You’ve kickstarted your ecommerce business and are generating good sales.
However, with the ever-increasing competition, you need to step up your game. You need to identify ecommerce KPIs (key performance indicators) that help you track goal achievement.
It isn’t enough to just change your marketing tactics and hope they help increase your sales and revenues.
You should track the most important ecommerce KPIs of your website and see how you’re performing. Then measure these ecommerce metrics through your website analytics reports and have some benchmarks set for you to understand just how much better or worse you’re performing than before.
These ecommerce KPIs give you an idea of what you need to change to increase your revenue. The critical ones can even let you know if you’re on track or straying off it.
But before we get into the most important ecommerce KPIs, let’s take a look at a few ways in which they can increase your revenue.
- Increase Average Order Value: By increasing the average order value, you can get your customers to purchase more from you with each order.
- Reduce CPA: The cost per acquisition is the cost that you incur for getting each customer. If you can reduce this, your revenue will increase.
- Increase Conversion Rates: An increased conversion rate means that more leads are turning into conversions and therefore, driving revenue.
There could be several other ecommerce KPIs that directly or indirectly affect your revenue. It’s crucial to closely monitor them if you want to make any improvements that will fuel growth.
Let’s now look at the different types of ecommerce KPIs out there and why you need them.
Why Identify Ecommerce KPIs
Before getting into why you need to know your ecommerce KPIs, let’s define what they are.
Ecommerce KPIs are metrics or data points that communicate how well your brand performs against set goals. They help you gauge your progress.
Ecommerce KPIs, therefore, provide you with information on your customers and business so that you can make informed decisions towards goal achievement.
However, tracking these KPIs is not enough.
It’s what you do with the actionable insights derived from this data that makes a huge difference. With them, you can identify tactics not performing, solve problems that derail ecommerce success, and leverage more of the tactics that help you achieve goals.
How Can You Choose Effective Ecommerce KPIs for Your Business?
According to a recent report on direct-to-consumer ecommerce businesses, some of the key performance indicators they track include ecommerce sales, new customers, and conversion rate.
Image via Yotpo
But should you track the same?
It depends on which ones can help you see growth.
So, to determine the right ecommerce KPIs you should track, first think about your goals.
Are you looking to increase sales, drive traffic, or boost your reach?
The ecommerce KPIs you choose should gear towards your overall business performance while also supporting your business strategy.
For example, increase traffic to the ecommerce site by 10% in the next three months.
Types of Ecommerce KPIs
There are various types of ecommerce KPIs out there.
They can be broadly classified into quantitative, qualitative, predictive, or revealing. The predictive KPIs are for the future while the revealing KPIs are for the past.
They can further be divided into five different categories.
- Project Management
- Customer Service
In each of these departments, there will be multiple ecommerce key performance indicators that you can track and assess. Now that you know the different types of KPIs let’s look at the most important ecommerce KPIs for you to track.
Sales Ecommerce KPIs
Now that you know what key performance indicators you should consider and how to choose the most effective ones let’s look at the ecommerce KPIs for sales.
This is one of the simplest ecommerce KPIs in the sales department.
It helps you track the sales that take place over a certain time period and track trends to see if they’ve grown or reduced
2. Average Order Value
This is one of the ecommerce KPIs that shows you how much a typical customer spends per order on your ecommerce platform.
A higher average order value (AOV) means higher income for your online store. And according to research, the average order value for ecommerce stores across segments stands at €185.
Image via Wolfgang Digital
But how can you increase this metric?
Offer products in bundles, promote discounts or give offers at a minimum spending price.
3. Average Margin
The average margin is the average profit margin that you get on selling the products.
It’s the average of the profit margins of all your products sold over a certain time period. Reducing the actual cost of the products can help you improve this KPI, but that may be out of your control most times.
The number of transactions gives you an idea of the number of purchases made by customers.
Combining this metric with other ecommerce KPIs like average order size will give you deeper insights into your performance.
