Running an E-commerce website or online store is an increasingly popular choice for new entrepreneurs. It normally has a fairly low start-up cost. There are many services and platforms out there that aim to help people set up and start their online store.
However, just because there is a lower barrier to entry doesn’t mean running an online store is easy. Failure is definitely possible. Thankfully, there are a few metrics that you can track and analyze within your e-commerce website that can give you an inside look on the health and viability of your business.
This is a very simple metric but is quite important. It basically tracks how many people visit your website. It might take you a while to grow your traffic numbers, especially early on, but clever marketing, SEO and knowing your target market are all things that can help.
While this is not a very robust metric, it can give you a quick snapshot of how many people are at least interested in your site. It can also help you see if your site is growing in popularity, staying stagnant or even declining. This way you will always know how your store is trending. You will be able to respond appropriately.
In addition to simply tracking your traffic the standard way, you can also try tracking pixel-based logs. This is a great way to track the views on a certain page. It can be done by simply attaching a pixel or gif onto your webpage.
Simply put, the conversion rate is the percentage of your visitors that actually make a purchase on your site. This is one of the most important metrics as you should be trying to convert each and every visitor into a paying customer.
The average conversion rate for most e-commerce platforms is usually around 1-5%. While most analytics tools will tell you the rate, all you need to do is divide the number of paying customers from the number of total visitors. Ways to improve conversion rates are things like good marketing, having clear product photos and great sales copy.
Customer Acquisition Cost
Getting a new customer often doesn’t happen for free. Whether you spend on advertising or put a lot of time into creating great marketing content, there is a cost attached to getting each customer. Naturally, this is called your customer acquisition cost. In order to make money, this acquisition cost needs to be lower than the lifetime value of your customer.
While your customer acquisition cost will likely be decently high early on in your business, don’t worry, as there are ways you can lower it. Methods include optimizing paid ads, utilizing cheaper marketing methods like email or social media or using a referral program.
Revenue by Traffic Source
Not all traffic is created equally. There are a variety of different sources that your traffic can come from. It can come from organic search, referrals, direct visits, and social traffic. You should be able to clearly see where most people are coming from and how they are finding you.
While knowing where most of your traffic is coming from is great, perhaps it is more important to know how much revenue is coming from each traffic source. If you are getting a ton of revenue from referrals, but not very much from your social traffic, it might make sense to focus more on referrals than worrying about social traffic, as it is less profitable.
These are all metrics that every E-commerce site and store should be keeping track of to grow and improve their business. While these are not the only metrics you can track, they are among the most important.