No matter what you sell on an ecommerce site, your performance will always be judged by how well your site functions. Customers who have difficulty navigating your site will likely leave without making a purchase. And if your site is frequently down or slow, you will lose potential sales.
In this article, we'll go over some of the things you should keep in mind when analyzing the performance of your ecommerce site. By taking these factors into account, you can ensure that your site is running as smoothly as possible and that conversion rates are high. Let's get right into it.
The Main Factors That Affect Ecommerce Site Performance
There are a few key things you should keep in mind when assessing the performance of your ecommerce site. These include the following.
1. Make Sure Your Website Is Fully Responsive And Looks Great On All Devices
One of the most important things to keep in mind regarding ecommerce site performance is ensuring that your website is fully responsive. Your website should look great on all devices, ranging from desktop PCs to mobile phones.
If your website isn't responsive, customers will likely have difficulty navigating it, which could lead to lost sales. In addition, a non-responsive website will often look poor on smaller devices, such as smartphones and tablets.
2. Optimize Your Website For Search Engine Ranking
Whether you are creating an ecommerce website from scratch or looking to improve the performance of an existing site, it's essential to optimize your website for search engine ranking. This means ensuring that your website appears as high as possible in the results pages of major search engines, such as Google and Bing.
One way to optimize your website for search engine ranking is to use relevant keywords throughout your site's content. The right keywords will help your website appear higher in the search results for those keywords.
3. Use Effective Marketing Strategies To Draw In More Customers
There are various ways to market your ecommerce website and draw in more customers. Some effective marketing strategies include social media, email marketing, and pay-per-click advertising.
Knowing the right metrics to track (which we'll cover in the next section) will give you a good idea of whether or not your marketing efforts are paying off. If you do not see the desired results, it may be time to adjust your marketing strategy.
This can also help your ecommerce business save money, as you'll be able to quickly identify which marketing channels are working and which ones aren't.
4. Identify Ways To Improve The Customer Experience On Your Site
With various features that will enhance the ecommerce user experience, there's no excuse for having a poor customer experience on your website.
Amongst others, you can improve the customer experience by offering live chat support, providing clear and concise product descriptions, and having multiple payment options. By improving the customer experience, you can encourage more sales and repeat business from your customers.
5. Regularly Update Your Website's Content And Products
No one wants to return to a site that hasn't been updated in months (or years).
This doesn't mean that you need to add new products or create new blog posts constantly, but you should aim to keep your site fresh and up-to-date. This will encourage customers to keep coming back, and it may even help improve your search engine ranking.
If a specific holiday or event is coming up, make sure to update your website accordingly. This could involve adding new products, changing your site's design, or creating special offers.
6. Make Sure Your Website Is Secure And Compliant With All Relevant Laws And Regulations
As a site that constantly deals with financial transactions, your ecommerce website must comply with all applicable laws and regulations. This generally includes the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS), which sets out several requirements for how businesses must handle credit card data.
In addition, your website should also have an SSL certificate installed to ensure that all data is encrypted when it's transmitted. Taking these steps can help protect your customers' data and give them the peace of mind that their information is safe.
Tracking Your Website's Key Performance Metrics
Now that we've covered some ways to improve your ecommerce website's performance, let's look at how you can track its progress.
With various metrics in distinct categories that can make or break the performance of your ecommerce website, picking the ones that make the most sense for your site will go a long way toward helping you improve it.
1. Product Discovery Metrics
Let's start with product discovery metrics. These metrics will give you an idea of how well potential customers are discovering your products.
- Impressions: Knowing how many eyeballs are on your products is an excellent way to gauge interest in what you’re offering. Impressions give you an idea of how often your products are being seen, whether on your website or other platforms like social media or search engines.
- Clicks: While impressions give you an idea of how often your products are being seen, clicks tell you how often people are starting to take the right action. Clicks can be tracked on your website, in ads, or email marketing campaigns.