5. Conversion Rate
The conversion rate is the percentage of visitors that become customers. You can determine this by dividing the number of visitors by the total number of conversions and then multiplying the result by 100.
This is one of the most important ecommerce KPIs and can give you a clear idea of how your business is growing.
The average ecommerce conversion rate is currently at 1.89% in all segments.
Image via IRP Commerce
Compare your average conversion rate against this and see where you stand. And if you fall below industry standards, leverage conversion rate optimization tactics like adding breadcrumbs, adding internal links, strategically placing calls-to-action, etc.
6. Returning Customers vs New Customers
As one of the best ecommerce KPIs, this metric shows you how many new customers you’re getting versus how many you’re retaining. Many online businesses fail to realize the value of customer satisfaction and retention and put all of their efforts into getting new ones.
Customer retention, however, can help drive loyalty, increase order rates, and even market your brand through word of mouth. Your ecommerce strategy should therefore also include tactics that help you retain existing customers.
7. Cart Abandonment Rates
This rate shows the percentage of carts abandoned after adding products. The shopping cart abandonment rate shows you the fraction of visitors who almost became customers but didn’t make the purchase due to some reason.
In a recent study, the average shopping cart abandonment rate for ecommerce brands is 84.27%.
Image via SaleCycle
Ideally, this percentage should be as low as possible. Higher cart abandonment rates suggest that there may be some issues in your checkout process.
But what issues could these be?
- Unexpected shipping costs
- Complicated checkout process
- Slow delivery
- Website errors
Image via Baymard Institute
8. Cost of Goods Sold (COGS)
This ecommerce KPI shows you the overall cost that you’ve incurred in selling a product. It includes everything right from the manufacturing costs to employee wages.
The lower this number, the less your expenses, and it should be your goal to minimize the COGS as much as possible.
9. Revenue Per Visitor
The total revenue per visitor gives you an idea of the average spending of each visitor on your website
You can determine this by dividing your gross online sales by the total number of visitors. If this number is low, you must check out your website’s analytics and find out new measures you can take to increase it.
10. Churn Rate
The churn rate is one of the most important ecommerce KPIs. It’s the measure of how quickly your customers are moving away from your brand.
And for safety purposes, you want this rate to be as low as possible.
A high rate suggests that customers are leaving your brand for some reason. In which case, you need to find the underlying ecommerce issues and resolve them quickly.
11. Customer Acquisition Cost
The customer acquisition cost is another of the crucial ecommerce KPIs because it shows you how much you are spending to get every new customer.
But how do you determine customer acquisition costs?
You can determine the cost per acquisition by dividing the total marketing spend by the total number of new customers. This can give you the cost incurred for acquiring one customer.
Most importantly, it should be your goal to lower this customer acquisition cost as much as possible.
12. Customer Lifetime Value (CLV)
Customer lifetime value is an ecommerce KPI that helps you understand the projected revenue that an average customer would generate throughout their lifetime.
Customer lifetime value is one of the ecommerce KPIs that can help you accurately set your marketing costs and even analyze your strategy for customer acquisition.
Marketing Ecommerce KPIs
Now that you know what ecommerce KPIs you can leverage for sales, which one can you use for marketing?
1. Website Traffic
This indicator shows the total traffic that your website receives within a certain time period.
Higher traffic means more people visiting your ecommerce store, and it should be your goal to increase your website traffic consistently.
2. Time on Site
You may be getting high traffic but if it isn’t relevant, visitors may move away from your site shortly after they land on it.
It’s what makes this one of the most crucial ecommerce KPIs.
With it, you can calculate the average time a visitor spends on your website. Generally, a higher time on site means that customers are likely engaging more with your online store.
However, do keep in mind that the time spent should be high only on the blogs and landing pages.
The checkout pages should take less time.
Longer times on these pages suggest that there may be some roadblocks for the customers that need resolving.
3. Bounce Rate
Bounce rate shows you the percentage of visitors who exit your website after viewing a single page.
