Discover the KPIs you need for your eCommerce or website

To begin with, and not seem pretentious, but – does everyone know what a KPI is? KPI stands for Key Performance Indicators. These are metrics that measure the performance level of a process, focusing on how, in such a way that the target set can be achieved.  In this case we will focus on eCommerce, where the metrics that determine achievement of the target would be completed sales in your online store or marketplace.

A basic scheme of a KPI

A basic scheme of a KPI

Key Performance Indicators are used to quantify targets that reflect an organization’s performance, and which are generally included in its strategic plan. Monitoring KPIs in real time is known as monitoring a business activity, in this case eCommerce. In order to explain each KPIs we will use a free reliable measurement tool – Google Analytics (GA).

Traffic in your online store or website

This is a basic KPI – online marketing 101. Website traffic is a basic indicator, closely linked to popularity, the number of visitors to a website. Obviously, the higher the better, although as you know double the traffic doesn’t mean double the conversion. However, this figure provides real information about whether your in-site marketing actions are the most suitable. You can run marketing actions or campaigns in your website and see if they work – in this case the traffic volume will increase. To do this, you can use Google Analytics.

Overview of the Google Analytics dashboard by month, where you can see traffic data, visit percentage, bounce rates, etc.

Overview of the Google Analytics dashboard by month, where you can see traffic data, visit percentage, bounce rates, etc.

On a more advanced level, far from vanity metrics, you can personalize and even ban your own IPs.

Google Analytics screenshot to exclude your own traffic. In this way you can obtain real data and not a grand total, which can be misleading.

Google Analytics screenshot to exclude your own traffic. In this way you can obtain real data and not a grand total, which can be misleading.

It should be pointed out that even though this feature is still a beta feature, active users can cross the data of active users by month and week. This provides very accurate information about what is going on in your website, whether you sell or not.

Beta version screenshot of active users in your website. You can cross daily, weekly, and monthly data.

Beta version screenshot of active users in your website. You can cross daily, weekly, and monthly data.

Average visit time

Another indicator related to the previous one is the time that visitors spend in the website. This indicator allows you to know whether users are interested in the contents, services, or products which you offer, or whether they are interested in some pages but not in others. Look at the image in the lower part of the Google Analytics overview dashboard.

general_session_time

GA even enables you to find, by means of the SERPs, the average session time, as well as to find which keywords led users to organically locate your website.

GA even enables you to find, by means of the SERPs, the average session time, as well as to find which keywords led users to organically locate your website.

SERPs  stands of Search Engine Ranking per Page, the keywords by means of which users found your website. In some cases, your website may be positioned by content and long tails in search engines such as Google, Yahoo, and Bing.

New vs. recurring visitors

The percentage of new visitors as opposed to recurring visitors is a very clear and direct indicator – that is, the difference between visitors coming for the first time and repeat visitors. This statistic provides a view of the type of traffic coming to your website or ecommerce store, customer loyalty, and whether you are reaching new audiences. For example, if you are carrying our retargeting actions, this metric is very useful as it monitors the marketing actions in your website very well.

GA Dashboard screenshot showing a pie chart of the % of new and recurring visitors.

GA Dashboard screenshot showing a pie chart of the % of new and recurring visitors.

Social environment

Some performance indicators also show whether your campaigns in Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, or any other social network generate the traffic you wish or whether, on the contrary, you should change your strategy. The number of followers or fans is another figure which you can monitor after establishing targets. In GA you can create an event, establish an estimate, and calculate monetized conversion ratios. This image shows it clearly:

In the case of BrainSINS we include every lead capture, like a conversion. In the case of an onlinen store, this would be a product sale.

In the case of BrainSINS we include every lead capture, like a conversion. In the case of an onlinen store, this would be a product sale.

What I like the most and is always the clearest figure for me it social or user flow, which is displayed very clearly in GA. It even shows the URLs where your audience lands most frequently, and the total number of interactions – this is wonderful if you want to establish whether you are doing it right in terms of contents or products. This is shown in the image below.

A social network user flow scheme. Twitter, the social network where we have the most interaction, is predominant, as can be seen.

A social network user flow scheme. Twitter, the social network where we have the most interaction, is predominant, as can be seen.

Page views

Page views by visits is a metric that specifies the average number of page views in a certain website (if the page is fully loaded). If a page is repeated it is also included in the total number of page views per user.

Screenshot of the total number of page views by users in the BrainSINS ES website. In the case of online stores, they are multiplied, usually by the number of pages in the category tree.

Screenshot of the total number of page views by users in the BrainSINS ES website. In the case of online stores, they are multiplied, usually by the number of pages in the category tree.

Traffic sources

Other metrics show performance in terms of the visitor origin and percentages, that is to say, the sources of traffic to the website.

  • These sources can be direct, which means that visitors reach your website by entering its address in the browser bar (Google counts other visits, such as those from bookmarks, as direct).
  • Referral traffic specifies which domains direct traffic to your website. This statistic enables you to see traffic levels from expected sources but also from unexpected ones, such as a blog talking about a product in your eCommerce store or a service offered in your website.
  • Search traffic: this can be from organic searches or from payment searches (if a pay-per-click tool such as Google AdWords is used).
Screenshot of the BrainSINS ES website, showing the various traffic sources in real time: direct, organic, and referral traffic. We currently have no AdWords campaigns.

Screenshot of the BrainSINS ES website, showing the various traffic sources in real time: direct, organic, and referral traffic. We currently have no AdWords campaigns.

Bounce %

The bounce rate is in my view one of the basic KPIs for a website or online store. It shows whether you meet users’ expectations . If the percentage is high, you should look at the pages with the highest bounce rates and find the reason for those rates. In an online store, perhaps some of your categories or subcategories don’t have the demand you expected, so you should aim to carry out actions to improve their relevance. The main factors leading to a high bounce rate are usually:

  • Invasive advertising.
  • Poor, badly structured contents.
  • Bad design or poor usability.

However, there can be many factors, so you should carefully examine the pages with the highest bounce rates.

Due to the importance of generating original contents, you should bear blog traffic in mind, as in our case, and as shown in the screenshot below. Providing quality contents on a frequent basis increases traffic.

In the case of BrainSINS ES, our bounce % is high because we have thousands of indexed pages, some of which are positioned by terms which are not really related to our business model. However, our content strategy seems to be going along the right lines, as our leads have grown by 35-45% in one year.

In the case of BrainSINS ES, our bounce % is high because we have thousands of indexed pages, some of which are positioned by terms which are not really related to our business model. However, our content strategy seems to be going along the right lines, as our leads have grown by 35-45% in one year.

 

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