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Unique visitors, Facebook shares, on-site searches, top referring sites, top entry pages — there are literally dozens of metrics available to help you track the health and performance of your e-commerce store. And while you don’t need expensive software or a degree in statistics to understand what they mean, with all the data available it’s tough to know what to keep track of and how it figures into the big picture of your ecommerce business’s success.
Whether 2016 was your first year selling online or you’re a seasoned e-commerce veteran, there are seven metrics that can quickly help you get a clear picture of where you’ve been and help inform where you’re going. In the madness of the holiday season it’s tough to focus on what’s just around the corner, but covering these seven basics can help position you for success in 2017.
1. Gross Margin: Simply stated, revenue is your bottom line or the amount of money your store has taken in over a period of time. But after the bills are paid, how much is left in your coffers? Keeping an eye on your gross margin, or the difference between your revenue and the cost of goods sold, is important as you look to reinvest profits for growth in the new year.
2. Conversion Rate: Another basic building block of measuring your online business, conversion is the number of visitors converted into buyers. Remember that conversion isn’t limited to your top-line website traffic. Evaluate conversion for your different advertising sources, email campaigns and promotions to understand what was most effective in driving sales so you can plan accordingly.
3. Subscriber Growth Rate: Many merchants use email marketing to spread news about specials, new products or just to share updates. But if you’re emailing offers to a stale list of contacts, your messages is falling on deaf ears. If you’re not seeing growth in your subscriber list, explore ways to expand your audience via outlets like Pinterest, multimedia, targeted keywords or in-person events.
4. Value Per Visit: An unsung hero among metrics, this data point helps you understand the value of each and every visitor to your website. Calculate value per visit by dividing the revenue of your site by the number of visitors over a given period of time. Value per visit is especially helpful in guiding decisions around advertising and in calculating the return on your marketing investment.
5. Average Order Size: You know what the value of a visitor is, but what about the value of an average sale? Divide the revenue by the number of transactions and you’ll understand how much each customer delivers to the bottom line. Looking to boost your average order size? Consider offering free shipping at a certain dollar amount or volume discounts.
6. Cart Abandonment Rate: Know your average order value? Know how many people came to your site and ordered versus how many bounced without making a purchase? Then you can calculate your cart abandonment! Cart abandonment is some of the lowest hanging fruit when it comes to driving sales. And there are even tools, like those offered on Bigcommerce, that can automatically help you recapture those customers.
7. Percentage of Mobile Visits: If your website isn’t optimized for mobile or if you’re not tracking traffic from your mobile site, you’re in trouble. Mobile growth continues to explode. In fact, Marketing Land reports mobile sales shot up 50 percent over the holidays. Understanding the volume of visits — and sales — coming from this emerging channel will help ensure you’re keeping a step ahead of the curve in the year ahead.
By keeping an eye on the metrics that matter, and including them in your annual business review, you’ll get key insights into what’s working and clear insights into any opportunities for improvement.
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