It’s one of the most important ecommerce KPIs, and if this number is high, you need to find out why visitors are bouncing away.
4. Average Pageviews Per Session
What makes this one of the critical ecommerce KPIs?
This number indicates the average number of pages a visitor sees on their visit to your ecommerce store. And the higher the number of page views, the higher the engagement.
However, do keep in mind that it shouldn’t take the visitors too many clicks to reach their destination. It could mean that they are having trouble finding what they need. You may want to redesign your website if that’s the case. The average for this is about three pages per session.
5. Average Session Duration
The average session duration is the average time a visitor spends on your website during a single visit. A higher number indicates that they are more engaged with your brand.
But if the opposite is true, then this is one of the ecommerce KPIs whose insights can help you change your site's architecture.
See if you can add videos showcasing the products, include reviews, or give visitors an augmented reality experience. This way, they get more engaged with your products which could also lead to increased sales.
6. Newsletter Subscribers
This KPI tells you the number of people who have subscribed to your newsletters. This is your audience for your email marketing campaigns, and a higher number indicates a greater reach.
However, it’s not enough to have a large number of newsletter subscribers. You must also look at their demographics and interests to ensure that you’re reaching your target audience.
7. Email Open Rate
You may have a high newsletter subscriber base. But f the email open rate is low, it means that your campaigns are proving to be ineffective.
And the solution?
Experiment more with your subject lines and clean up your subscribers’ list to remove irrelevant contacts. You can also come up with catchy subject lines by using tools such as CoSchedule.
Image via CoSchedule
8. Email Click-Through Rate
Your email open rate only tells half the story.
It only gives you an idea of how many subscribers opened your emails. However, to get the complete picture, you need the email click-through rate to be high as well.
This is the percentage of subscribers who actually clicked on the call-to-action in the email after opening it. These are the people who would bring traffic to your website. That’s why this is one of the most important ecommerce KPIs.
9. Chat Sessions
Does your ecommerce store have a live chat option?
Then this is one of the important ecommerce KPIs you should track.
It tells you how many visitors initiated chat sessions to get live support on your website. With the help of the best office phone systems, you can connect easily to your customers. This can help you test the effectiveness of your service.
10. Social Followers
This KPI details the number of followers or fans that you have across all social media networks.
And while it’s one of the ecommerce KPIs that doesn’t directly relate to sales and revenue, it does give you an idea of your overall brand awareness efforts. A higher fan-following also means higher customer loyalty and reach.
But how do you track it?
You can determine this by adding up the number of followers across all the social media networks where you are present.
11. Social Media Engagement
It’s not enough to have a large fan-following on social media if it consists of irrelevant audience members.
Social media engagement rate is one of the ecommerce KPIs that can give you an idea of how well your fans are interacting with your brand on social media. The higher the engagement rate, the stronger the brand loyalty.
12. Average Click-Through Rate (CTR)
The click-through rate is the percentage of users who click on a link to your website. This should ideally be tested for all your calls-to-action (CTAs) across social media, ad campaigns, etc.
A higher click-through rate indicates that the CTA is working well. However, if the rate is low, you need to work on your CTA to make it more compelling for people to click.
13. Average Position
The average position ecommerce KPI tells you about the average position of your website on search engine results pages (SERPs).
But why track it?
It helps you assess the effectiveness of your website’s SEO. Every online retailer wishes to reach that golden position of being the first search result. Your goal would be to reach the top or get as close to it as possible.
14. Number of Product Reviews and Their Quality
Product reviews work as great ecommerce KPIs for ecommerce stores.
They provide social proof and can help with website SEO as well. Authentic feedback about your products will help you gain the confidence of customers and convert them more easily.
But the quantity of reviews is not the only important thing; their quality matters too. Well-written reviews look trustworthy and are informative at the same time when compared to poorly-written ones.
15. Pay-Per-Click Traffic
If you’re running some Pay-Per-Click (PPC) campaigns, you need to test their performance as well.
And one of the ecommerce KPIs you can use?
