11 Important Web Analytics: Ecommerce and KPIs
by Kathleen Booth, on Feb 16, 2021 9:00:00 AM
As an online retailer, your website is your lifeblood. As the place where money is literally made, your ecommerce website needs to operate at peak performance levels. Tracking web analytics on an ecommerce site should be a weekly, if not daily, activity.
Most ecommerce businesses have a solid set of marketing KPIs they track, either manually or using an analytics tool. Cross domain tracking of things like conversion rate, net profit and average order value are essential to improving your revenue and margins.
While not as “dollars-and-cents” oriented, web performance is just as important to track. Site health and performance has a massive impact on your user experience, and by extension, your bottom line.
Some of the most important KPIs to track through your ecommerce analytics tools include:
- Website Traffic and Mobile Site Traffic
- New Visitors vs. Returning Visitors
- Time on Site
- Page Views Per Visit
- Bounce Rate
- Traffic Source
- Day Part Monitoring
- Chat Sessions
- Average Position
- Click Through Rates (CTR)
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Ecommerce Website KPIs
You should be regularly measuring these 11 KPIs on your ecommerce website to keep a pulse on its performance.
All of these metrics should be accessible through analytics tools in your content management system (CMS) or through Google Analytics. In an ideal world, you will have a dashboard that enables you to track these metrics in an automated fashion and is both easy to access and share.
There are plenty of web analytics tools that can provide things like a weekly custom reports with the ecommerce metrics that matter to you. Regularly analyzing these performance indicators will allow you to make sound business decisions and manage your website effectively.
1. Website Traffic and Mobile Site Traffic
It’s vital to know how many website visitors you have and what device they’re using. While any enhanced ecommerce platform that intends to make money will be optimized for mobile, knowing what devices people most commonly use to get to you can impact some of the decisions you make.
It's also important to know when and why traffic increases or declines.
Your marketing team should have a sharp eye to these key metrics all year, but particularly during times where you expect increased sales. Site traffic, broken down by channel, is a leading indicator for increases or decreases in sales, and can show you which channels are providing the most bang for your buck.
2. New Visitors vs. Returning Visitors
This KPI directly relates to downstream metrics like customer lifetime value and transaction value. Keep track of how many new visitors are coming to your website versus the number of repeat or returning visitors. Over time, this understanding can drastically shift your marketing efforts.
The more you can increase your returning visitor rate, the higher your revenue will ultimately be. You may even take advantage of tools (should your website platform, CMS, or marketing software have them) that allows you to tailor marketing messages to people who have been on the site before. These practices have the potential to exponentially increase engagement and conversion.
3. Time on Site
The amount of time a visitor spends on your site is one of the most important ecommerce website analytics to measure. Also referred to as average session duration, with this metric, more is better.
Low session durations can raise important questions about the fundamental interactivity/UX on your website. For example, visitors may have trouble finding the information they want or there might be an annoying popup that is disrupting the user experience and causing visitors to bounce.
The equation is simple: the more time a person spends on your website, the more likely they are to purchase or the more likely the overall value of their order will be to increase.
Start by measuring this number and looking for ways to increase it. Examples of strategies that you can test include using video to draw visitors in and increase dwell time, offering related content or product suggestions, and using a chatbot to engage visitors and help them find the information they're looking for.
Incremental changes such as these can make a big difference.
4. Page Views Per Visit
Similar to “time on site,” page views per visit illustrate how a typical site visitor navigates around your ecommerce website.
This metric is a great indicator of how successfully your site is written. Are you inviting people to go further into your site? Does your website offer engaging content that keeps people clicking or tapping around?
Page popularity is related to this overall metric, and you may also want to take stock of the pages that get the most views. Finding ways to increase the number of page views per visit results in all of the same benefits as improving time on site.
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5. Bounce Rate
Bounce rate is a measure of how many people land on your website and then immediately leave. This metric helps you to understand how well your initial message lands and how qualified the traffic coming to your website really is.
Why are people leaving? Does the number change based on where they come from? For instance, if everyone coming to your site from a social ad is bouncing off in less than a second, then that ad might not be effective and may even be misleading.
Understanding your bounce rates, and what is causing them, can help you to make small but significant changes that could have a big impact on your overall conversion rates.
6. Traffic Source
Traffic source as an ecommerce KPI that we’ve mentioned in passing in almost every one of the other categories. That is because it is crucial to understand.
Are you getting the most site visitors from paid ads, organic traffic or external sources (like social media)?
Knowing that will tell you what efforts work best. It can also help you identify unnecessary ad spend or inform decisions about leaning into channels that have the highest return.
7. Day Part Monitoring
This metric tells you the time of day when you get the highest engagement on your website. Knowing if you’ve got early birds or night owls can help your ecommerce marketing team time social posts, marketing emails, specials and more.
Subscriber stats can fall into a few categories depending on how your ecommerce website is set up.
You may have newsletter subscribers, texting subscribers or coupon-only subscribers.
It’s important to always track your subscriber growth rate and the total number of subscribers you have. If this bleeds into another platform (like your CRM/email management or texting platform), the data can be even richer.
9. Chat Sessions
Chatbots have become a mainstay of the highest performing ecommerce websites. And for good reason: they work.
Chat sessions usually start with templated text for the most commonly asked questions and, if certain questions are asked, provide access to a customer service rep.
Chat is incredibly useful as both a tool to improve engagement on the site and a method for learning the most important questions your visitors have. Knowing the most frequently asked questions will help you refine the script and enhance your overall website experience.
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10. Average Position
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the best way an ecommerce website can improve its rankings on the search engine results pages and, by extension, increase organic website traffic.
One way to measure the effectiveness of your SEO efforts is to track average position, which is defined as the average rank order in which your website page shows up in search results.
The higher you rank, the more visitors you’ll get. Especially if SEO is a big part of your traffic strategy, you need to know where you stand, what keywords you are/aren’t ranking for and have a regular plan of attack to improve the average position of your key website pages.
11. Click Through Rates (CTR)
Click through rates tell you how many people clicked on a specific button or link on a page, and can be used for a variety of different goals.
You can measure CTRs for individual buttons or links on any page of the site. CTRs can also be measured for display advertising and banners. This provides good insight into individual asset performance and can help you understand which messaging resonates the most with your audience.
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