Ecommerce businesses thrive on data. If you want to grow your ecommerce business, it's essential that you know how well your current marketing and sales efforts are working. That's where ecommerce KPIs and metrics come in. These insightful numbers paint a vivid picture of your store's triumphs and challenges, empowering you to fine-tune your approach. By tracking key ecommerce metrics and KPIs, you’ll cultivate a thriving business, enhance customer experiences, and propel growth.
However, with an abundance of data available, identifying the ideal starting point to measure your ecommerce growth can seem a bit like a treasure hunt. Think of this article as your guide. Let's take a look at some of the most important KPIs for ecommerce stores.
Before we get into the metrics you might want to track, though, it’s important to understand what metrics and KPIs are in the first place.
What is a metric in ecommerce?
Ecommerce metrics are quantifiable measurements that allow you to better understand your store's performance, efficiency, and overall growth. From website traffic and conversion rates to customer engagement and revenue generation, monitoring and evaluating these metrics helps you make informed decisions to optimize your strategies and improve your online presence.
Some common ecommerce metrics to track include:
What is a KPI in ecommerce?
Key performance indicators (KPIs) are specific, measurable, and actionable KPIs that help online stores cut through the vast amounts of data so they can focus on the most crucial aspects of your journey. Some common ecommerce KPIs include:
Average order value (AOV).
Customer lifetime value (CLV).
Cart abandonment rate.
Choosing the right KPIs for your ecommerce business depends on your company's goals, industry, and target audience. By focusing on relevant KPIs, you can better understand your performance and make informed decisions to drive growth and success.
What’s the difference between metrics and KPIs?
We’re going to let you in on a little secret: All KPIs are metrics, but not all metrics are KPIs. Differentiating between the two is vital to understanding their purpose and application within a business context.
Metrics are quantitative measurements that provide insights into various aspects of your business's performance. They’re used to track, analyze, and assess specific business activities or processes.
KPIs, on the other hand, are a subset of metrics specifically chosen to align with a business's strategic objectives and goals. KPIs are actionable, measurable, and directly tied to your company's success.
Ecommerce funnel metrics
An ecommerce funnel is a helpful framework that outlines the customer journey in an online store. It takes potential buyers through various stages, from initial awareness to the final purchase, and can include touchpoints like account signups, downloading a product guide, or even live chat support. The goal is to guide customers smoothly while they discover products, weigh their options, make decisions, and convert into happy paying customers.
Ecommerce funnel metrics, then, are like a magnifying glass that uncovers the secrets of your customer journey. By analyzing these metrics, you'll discover bottlenecks, drop-off points, and opportunities for improvement. This will help you optimize each stage of the funnel, leading to higher conversion rates and a boost in revenue.
In the next few sections, we’ll share key ecommerce metrics and KPIs to track throughout your ecommerce funnel.
Ecommerce engagement metrics
Ecommerce engagement metrics are a collection of measurements that help you assess the performance and success of your online store. These metrics encompass various aspects of consumer behavior, such as conversion rate, average order value, cart abandonment rate, and social media engagement, to name a few.
These metrics can tell you which items or product categories are most popular, if customers are balking at your shipping rates, or which channels (email, social media, paid ads, etc.) are generating the most engagement and conversions.
Here are 11 ecommerce engagement metrics to help you uncover exactly how your customers are interacting with your business:
1. Conversion rate
Conversion rate is the portion of website visitors who successfully complete a specific desired action on your ecommerce site, such as signing up, placing an order, or clicking a link. This handy metric assists in gauging the effectiveness of your sales and marketing strategies, providing valuable insights into how well you're encouraging customers to take action.
2. Average order value (AOV)
Average order value (AOV) is a key ecommerce metric that represents the average dollar amount a customer spends when placing an order on a website or application.
AOV offers valuable insights into customer behavior, helping you make informed decisions about your marketing and pricing strategies. By working to increase your average order value, you can directly influence revenue growth.
3. Cart abandonment rate
Cart abandonment rate is the percentage of customers who add items to their shopping cart but leave your website without completing the purchase. A high cart abandonment rate can lead to lost revenue and lower conversion rates, so tracking this metric and understanding the reasons behind cart abandonment can help you boost your bottom line.
4. Bounce rate
Bounce rate is an ecommerce metric that represents the percentage of visitors who land on a digital storefront and leave without navigating to a second page. A high bounce rate may suggest that a website's content or design isn't engaging or relevant to visitors, potentially leading to missed sales opportunities.