Pay-per-click traffic. With it, you can get an idea of how effective your PPC campaign is.
For example, higher traffic from the PPC campaign means that it has performed well.
And if you notice that the traffic is low, you may want to look at your ad copy again. Alternatively, try varying the title and meta description or reconsider the keywords you’ve targeted in your PPC campaign.
16. Display Advertising CTR
You may be running some banner or display ads to drive traffic to your website, and this particular ecommerce KPI will tell you the percentage of viewers who click on it.
A high CTR indicates that your ad is performing well. However, if the CTR is low, you may want to try out a different ad copy and imagery.
17. Affiliate Performance
If you’re engaged in affiliate marketing, you may want to check the efficiency of your affiliates.
But what ecommerce KPIs can you use?
Use affiliate performance to find out which channels work the best for you. To do this, you can track the number of clicks, the return on the investment in terms of sales generated, and the conversion rate.
How to Track Your Ecommerce KPIs
Now that you know the most important ecommerce KPIs, you must also know how to track them.
And the best tool for tracking most of these KPIs?
From average sales to bounce rate, you can find every single performance metric related to your ecommerce business using this platform.
As for ecommerce KPIs related to social media, you can track them from individual social media platforms. Facebook, for instance, has great analytics that can show you how well your posts are performing.
Q1. What are KPIs for ecommerce?
A. Ecommerce KPIs are quantifiable data points or measurements you use to gauge your performance based on your goals. These quantifiable data points tell you whether, based on the strategies you use, your ecommerce business progresses towards goal achievement.
Q2. How is ecommerce performance measured?
A. Start by outlining your marketing goals and identifying ecommerce metrics that can help you reflect goal achievement. Then, break this down into steps depending on your sales funnel to see where you fall short and succeed.
Q3. What is a good ecommerce conversion rate?
A. A good conversion rate for ecommerce rages from 1 to 2%. However, your goal as an ecommerce store should be to go past the 2% mark.
Q4. What are the ecommerce business models?
A. Examples of ecommerce business models include:
- Business to Business (B2B) Ecommerce.
- Business to Consumer (B2C) ecommerce
- Consumer to Consumer (C2C) ecommerce
- Business to government (B2G) ecommerce
Q5. Why ecommerce is growing fast?
A. Some of the major drivers of the ecommerce explosion are:
- Increased mobile usage
- Ability to track consumer preferences and integrate the data to generate sales
- Accessibility and the ability to operate and sell around the clock
- Convenience online retailers and shoppers get from omnichannel opportunities
Q6. How do I optimize my ecommerce website?
A. Use the following guide:
- Identify goals and ecommerce KPIs
- Perform keyword research
- Optimize product pages and pricing
- Personalize content
- Use flash sales for urgency
- Reduce cart abandonment
- Automate email
Check out this post for more ways to improve SEO results
Q7. Is the ecommerce industry growing?
A. Yes, it is.
It’s projected that by 2022, e-retail revenues will grow to $5.4 trillion compared to $4.2 trillion in 2020.
Q8. How does ecommerce help a business grow?
A. Here is how ecommerce helps online businesses grow:
- It gives you access to more potential customers.
- It helps you make shopping convenient for customers.
- It enables you to collect data on audience preferences so that you can use insights to improve strategies.
Q9. Is it hard to start an ecommerce business?
A. No, it’s not, especially since it’s become easy to leverage ecommerce building platforms that enable you to take products online in no time.
Q10. What are the top e-commerce platforms?
A. Some of the best platforms you can leverage include:
Generating sales is not enough when it comes to ecommerce.
You need to constantly keep measuring your ecommerce KPIs and work on improving them. Optimizing your website and its ecommerce KPIs can help you grow your ecommerce business through generating quality leads, increased sales, and customer retention.
Using Google Analytics can significantly simplify your job of tracking all the KPIs since one can track the most relevant key performance indicators right there.
What is the single most important ecommerce KPI in your opinion? Let us know in the comments.