The Modern Digital Marketer’s Guide to eCommerce Performance Metrics

Introduction

The customer journey has changed significantly in recent years, causing eCommerce and brand marketing initiatives to overlap more and more every day. This trend is perhaps even more pronounced since COVID-19, when consumer demand for eCommerce accelerated 10 years overnight.

 

Since then, multichannel brands have increasingly embraced eCommerce as a bellwether of consumer engagement, shopping preferences, and product demand across all commerce. This has elevated the importance and expanded the responsibilities of brand marketers, who are at the forefront of the eCommerce evolution. 

 

As your role as a brand marketer continues to be redefined, you need to take a new approach to your craft. One important place to start is to begin collecting and understanding different eCommerce metrics that can be used to make smarter decisions about future campaigns. Keep reading to learn what those metrics are, why they’re important, and how you can use them to find a better way forward.

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1

4 Categories of Metrics That Brands Need to Be Measuring

In order to improve your results, you need to measure performance, benchmark your campaigns, and then figure out where to optimize. To do this, you first need to collect a diverse set of metrics.

The key metrics that eCommerce executives and brand managers need to use when assessing whether or not their digital strategy and investments are worthwhile and performing well fall into four buckets.

 

Platform metrics


Platform metrics measure how paid and organic campaigns perform across services like Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Snapchat, as well as the performance of your programmatic investments.

  • Impressions

  • CPM (Cost per thousand impressions)

  • CPC (Cost per click)

  • Video views

  • Frequency

  • CTR (Click through rate)

 

Landing page metrics


Landing page metrics measure how many times consumers have arrived on your landing page, what their experience was like once they were there, and whether your landing page was effective at getting your audience to complete a desired action.

  • Conversion rate

  • Average time on site

  • Add to cart rate

Sales and checkout metrics


Sales and checkout metrics measure performance by analyzing how much the average consumer spends on each transaction.

  • Average basket size

  • Average order value

  • Average unit price

  • Total reported revenue

  • Retailer views

  • Retailer preference

  • Retailer add to cart rate

Additional consumer insight metrics


Additional consumer insight metrics to help you dive deeper and be more strategic:

  • Device type

  • Geolocation breakout

  • % of total sales by SKU

  • % of total sales by retailer

  • Units per transaction

  • Adjacent products purchased

2

Platform Metrics

1. Impressions

Impressions measure the number of times your creative has popped up on an internet user’s screen. More granularly: 

  • Organic impressions refer to how often non-promoted content is displayed (e.g., a blog post that picks up steam on social or a popular tweet). 

  • Paid impressions refer to how many people see your sponsored campaigns. 

  • Viral impressions refer to how often your content is displayed because other users interact with it.

Generally speaking, the more impressions you get, the better. You can’t expect great results from your campaigns if no one is seeing your creative in the first place. If your impression metrics aren’t as high as you’d like, here are some tactics that can improve them:

  • Invest in better creative, PR, and influencers

  • Increase your paid budget

  • Use SEO and SEM to boost site rankings

  • Test other niche audiences

 

2. CPM

CPM measures how much a brand needs to pay a publisher for 1,000 impressions. If the publisher charges $1.25 CPM, then you will need to pay $1.25 for every 1,000 impressions.

 

On its own, CPM tells you how much you spend per thousand impressions. But you can also use CPM to determine how many users are engaging with your creative. If you pay a publisher for 10,000 impressions, and 500 people end up clicking on your ad, you would know your campaign was effective for at least 5 percent of the audience. Keep in mind that just because someone didn’t click on your ad right then and there doesn’t mean they won’t engage with your brand in the future.

 

You can improve your CPM metrics by:

  • A/B testing ads

  • Targeting your audience more specifically

  • Engaging a new audience

 

3. CPC


The CPC metric measures the performance of your pay-per-click campaigns with Google Ads or on social media platforms by identifying how much money you spend every time someone clicks on your ads.

 

While Google uses your maximum bid, ad rank, and quality score to arrive at your CPC, social networks use bid amounts, ad relevance, and ad placement, with different platforms charging different prices per click.