5. Customer lifetime value (CLV)
CLV is a key ecommerce metric that represents the total revenue a business generates from a customer throughout their relationship. This metric considers all purchases made by a customer on a site, from their initial transaction to their most recent.
CLV can also be useful for evaluating customer satisfaction, loyalty, and the overall success of a brand. Tracking CLV helps you understand the long-term value of your customers and can inform your customer acquisition and retention strategies.
6. Revenue per visitor (RPV)
RPV measures the average amount of revenue generated by each visitor to a website or app. To calculate it, divide the total revenue by the number of visitors during a specific time period. For example, if your revenue from January to March is $20,000 and you attracted 5,000 visitors during that period, your RPV would be $4.
RPV is especially important for ecommerce websites, as it offers a comprehensive understanding of the value that each individual visitor contributes to your business.
7. Traffic sources
The ambiguous-sounding “traffic sources” metric shows you the various channels that drive visitors to your website, helping you understand where your audience is coming from. There are several types of traffic sources:
Analyzing these sources can help you optimize your marketing strategies and improve customer engagement.
8. Cost per acquisition (CPA)
CPA measures the total cost of acquiring a paying customer at the campaign or channel level and is essential for evaluating marketing success.
CPA differs from the cost of acquiring a customer (CAC) due to its more focused application. CPA takes into account the combined costs associated with a customer taking an action that results in a conversion, such as a sale, click, download, or install.
Understanding CPA allows you to assess the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns and make informed decisions about advertising investments.
9. Social media engagement
Social media engagement is a metric that captures the ways people interact with your ecommerce business's social media accounts and content. It encompasses a wide variety of actions across multiple social platforms, including likes, favorites, comments, direct messages, replies, shares, retweets, saves, clicks, and mentions.
The significance of social media engagement in ecommerce stems from its capacity to boost online sales, enhance brand awareness, and enable direct interactions with consumers through promotions and targeted ads. By monitoring and optimizing social media engagement, ecommerce businesses can gain insights into customer preferences, refine marketing strategies, and improve customer retention.
10. Email open rate
Email open rate represents the percentage of opened emails for a specific email marketing campaign. It’s used to evaluate the effectiveness of your email campaigns, as it helps determine how well your subject lines captured subscribers' attention and whether your emails reached the inbox or landed in the spam folder. Average open rates can vary significantly depending on the industry.
11. Email clickthrough rate (CTR)
Email CTR measures the percentage of recipients who clicked on one or more links within your email. This metric helps you determine how well your content and calls-to-action resonate with your audience.
Ecommerce retention metrics
Ecommerce retention metrics can help you understand your effectiveness in retaining customers and motivating them to make repeat purchases. Some widely used retention metrics include customer retention rate, time between purchases, and repeat purchase rate.
These metrics play a vital role in assessing the success of customer retention strategies and pinpointing areas where the customer experience can be improved.
By examining these metrics, you can fine tune your website layout, content, and marketing strategies to more effectively engage users and inspire them to make purchases. In the long run, this can contribute to heightened customer satisfaction, loyalty, and sustained revenue growth.
Here are seven of the most common ecommerce retention metrics.
12. New vs. returning customers
This metric involves comparing the number of new customers to the number of returning customers over a specific period. It helps you evaluate your customer retention endeavors and the efficacy of your marketing strategies in drawing new customers while retaining existing ones. A well-balanced mix of new and returning customers is important for achieving sustainable growth and long-term success.
13. Customer retention rate (CRR)
CRR represents the proportion of existing customers who continue to make purchases from your brand over a specified time frame. This metric can help you understand your customer retention effectiveness and the success of your customer retention strategies.
A higher CRR indicates that your business is successfully retaining customers, while a lower rate may signal a need to improve your customer retention strategies.
14. Repeat purchase rate (RPR)
RPR refers to the percentage of customers who make multiple purchases from a store. This metric plays a role in evaluating customer loyalty, retention, and revenue, making it an important KPI for ecommerce businesses. A high RPR indicates a loyal customer base.
15. Purchase frequency
Purchase frequency denotes the average number of times a customer makes a purchase within a specified time frame. It’s a measure of how often your customers are shopping with you and helps determine if your sales are coming from one-time purchases or repeat customers.
A higher purchase frequency implies more chances to deliver outstanding customer experiences, turning repeat customers into loyal ones. This metric is crucial for understanding customer behavior and satisfaction, as well as assessing the impact of promotional strategies.
