Key Metrics To Track In An eCommerce Business

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Last year in our post — 5 Digital Marketing Trends to be Left Out in 2017– we said “Marketing without tracking your metrics will stunt your business progress.”

As a content creator or eCommerce business owner, what metrics exactly should you track?

Glad you asked.

Following Dave McClure’s startup metrics model, the important things to track have been outlined below.

Acquisition

Here it’s all about traffic. Traffic by itself is not a clear indicator of your website’s performance. However, a lot of information can be retrieved from this data.

There are several analytical tools, but we at ShoutOUT Labs use google analytics because almost all the features are free.

If you’re a startup company, this is your golden tool for analytics.

All websites do share a common primary goal and that is to increase traffic.

Tracking this helps you discover the channels from which your customers access your webpages. For example, if the majority of your customers access your website from Facebook then you know your audience is there and you need to be advertising there more.

You can go further with this information to identify the streams from which users actually complete certain goals on your website. So, if a lower percentage of visitors from paid advertisements sign up for your product compared to users from other channels, you know you have to reduce your paid advertisements or change your current method.

Lastly, tracking this metric helps you to accurately calculate your Cost per Acquisition, that is, how much it takes you to acquire each customer.

Activation

Here’s what you want to track.

The most visited page. With this you can put the most important information and call to action buttons on the most visited page.

The page which converts users better — the page where a user goes from being a visitor to a paid customer- from this you can find out the channels/streams that produced the converted users. This information can be used to reposition the pages on your website, for example, reducing the step counts to get to the highest converting page.

The activity of user-in-app action (Pertaining to SAAS businesses). Google analytics is an awesome tool if you manipulate it correctly. It is very possible to track how your customers interact with your application.
So using GA, we can track if a user that signed-up attempted to make a campaign. We can detail it further to which type of campaign and see if the user followed through till the end. All these can be done with event trackers and creating User IDs.

Churn rate — this is essentially identifying the page most visitors exit your website at. Once you identify this page, go in further with some heat maps and user on screen recording features. Okay, we are getting real creepy here (: These aren’t on GA but there are other tools such as hotjar which provide it.

If you create content then the overall time spent on your website is important to be tracked because it determines whether or not your users are enjoying your content.

All these go together because it is important to know how your users actually feel about your content or product through their behaviour on your site.

Retention

Is you product valuable?

Customer retention is just as important as customer acquisition. Google analytics presents a dashboard option to view the returning customers together with new users.

Using this feature you can go further to check the channels through which your potential and loyal customers gather from — social media, direct, paid ad etc. This tells you the channel your potential users lie.

Revenue

This pertains to e-commerce businesses, if your business is profit-oriented with a running business scheme, it is expedient to track the sales or subscriptions and their renewals.

If your business runs on a subscription base then subscription purchase along with the consequent renewals ought to be tracked.

If your business does otherwise then all you have to do is add event trackers to purchase buttons and track each sale.

Referrals

Are your users sharing your content? Are they telling others about your product?

Well don’t just assume, track it.

Using google analytics, you’re able to place event trackers. All you have to do is simply add the event trackers to the sharing buttons and make goals using that event. So, each time it is clicked it is counted as a goal completion.

This would essentially count the amount of times each link was shared.

In addition to this, you can generate link trackers on google analytics where it adds a tracking code to your provided link. All you would have to do is set your social media share buttons to post the link.

This tracks the amount of visitors gained through referrals .

Conclusion

According to the Dave McClure’s startup metrics model all of the what’s mentioned above — Acquisition, Activation, Retention, Return and Referral — needs to be tracked. Best of all, you can do it using google analytics, for free.

DISCLAIMER: this article isn’t an in depth tutorial on how you can track these metrics, rather it is focused on the metrics to track along with the benefits of doing so.
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