Ecommerce

10 KPIs for Ecommerce Business Owners

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Written by Richard Protheroe
20th May 2016 • 14 min read

Running an e-commerce business can be a very stressful experience.

Juggling multiple sales channels, product sourcing, supplier issues, marketing and customer enquiries is a time consuming process.

Therefore finding time to sit back and see the bigger picture can be difficult.

However, regularly setting and analysing your key performance indicators is essential when considering the progress of your business.

Learn it yourself

When you are monitoring the important KPIs for ecommerce, there is no finer tool than Google Analytics.

Luckily all Veeqo users can see a complete overview of their business using our reporting tool. This shows your sales, returns and profit of your entire e-commerce business, which you can’t get with Analytics.

Hopefully by this point you already have Analytics installed on your site though, if you don’t here’s a quick guide on how to get started.

Before I tell you what I believe to be the best KPIs for ecommerce, I have to stress how important it is to learn how to gather this information yourself.

Nobody is more passionate about your business than you, so teaching yourself how to use tools like Analytics and how to see a complete overview of your business is essential.

When I helped to run an e-commerce business I self taught myself Analytics. I researched what sections were most important and how to create a dashboard to see them all (which I show you at the end).

If you want to go back to basics or want to get started with Analytics, I can’t recommend Moz’s guide high enough.

How many KPI’s should I track?

For most businesses, anything between three and ten KPIs is substantial enough to analyse.

This is all dependent on your business and the goals you want to achieve.

Your goal could be to increase sales, improve mobile experience, bring more referral traffic, increase your customer base in a certain location, or just to improve ROI.

Figure out what you want from your business and select a few from the KPIs below to get you started.

1. Conversion Rate

The most important statistic for your e-commerce site. The average can differ dependent on what you sell. Let’s say you have high value goods, you will have a much lower rate than someone who sells fashion accessories.

What to consider:

  • Are your call to action buttons clear enough?
  • Have you A/B tested language, colours or buttons? If not, try Optimizely
  • Is your traffic qualified? Where is it coming from?

Where: Conversions > Ecommerce > Overview

KPIs for ecommerce

2. Average Order Value

Essentially all of your sales divided by the amount of orders you have. You should consider the value of each order alongside the amount of time it takes you to process an order. Is it worthwhile, or do you need to increase it?

What to consider:

  • Is the structure of your site preventing people from adding more items?
  • Could you raise your free delivery threshold to encourage higher orders?
  • How well placed are related items on product pages?
  • Do you have a loyalty scheme in place? This can increase order value

Where: Conversions > Ecommerce > Overview

KPIs for ecommerce

3. Shopping Cart Abandonment

A vitally important statistic that if analysed throughly can result in a great up-turn of sales. This statistic isn’t originally in your account and can be tricky to set up within Analytics, but here’s a very good guide from Lemonstand.

Around every 2 in 3 people will abandon their cart of your site. A frightening figure.

What to consider:

  • Do you display shipping fees before they get to the checkout?
  • Are you displaying discount codes online that are now out of date?
  • Is your website navigation too complicated?
  • Do you ask every user to create an account when they purchase an item?
  • Can your site be trusted? Are you displaying the right payment certifications for example?

Where: Conversions > Goals > Goal Flow

KPIs for ecommerce

4. Channels / Referrals

It’s vitally important to know where your traffic is coming from. This is especially true if you are using paid promotion and want to be able to justify your costs.

What to consider:

  • How many new sessions are receiving from these sources?
  • How long are people spending on your website?
  • Are they converting or bouncing?
  • Is there a higher average revenue from a particular channel?

Where: Acquisition > All Traffic > Referrals

KPIs for ecommerce

5. Quantity

This statistic is the amount of units sold in your transactions. When matched with ‘Average QTY’ under Conversions > Ecommerce > Product Performance, this can give you a good indication of stock levels.

Additionally it can also reveal how easy/hard it is to add multiple products to your basket on your site.

What to consider:

  • Are there certain products which are bought in higher quantities? Why?
  • Do you display too many products on a certain page and make it difficult for big quantities?
  • Is a stock issue effecting bulk orders?

Where: Conversions > Ecommerce > Overview

KPIs for ecommerce

6. Frequency & Recency

The thrill of a sale is a beautiful isn’t it? But better than that is having someone returning after the brilliant service you provided the first time around!

It’s far less expensive to keep a customer than to gain a new one, so how can you ensure people come back?

What to consider:

  • Are people not returning because of delivery speeds?
  • Have you offered a discount/incentive for a customer to come back?
  • Are you doing enough promotion to bring new customers to your site?
  • Could you include pop-up for first time visitors? Add to email list/discount

Where: Audience > Behaviour > Frequency & Recency

KPIs for ecommerce

7. Location

Location is one that can go unnoticed, but it can have a significant impact. For example if you sell a luxury product, targeting that at more wealthy areas in your Adwords would be a wise choice.

What to consider:

  • Is there an area where visitors keep viewing your site from that you don’t deliver to?
  • Could you get a flat rate charge for a difficult place to reach? (e.g Scottish Highlands)
  • Could you make a specific landing page for a geographical area to boost SEO?

Where: Audience > Geo > Location

KPIs for ecommerce

8. Page views per visit

“Look at all my page views, this is bloody great!”. This statement is irrelevant if they only view the homepage and then leave. These stats will give you a great insight in to the usability of your site as well.

What to consider:

  • Is the language on the page right? Is it clear what you are offering?
  • Is your site slow? Test with GTmetrix
  • Could the navigation be redesigned on the site?
  • Are you using breadcrumbs on your site?

Where: Audience > Behaviour > Engagement

KPIs for ecommerce

9. Exit Pages

Where are your potential customers leaving your site? This is an important statistic that if diagnosed could fix a lot of the other points i’ve mentioned in this post.

What to consider:

  • Is a particular page slow or have a 404 error?
  • Are they exiting on an information page? Is delivery too high?
  • Is the price of a product too high?

Where: Behaviour > Site Content > Exit Pages

KPIs for ecommerce

and one more…

10. Net Profit

Are you making money? A great question and one our founder Matt constantly asked himself at his e-commerce business, before he started Veeqo.

This is something you can see in Analytics and you would need a tool like Veeqo to help you.

What to consider:

  • Are you selling on multiple channels? Are there fees involved?
  • Are there certain products you are losing money on?
  • Do you have a good mark up on one item? Perhaps do some paid promotion.
  • Is there a specific channel performing better? Invest more time in that

Where: Reports > Profits

KPIs for ecommerce

Create a dashboard

The best way to analyse these KPI’s is to create a dashboard within Analytics.

Simply just click the ‘New Dashboard’ on the left hand side.

Any screen you want to add then just click ‘Add to Dashboard’ at the top by the page name.

KPIs for ecommerce

Do you use KPI’s? Any from Analytics that I haven’t used? Leave them in the comment below.

KPIs for ecommerce

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Richard is a Content Specialist at Veeqo. He loves writing about ways for ecommerce retailers to increase their sales with marketing tips, advice on website optimisation and social media best practices.

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