- Product Pageviews: This metric measures how often people view the product pages on your website. If you find that people regularly visit your product pages but are not taking any further action, it could indicate something is wrong with your product pages (e.g., the product descriptions are unclear, the images are poor quality, etc.).
- Add-To-Carts And Checkouts: This metric measures how often people add products to your website shopping carts. If you find that many people are abandoning their carts before completing a purchase, your checkout process might be too long or confusing or the shipping costs are too high.
2. Customer Retention Metrics
In addition to product discovery metrics, you should also track customer retention metrics. These metrics will show how well your customers are engaged with your website and how likely they will return. Here are the main retention metrics to consider.
- Visitor Loyalty: Visitor loyalty measures how often people are returning to your website. If people regularly come back to your site, it indicates that they're engaged with your brand and are likely to make repeat purchases.
- Repeat Customers: Repeat customers measure how often people are making multiple purchases from your website. If you find that many people make multiple purchases, they're satisfied with your products and services.
- Customer Satisfaction: Your customer satisfaction metrics indicate how happy your customers are with their purchase experience. Using your sales CRM to test (and record) customer satisfaction can be a great way to track this metric. As such, you can use surveys or customer feedback forms to collect customer satisfaction data and integrate the results with the right tools in your business.
3. Website Performance Metrics
Your site is the hub that all your marketing efforts lead to, so it's essential to ensure that it's up to par. Here are some website performance metrics to track.
- Site Speed: Site speed measures how fast your website loads. If your website is loading slowly, it could indicate that you need to optimize your site for better performance. This also affects your ecommerce SEO since Google now uses site speed as a ranking factor.
- Bounce Rate: The bounce rate measures how often people leave your website after viewing only one page. If you find that many people are bouncing from your site, it generally means that they’re not getting the answers they’re looking for when they land on your site.
4. Acquisition Metrics
Getting customers through various marketing channels costs money. Tracking your acquisition costs and returns gives you a clear idea of which channels are working and which aren't.
- Email Click-Through Rate: This measures how often people click on links in your emails. If you find that many people are opening your emails but not clicking on the links, it could indicate that your email content is not resonating with your audience. Let's consider a CBD site that sells pre-rolls through its email list. With various products being offered on sale each week, the company discovers that out of several products being advertised, only one specific product is selling. The CTR for that product's email is significantly higher than the rest of the products being offered, so they focus on advertising that product in future emails.
- Social Media Engagement: This metric measures how often people interact with your brand on social media. If you track these metrics and find that many people are following you but not engaging with your content, it generally results that your social media content is not relevant or interesting to your audience. This could lead to testing out new content strategies on social media to see what type of content gets people engaging with your brand. Engagement metrics to track include likes, comments, shares, and clicks.
5. Conversion Metrics
Finally, let's consider conversion metrics. These might be some of the most important ecommerce metrics to track because they directly relate to your bottom line.
- Revenue Per Visitor: Revenue per visitor measures how much money you make for each visitor visiting your site. If you find that you're not as much money as expected per visitor, it could indicate something is wrong with your website (e.g., the conversion rate is low, the average order value is low, etc.).
- Average Order Value (AOV): Average order value measures how much money people spend when they purchase on your site. Bundling products, offering free shipping, and running promotions are all effective strategies for increasing your AOV.
- Customer Lifetime Value (LTV): Customer lifetime value measures how much money a customer is expected to spend on your site throughout their relationship with you. Suppose your LTV is low. In that case, it could indicate that you're not doing an excellent job of retaining customers or that your marketing efforts are not effectively targeting high-value customers.
There are a lot of different ecommerce metrics that you can track, but not all of them will be relevant to your business. The key is to focus on the ones that will give you the most insight into how your business is performing and where there is room for improvement.
Finally, don't get overwhelmed by all the available data. While there is a ton of information you can consider, you don't need to track everything. By simply focusing on the key metrics most relevant to your business, you can gain a deep understanding of your ecommerce site's performance and identify areas for improvement. This will help you make data-driven decisions that will improve your bottom line over time.