16. Churn rate
Churn rate is the percentage of customers who stop doing business with a company over a specific period. It’s an important indicator of customer satisfaction and loyalty as well as the effectiveness of a business's retention strategies.
There are essentially two types of customer attrition:
Voluntary churn, which occurs when a customer actively decides to stop buying from a company.
Involuntary churn, which can result from issues like payment failures or account closures.
A high churn rate may indicate the need to reevaluate customer service, product quality, or marketing efforts to enhance customer retention.
17. Time between purchases
Time between purchases refers to the average number of days a customer takes between making two purchases, generally calculated over the previous 365 days. This metric helps you better understand customer purchasing patterns and pinpoint opportunities to promote more frequent purchases.
18. Customer referral rate
This metric shows the percentage of customers who are referred to your business by existing customers and helps you understand the effectiveness of your customer referral program and whether you need to invest more in it to increase sales.
A higher referral rate indicates that a larger proportion of purchases are coming from referrals, which can be a cost-effective marketing strategy as it relies on word-of-mouth and customer advocacy.
Ecommerce search metrics
Ecommerce search metrics are measurements that reveal how customers search your online store.
Tracking search metrics offers valuable insights into user behavior and preferences, which can be used to optimize website layout, content, and marketing strategies. By examining these metrics, your business can pinpoint areas for improvement in the customer experience, resulting in enhanced customer satisfaction, loyalty, and long-term revenue growth.
Here are three metrics that can help you understand the effectiveness of your ecommerce store’s search functionality.
19. Site search usage
Site search usage is the percentage of visitors who use your website's search function to find products or information. Tracking site search usage can help you identify areas where your website's navigation or product categorization may need improvement.
20. Search conversion rate
Search conversion rate is the percentage of visitors who make a purchase after using your website's search function. A high search conversion rate indicates that your search function is effective at helping customers find what they're looking for and driving sales.
21. Top search queries
Top search queries are the most frequently searched terms by visitors to your website. Analyzing these queries can help you understand what your customers are looking for and optimize your product offerings, website content, and marketing strategies accordingly.
Ecommerce customer experience metrics
Here’s a mindblowing customer service statistic for you: According to Bain and Company, increasing customer retention rates by just 5% can increase profits by between 25% and 95%. That’s why tracking customer experience metrics is so important to the success of your business.
Ecommerce customer experience metrics are measurements that assist businesses in assessing the quality of the online shopping experience they offer to their customers. These metrics can encompass customer satisfaction, Net Promoter Score (NPS), and even customer reviews. These metrics provide insights into how customers perceive your brand and their overall satisfaction with the shopping experience. By keeping an eye on these metrics, you can identify trends, make data-driven decisions, and implement changes that lead to increased customer satisfaction, loyalty, and long-term revenue growth.
Here are six ecommerce customer experience metrics to help you understand how customers feel about your brand and products.
22. Customer satisfaction score (CSAT)
CSAT measures how satisfied your customers are with your products and services. It's typically measured through surveys that ask customers to rate their satisfaction on a scale, and a high CSAT score indicates that your customers are happy with their experience.
23. Net promoter score (NPS)
This metric measures the likelihood of your customers recommending your products or services to others. It's calculated by subtracting the percentage of detractors (customers who rate their likelihood to recommend as 0–6) from the percentage of promoters (customers who rate their likelihood to recommend as 9–10).
24. Customer effort score (CES)
CES measures the ease with which customers can complete a specific task, such as making a purchase or contacting customer support. A low CES indicates that your customers find it easy to interact with your business, which can lead to higher satisfaction and loyalty.
25. Return rate
Return rate reflects the percentage of products returned by customers in comparison to the total products ordered within a specified time period. Tracking the return rate can provide insights into customer preferences and help your business identify potential issues with your products or services.
By managing returns effectively, you can improve customer satisfaction and reduce the negative impact of returns on your revenue.
26. Time to first purchase
Time to first purchase tells you the average number of sessions it takes for a customer to complete their initial purchase from your online store. This metric helps you understand customer behavior and determine how quickly you can convert potential customers into buyers.
By monitoring time to first purchase, you can optimize your website and marketing strategies to encourage faster conversions and enhance the overall customer experience.
