and more internet users access pages through a web-enabled device and if you don’t have a site version that is optimized for that experience, chances are those visitors are going to go somewhere else that allows them to browse or buy on the go. Mobile sites require different coding and frameworks so keep that in mind when scoping your site’s redesign.

Poor branding

The only thing worse than no branding is poor branding and your site plays an integral part in that. Your website and its design should reflect the personality and nature of your company while also helping it stand out from the competition. Do the colors fit well together into a scheme and are they consistent throughout all brand and marketing materials? Are your photos clear, crisp and relevant to the information they represent? Is your logo effectively displayed? Does all of the copy and textual information flow together and present a consistent voice? Is your website fun? A website that does not support your brand will not be effective in turning visitors on to what you have to offer and will not lead to a relevant and long-lasting business.

Too much time is spent troubleshooting the technical end of your site

There is a major problem when instead of providing better customer support you spend time troubleshooting and serving as technical support. If you spend more time fixing technical aspects your site than you do optimizing it then it’s time to start looking into new hosting options, content management systems, shopping cart programs, or even the entire framework and navigation of your site. It can be exhaustive to continually have to look into error messages and field emails asking why a certain feature of your site doesn’t work as intuitively as it should. Also, if scalability was not a priority the first time you designed your site, then you might be having problems in the future with finding ways and places to put important product and company information. If your site does not have the ability to grow with content and pages then chances are that your profits and sales don’t have a favorable chance to grow either.

Google and other search engines cannot find you

If search engine robots can’t find you, real-life people cannot, either. Are your landing pages, or the gateways to your site, well designed and optimized in a way that encourages customers to click to your site and eventually convert? Does your site match the expectation of query-based searches and messages found in your paid ads? Does your page structure and navigation match your top searched keywords? Is your site SEO friendly? Keep in mind that object such as flash is not crawled Google or other search engine robots and that keeping a stream of informative and interesting content will help the most with optimizing your organic search results. Make sure your top-selling products are represented well with good photos, good information about them and helpful customer reviews.

Adding value to an already valuable asset

Site redesign is not only for those with decreasing sales and leads – even a website that brings in net profit can benefit in the long run from a well thought out redesign. Consider what your net profit could be a year down the road if you did a site redesign or if you just kept things the same. Consider the higher conversion rate your site could potentially have and the sales and/or lead generation you could influence with some design tweaks. If your growth potential outweighs the immediate costs of pulling the trigger and doing a site overhaul, chances are you’re going to be making a good business decision that will pay out in the end.