 

You can improve your CPC metrics by:

  • Bidding on long-tail keywords

  • Testing different ad placement positions

  • Improving your quality score

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4. Video views


When you launch campaigns with video ads, it’s important to keep track of metrics like video views that describe how many users have seen your videos. Other metrics you might want to track include average view duration, average completion rate, click-through rates, and total watch time.

 

If you’re not happy with your video views metrics, you can:

  • Create more compelling content

  • Promote your videos with a budget

  • Encourage viewers to subscribe to your channel or feed


5. Frequency


Frequency measures how often your audience comes across your creative during a given period. For example, someone might see your ad three times in a 24-hour period, giving you a frequency score of three.

 

Getting the best results from your campaigns starts with casting a wider net and making sure you don’t drown specific users with too much exposure.

 

You can optimize this metric by:

  • Setting frequency caps to prevent ad fatigue

  • Creating multiple ad variations

  • Targeting existing leads


6. CTR


The click-through rate refers to how many members of your audience click on your ads, emails, and links that you publish on social media. Very broadly, the higher your click-through rates are, the more effective your campaigns will be.

 

To improve your CTR, you can:

  • A/B test calls to action (CTA)

  • Write more persuasive copy

  • Implementing creative best practices

  • Targeting qualified audiences

3

Landing Page Metrics

1. Conversion rate


Conversion rate measures what percent of your audience takes a specific action after viewing your landing page.

 

If, for example, you find that a number of people are clicking your ads but not completing the steps on your landing page, it may indicate that you need to revamp the page.

 

You can improve your conversion rates by:

  • A/B testing ads to optimize creative, copy, and messaging toward conversion

  • Set up ads and product detail pages that are brand consistent and provide information that drives purchase intent: ie availability, price

  • Asking for less information and shortening path to purchase

  • Making sure your page load times are lightning-fast


2. Average time on site


The “average time on site” metric covers how much time the average user stays on your website once they arrive. The longer duration this metric is, the more engaged the consumer will be—and therefore the more likely they will be to respond to your call to action.

 

If you’re looking to encourage users to stay on your site for longer periods of time, you can:

  • Target the right audience so they don’t bounce

  • Optimize page loading times

  • Modernize your website design

  • Incorporate high-quality images, video, and creative to your site


3. Add to cart rate


The add to cart rate describes how many users add at least one item to their shopping carts when they visit your site. It is a great indicator of overall purchase intent.

 

This metric helps you determine whether your site is easy to use, if you’re offering the right products, and whether your eCommerce tactics are effective.

 

You can improve your add to cart rate by:

  • Making it easy to add items to cart on product list pages

  • Creating persuasive CTAs that highlight benefits, such as promotions and fast shipping times

  • Allowing shoppers to add more than one item to their cart at a time

  • Leaving conversion elements “above the fold”

  • Routing shoppers to their preferred retailers

 

 

4

Sales and Check-Out Metrics

1. Average basket size


In the world of eCommerce, average basket size refers to how many items the average consumer buys during one transaction. To some extent, every marketer should be interested in boosting this metric, although it plays a larger role at some companies than others.

 

You can increase the average basket size by:

  • Encouraging consumers to buy more with a free shipping promotion

  • Launching a customer loyalty program

  • Embracing product bundling


2. Average order value


The “average order value” metric refers to how much money the average transaction is on your site. Though this metric will matter more to certain organizations than others, what brand doesn’t want to increase the overall value of every order?

 

Improve the average order value by:

  • Incentivizing customers to buy more items per order

  • Offering time-sensitive deals

  • Giving product discounts at certain thresholds


3. Average unit price


The average unit price refers to how much a single product sells for, on average, over a specific time period (e.g., one month, six months, or one year). This metric can help you determine how much your audience is comfortable spending on certain items so you can optimize around profitability.

 

To increase your average unit price:

  • Raise your prices if you haven’t in a while

  • Leverage upselling and cross-selling opportunities

  • Promote bigger-ticket items

Filler_Total Reported Revenue


4. Total reported revenue


Total reported revenue describes the amount of money you’ve generated for sales over a specific period of time. As long as you’re able to keep your margins intact, your business will be healthier as your revenue increases.

 

Improve this metric by:

  • Investing more in paid campaigns

  • Enticing consumers to spend more with promotions

  • Launching a customer loyalty program


5. Total reported units sold


Similarly, “total reported units sold” refers to the number of products you’ve sold during a specific time period.