27. Customer loyalty
This metric represents the positive emotional relationship between a repeat customer and your brand. It’s a measure of how likely customers are to continue purchasing from your store, interact with your company on multiple channels, and actively promote your brand to others. Customer loyalty metrics can take into account Net Promoter Score (NPS), repeat purchase rate, customer lifetime value, and others.
By measuring customer loyalty, you can better understand your customers' preferences and improve their overall customer experience, which can lead to increased revenue and long-term growth.
Research shows that 70% of a customer's journey is based on how they feel they're being treated, so connecting with your customers through regular feedback can lead to better outcomes for your ecommerce business.
Tools like Help Scout are perfect for keeping a finger on the pulse of customer satisfaction and providing the level of support they want. The platform makes it easy to:
Track support metrics: Help Scout's reporting feature is an exceptional tool for tracking customer support metrics like time to first response, customer happiness, and more.
Integrate with ecommerce platforms: Provide personalized support by integrating with your ecommerce platform. Help desk integration puts essential information like lifetime value, average order value, and recent orders in the sidebar of the conversation, giving support reps the info they need.
Conduct NPS surveys: Help Scout offers CSAT surveys and a microsurveys feature to help you collect valuable customer feedback.
Whether you choose Help Scout or another solution, make sure you find a platform that enables you to capture the customer experience metrics you need to make data-driven decisions to improve your business.
B2B ecommerce metrics
While many of the metrics mentioned already in this article apply to both B2C and B2B ecommerce businesses, there are some additional metrics that are particularly relevant for B2B companies:
28. Lead conversion rate
Lead conversion rate is the percentage of leads (potential customers) who become paying customers. This metric is important for B2B ecommerce businesses because it helps you understand the effectiveness of your sales and marketing efforts in converting leads into customers.
29. Sales cycle length
Sales cycle length is the average amount of time it takes for a lead to become a paying customer. Tracking sales cycle length can help you identify areas for improvement in your sales process and optimize your sales strategies.
30. Average contract value (ACV)
ACV is the average revenue generated by a customer over the duration of their contract with your business. Tracking ACV can help you understand the value of your B2B customers and inform your customer acquisition and retention strategies.
How ecommerce metrics and KPIs can help your business grow
Ecommerce metrics and KPIs serve a vital function in supporting your ecommerce business's growth by offering valuable insights into various aspects of your online store's performance. By monitoring and examining these metrics, you can make data-driven decisions to optimize your business strategies and enhance customer experience. Here are some ways ecommerce metrics and KPIs can contribute to business growth:
Identifying areas for improvement: Metrics can help you understand customer behavior, preferences, and pain points, allowing you to address issues and enhance the overall shopping experience.
Optimizing marketing strategies: By analyzing metrics like conversion rate, customer acquisition cost, and customer lifetime value, you can optimize your marketing campaigns to target the right audience and improve ROI.
Improving product offerings: Metrics like return rate can help you identify popular products and those that may need improvement or removal from your catalog.
Enhancing customer retention and loyalty: By monitoring customer satisfaction, retention, and loyalty metrics, you can implement strategies to keep customers engaged and encourage repeat purchases.
Monitoring financial performance: KPIs like revenue, average order value, and gross margin help you track your ecommerce store's financial health and make informed decisions on pricing, promotions, and inventory management.
Setting and tracking goals: Establishing KPIs allows you to set specific, measurable goals for your business and monitor progress, enabling you to adapt and adjust strategies as needed.
By leveraging ecommerce metrics and KPIs, you can make informed decisions that lead to increased customer satisfaction, loyalty, and long-term revenue growth.
3 most important KPIs for ecommerce
While it’s important to track a range of metrics to keep your ecommerce business thriving, there are three key ecommerce KPIs we recommend keeping a close eye on:
Conversion rate helps you understand the effectiveness of your marketing efforts and identify areas for improvement to increase sales.
Customer lifetime value helps your business allocate resources effectively, focus on customer retention, and target high-value customers for long-term growth.
Customer satisfaction provides valuable insights into how satisfied customers are with their shopping experience and helps your business identify and address areas that need improvement to enhance the overall customer experience.
Driving growth with the right ecommerce metrics
Tracking the right ecommerce performance metrics and KPIs is crucial for the success of your online store. By focusing on these metrics and key performance indicators, you can optimize your business strategies, improve customer experience, and drive growth.
Ready to take your ecommerce customer support to the next level? Sign up for a free trial of Help Scout today and discover how our powerful features can help you provide exceptional customer service and drive success in your ecommerce business.
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