15 ecommerce KPIs you should be tracking today
How do you quantify and measure success or progress for your ecommerce website?
You could use metrics. The list of potential ecommerce metrics ranges from your average order value to your website’s click-through rate, and well beyond.
However, metrics on their own are static measurements. They can’t tell you whether you’ve met your business goals, or hit your target benchmarks.
KPIs (key performance indicators) contextualise your scores. When you use ecommerce KPIs, you’re measuring your progress and seeing what it means in a practical sense. Ecommerce stores don’t exist in a vacuum; you need to hit your own targets and outdo the competition.
In short, KPIs are a great way to ensure your business progresses optimally. Read on to learn about the 15 most important ones, or navigate to a specific one:
- Advertisement ROI
- Star rating (from reviews)
- Social media engagement: Comments, clicks, and likes per post
- Subscription rate
- Conversion rate
- Shopping cart abandonment rate
- Cost per acquisition
- Customer lifetime value
- Repeat customer rate
- Net promoter score
- Bounce rate
- Total number of orders
- Site traffic
- Average order value
- CSAT score
When it comes to ROAS (return on ad spend), it’s less about the amount of money you’ve put into advertising and more about how effective that investment has been.
ROAS tells you how much you’ve earned for every pound or dollar you’ve spent on advertising.
Excellent ROAS tells you that your ads work effectively and bring in lots of new site visitors (and customers). It also means that allocating more money for ads will get you great return on investment (ROI).
As it turns out, very few ecommerce businesses invest heavily in ads. As of 2021, 46% of ecommerce companies are spending $1,000 or less each month on ads.
Becoming part of the higher-spending brackets means learning how to maximise your ROAS, so each penny you invest comes back to you twofold.
Star rating (from reviews)
Ecommerce stores that leave their customers with a great impression are going to be more likely to earn high star ratings, which creates a good impression on new prospective customers.
Customers might give your company as a whole a review, or they might leave ratings for individual products.
Either way, these star ratings directly impact the way your brand looks online.
By measuring this KPI, you can see how your ratings compare to your competitors’. Plus, you can address the concerns raised by customers leaving poor ratings, which helps you prove your ongoing dedication to customer satisfaction.
Social media engagement: Comments, clicks, and likes per post
It’s no secret that social media is pretty ubiquitous. The majority of all Europeans, Americans, East Asians, and Australians are regular social media users.
However, there’s more to a good social media marketing strategy than just being an influencer on Twitter. The goal should be to drive your social media engagement up and encourage interaction.
By making social media engagement one of your tracked KPIs, you can ensure you’re getting the right amount of attention from your followers.
Whether you’re trying to increase your Instagram followers or add more subscribers to your email list, subscription rate can be another important KPI to track.
Anyone who’s subscribed to your content is actively interested. They might be a promising lead, a long-time loyalist, or a new customer—either way, they asked to see more of your content.
A high subscription rate is indicative of a strong ecommerce marketing strategy. It’s also helpful in boosting interest in your products, which is why it’s important to track this KPI.
Unfortunately, not everyone who visits your ecommerce site is going to become a brand loyalist right away. You’ve got to put in the work to convert them, which is why it’s a good idea to make your conversion rate one of the KPIs you measure most regularly.
In this case, it’s particularly important to use KPIs instead of metrics. That’s because conversion rates vary drastically between industries.
A conversion rate KPI will take this into account and compare you to relevant competitors exclusively. That helps you put the number of conversions you’re getting into perspective.
Shopping cart abandonment rate
When someone visits your online store, browses your product pages, adds items to their cart, and then doesn’t complete the checkout process, that’s called cart abandonment.
Understanding your cart abandonment rate in greater depth lets you address the factors that are contributing to it. That means boosting the number of sales you make each month, since you’re increasing your total number of customers by converting more leads.
Another great way to lower your shopping cart abandonment rate is to start using a personal shopping assistant like Ve’s Digital Assistant. It’s designed to help your customers do their shopping with your online business, which means your online sales and customer experience scores go up.