 

To increase this metric:

  • Launch more sales

  • Bundle your products

  • Use a free shipping promotion

6. Retailer metrics


If you are a multichannel brand driving shopper traffic to multiple retailers, you can deepen your understanding of your consumers at an individual retailer level. Use these metrics to refine your campaigns and strengthen retailer positioning. 

 

These retailer metrics include but isn’t limited to:

  • Retailer views show the number of times a retailer was loaded inside a Where to Buy experience

  • Retailer preferences show the number of shoppers who have clicked to shop by retailer

  • Retailer add to cart rate shows the ratio of add to carts to retailer views. 

5

Additional Consumer Insight Metrics

Consumer insight helps paint a picture of who is shopping for your products, how they are doing so and where, so that you can design campaign strategies targeted toward this qualified shopper audience. 

 

This includes but isn’t limited to:

 

Device type: What devices are your consumers shopping with? This impacts their engagement with your campaign as well as their shopping behavior and retailer preferences. Target mobile-shopping audiences with mobile first experiences.


Geolocation breakout: Geolocation adds dimension to first party shopping metrics from inventory forecasting, retailer position, and promotional strategies. What geographic location is experiencing a surge in purchase intent? Which retailers and for what product? 


% of total sales by SKU: What percent of your total sales came from a particular SKU? This is an indicator of product popularity that may be surfaced even if you aren’t seeing the purchase intent on a campaign level.


% of total sales by retailer: Of the total amount of product you sold, what percent came from which retailer? This additional layer of insight at the final stage of the shopping journey provides nuance to which retailers the purchase was actually made. 


Units per transaction: On average, how many items are purchased when shoppers buy your product at check out? This shopper behavior insight can provide guidance on the types of promotional messaging that would be effective for this audience.


Adjacent products purchased: When consumers make a purchase, they often add other products to their cart, giving you insight into what products are frequently purchased with yours. Understanding what these products are can help you unlock additional consumer demographics and strategies.

6

Questions to Consider When Choosing Which Metrics to Evaluate

Every business is unique, and each has its own strategies and objectives. That being the case, not every business needs to measure all of these metrics. But how can you determine which metrics your brand needs to measure?

 

As you begin determining which metrics your brand needs to evaluate, ask yourself the following questions to help narrow down your priorities:

  • What key performance indicators (KPIs) matter most to your brand?

  • Are you setting the right campaign objective?

  • Are you targeting the right audience?

  • How do different audience segments compare?

  • How do different creative assets compare?

  • Is the content grabbing your audience’s attention?

  • Do you have the right call to action on your landing pages?

  • How do your campaigns perform across different channels?

  • Should you allocate budget across placements differently?

Only you know the answers to these questions. By doing your due diligence and collaborating with your team, you can zero in on the metrics that make the most sense to optimize around—and get better business results because of it.

7

The Right Metrics for the Right Results

Too often, the success of a marketing campaign is determined solely by the incremental returns on media dollars invested. However, the impact of a successful eCommerce strategy is far-reaching throughout a business and across functional teams. That’s why understanding the effectiveness of your marketing dollars first requires the alignment of business goals throughout your organization.

 

Here are some ways eCommerce investments help brands achieve business results, and potential metrics to measure them:

  • Shortening path to purchase by looking at conversion rate, purchase intent, and add to cart rate.

  • Improving marketing effectiveness by looking at CTR, conversion rate, and purchase intent.

  • Protecting and gaining market share by looking at average time on site, adjacent products purchased, and total reported units sold.

  • Strengthening retailer positioning by looking at retailer preferences, retailer add to carts, and geolocation data.

8

Metrics, Metrics, Metrics: Where to Go from Here?

If you aren’t capturing metrics, you won’t be able to take a data-driven approach to improving your campaigns. 

 

But it’s not enough to simply capture metrics. You need to standardize them across sources and centralize them in one place so that you can make apples-to-apples comparisons to determine your next moves.

 

The good news is that keeping your fingers on the pulse of all these metrics can actually be pretty easy with a consolidated dashboard that enables you to more effectively measure purchase intent in real-time.

 

Schedule a demo of MikMak today to learn more about the simplest way to measure, analyze, and optimize eCommerce metrics.

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