5 E-commerce Metrics Your Business Should be Working With

May 16, 2019
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Metrics, and the data that fuels them, are a vital tool for e-commerce businesses and their on-going decision-making processes. These days, there are simply so many metrics easily within reach that it may be hard to wade through them all to find the most prudent ones to focus on.

To that end, we've put together a list of 5 metrics that we believe will give businesses the most bang for the buck.

CUSTOMER ACQUISITION COST

If you’re investing money into acquiring customers, it's essential to know how effective your marketing is performing. That’s where your CAC, or Customer Acquisition Cost, comes into play. This metric gives you a snapshot of how much it's costing you to get someone to purchase from you.

Customer Acquisition Cost = Marketing Expenses / Number of Customers Acquired

Usually this is done for a certain time period, so if, for example, in a recent three month span you spent $3000 on marketing and acquired 3,000 new customers that means your CAC was $1 per customer.

Of course, you can and should break your results down per each respective channel or audience and see which of those have the highest CAC values, refocusing your efforts to better meet the needs of those higher performing channels and/or customers.

Next Steps

With CAC, you’ll know how much it costs to acquire a particular customer, but that doesn’t tell you the whole picture. Customer Lifetime Value, or CLV, takes into their cost, but also how much money is generated by that customer, giving you a more accurate idea of their “worth” to you and your business.

CONVERSION RATE

There are few metrics more versatile and more widely-used than Conversion Rates. Put simply, these metrics measure how many of your customers are doing what you want them to whether that’s clicking through an email to make a purchase or signing up for your newsletters.

The most important conversion rate, your Sales or Customer Conversion rate, is the percentage of visitors who make a purchase. In general, a rate around 3-5% is what you should be aiming for.

Sales Conversion Rate = Number of Sales / Number of Visits

Optimizing your sales conversion rate is no easy task though, requiring a multi-faceted approach to analyzing and optimizing your customer experience. With that said, checkout page optimization is a good step in the right direction or get to work on improving your product landing pages.

Next Steps

There are countless books, articles, etc. about the topic of getting your shoppers to do this or to do that. Start somewhere, analyze it at a micro level, and do your best to optimize that particular aspect and then rinse and repeat. Throughout it all, always think from the perspective of the customer and take into account their needs, desires, and tendencies. That begs the question, have you prepared your Customer Journey map yet?

AVERAGE ORDER VALUE

Your visitors may be converting into customers at a good rate, but are those customers actually purchasing as much as you would like or need them to? This is where knowing your Average Order Value, or AOV, is important. It gives you an estimate of how much a given customer spends each time they shop.

Average Order Value = Total Sales / Number of Orders

For example, if a given customer purchased $400 over 4 orders, their AOV would be $100.

Working with AOV is so important simply because it's more impactful and cost-effective to optimize for interested shoppers and current customers than trying to pour more money into acquiring new visitors that only convert 1-5% of the time.

Next Steps

Knowing this, how can you improve this metric? There are a number of strategies, including utilizing Samba’s automated personalized emails, but some quick and easy things you can try are upselling them on premium options or services; offer them bundles that include additional products at an overall cheaper cost; or offer free shipping if they spend a certain amount.

ABANDONED CART

The amount of people who abandon their cart without completing their order is absolutely staggering. Shopify found that 7 out of 10 customers who put goods into a cart will not complete their order, so if you’re ahead of that curve you’re probably doing something right.

Abandoned Cart Rate = [1 – (Number of Orders Completed / Number of Shopping Carts Created)] * 100

In general, this metric is a good gauge of how well your checkout process is working, including how optimized your checkout page is; whether or not any hidden/shipping costs are scaring people away; or if you instill a sense of trust and security in your customers.

It's critical to keep the checkout process as simple and transparent as possible, including showing transaction progress by clearly visualizing/communicating every stage in the checkout process, adding multiple payment options, and offering guest checkout.

Next Steps

Yeah, a lot of people are going to abandon their carts, it’s unavoidable, but did you know that a huge chunk of those lost sales, over 30%, are recoverable? That represents a huge opportunity for you to capitalize on. We don’t want to toot our own horn but Samba offers users a simple, yet effective means of doing this with our Abandoned Cart Genius Agent. With it, once a cart is abandoned Samba will automatically generate and send an optimized and personalized email complete with the abandoned items and other recommended products.

EMAIL OPT-INS

You may be curious why we chose Email Opt-ins out of all the other metrics to round out our list of 5. Well as a company that specializes in marketing and optimizing the efficacy of such efforts, we’ve seen first-hand how potent email marketing can be.

But don’t just take our word for it, a study by McKinsey & Company found that email marketing generates a buying process that is up to 3 times faster than social media and is, in general, 40 times more effective than social media. If that wasn’t enough, a different study has found a massive 4000% ROI when it comes to email marketing.

Email Opt-in = (Total Number of Subscribers / Total Number of Visitors) * 100

That means, you need to know how many of your visitors are actually converting to subscribers. While the number alone can't tell you much at first, it's important to track once you start getting to work on actively reaching out to your shoppers and asking for their emails.

Next Steps

The most effective means of boosting your email database is by utilizing welcome pop-ups or a squeeze page, which is a "landing page" of sorts that's designed to "squeeze" email addresses our of visitors. Either way, try optimizing it by integrating a lightbox design, if possible, incentivize sign-up with a coupon or offer, and make sure you approach them as soon as they reach your e-shop to fully capitalize on their shopping interest.

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