Cost per acquisition
You can’t always get customers for free. Many things factor into your customer acquisition cost (CAC), including your ad spend and SEO outlay. CAC also varies per industry.
You should keep a close eye on this KPI because it’s an unavoidable business expense. That means your marketers need to know what the average amount is that they’re spending to bring in one new customer, so they can use their marketing campaigns to bring that number down.
Customer lifetime value
Customer lifetime value (CLV) is a measure of how much a customer is going to spend on your business across their entire consumer journey with you.
For some customers, that means one purchase. For others, the period of time they spend with you is going to be longer—and for some, it’ll be much longer.
Let’s look at an example. If a customer makes a purchase with you and is super impressed, they may come back every year to make another purchase. That would boost their CLV significantly.
Greater CLV is, of course, a good thing.
Repeat customer rate
The shoppers that come back to your online store once or more are repeat customers.
Whether they’re returning to make a repeat purchase or because they’re after a different product by the same brand, repeat customers are highly valuable. They give you the chance to build your customer loyalty.
The trick to increasing your repeat customer rate lies in forecasting. Once you’re able to predict what sorts of products your long-term customers are after, you’ll be able to boost your customer retention rates on the whole, all while also boosting your bottom line.
Net promoter score
A net promoter score (NPS) is an indication of how likely your customers are to recommend your brand to others based on their own experience. Here’s a handy visual representation.
The goal is to have as many promoters as possible, of course, but that doesn’t mean you’ll never have detractors. As long as you understand what’s made them into detractors, you can improve your NPS.
Websites with a high bounce rate aren’t keeping their visitors engaged, meaning they’re not driving conversions. This could be for a number of reasons; some retailers struggle to outperform the in-store experience, while others have poor website design.
Regardless of the reason, you’ll want to get your bounce rate down as low as you can by tracking this KPI. The goal is to promote customer loyalty and encourage customers to make multiple purchases.
Total number of orders
You’ve got to know how much you’re selling, or you’ll have a hard time trying to track inventory.
Also, knowing the total number of orders you’re receiving goes a long way to determining whether your current product pricing is working out, and whether your digital marketing is getting optimal results.
Your landing pages and other areas of your site are more effective the more they’re viewed. In general, your page views and site traffic are going to determine the total number of potential customers that cross your path.
Consider Google. It’s the most-visited website—a sure indication of its success as a search engine—and it’s the site through which most of your site visitors are going to be finding you.
Using SEO to make your site more attractive to Google’s algorithm means boosting your website traffic, which means increasing your total number of customers through sheer exposure.
Google Analytics is a handy tool for tracking the number of visitors to your website, along with other important metrics related to site performance.
Average order value
AOV (average order value) is a measure of the average cost of goods sold (COGS), in the average virtual shopping cart. Higher AOV means your customers are buying more products (or items of higher value) whenever they shop with you.
Knowing more about your AOV makes order management significantly easier; this KPI lets you arm yourself with all the knowledge you need to understand your orders in depth.
Providing excellent customer support is a key part of running a successful ecommerce store. That’s why tracking call centre agent metrics like your CSAT (customer satisfaction) score is vitally important, not least because of the damage that poor levels of customer satisfaction can do.
Happy customers will be more likely to stick with your brand. That means their CLV goes up, which pushes your total profits up.
How to choose KPIs
You’ll want to pick the KPIs that best match the things you’re interested in measuring and your overall objectives. The ultimate goal is to improve profit margins and increase total revenue; anything your business can measure that helps with that is a good KPI to track.
In the end, all KPIs can be helpful—it just depends on the specifics of your business. A large multinational business would, for instance, benefit hugely from tracking the progress of its enterprise marketing solutions. Enterprise marketing KPIs would benefit that business where they’d do little for a small local business.
The 15 essential KPIs listed in this article are an excellent starting point. You can always track others as well; these are just the most broadly applicable (and useful) ones for any ecommerce business.