Some people say experience is subjective and thus, can’t be measured. They obviously don’t know anything about these metrics.
One thing that can’t possibly be overestimated for eCommerce web development is the importance of customer experience. Because customers do not care how much resources you have deployed or the cutting-edge technologies behind your application, all they value and remember is the experience they had shopping from your store.
Certainly, all those aspects are necessary to maintain the efficiency and fluidity of your platform and can be easily implemented by any reputed eCommerce web development company. At the same time, it is in the realm of analytics where you have to make concerted efforts to get deeper insights into the behavior of your customers and use that data to acquire and consolidate a loyal customer base.
Below is a bird’s-eye view of the entire process that any eCommerce should navigate and optimize if they wish to engage maximum customers and gain maximize profit out of them. From the initial visit by a new customer to shopping patterns of regular customers to the number of referrals by delighted customers, every aspect carries its own significance and must be measured and tweaked to reap maximum returns.
While there are dozens of metrics that if measured can tell you the most important stats:
This is the first metric that tells you exactly how many customers, or more precisely, potential customers visit your eCommerce site. The greater this number, the more chances you have of pushing sales. There are multiple ways to measure the traffic on your site, each of which highlights a certain behavior:
- Session- this is the most common and effective way of measuring the number of unique visitors. All their actions including page views, events, social interactions, eCommerce transactions are registered, using which you can provide customized offers to earn their loyalty.
- Users- unlike sessions that identify unique visitors, this metric simply counts the number of impressions on the site at any particular moment. So, if a user visits your site on two different devices, it will count them as two.
- Pages- It counts the number of pages that a customer visits during each session. As you can guess, this a highly valuable metric that directly tells the level of engagement you are able to generate. The higher the number, the better for the business.
- Bounce Rate- this is the percent of single page visits. It simply means the customers didn’t find your site intuitive enough and left immediately. Your site has a high bounce rate, you desperately need to offer fresh content to keep users interested.
- Average Session Duration- calculated by dividing the duration of all sessions by the number of sessions. When coupled with page views and bounce rate, it is the single largest factor that reflects the overall customer engagement along with pages that gain the maximum attention.
The ratio between number of visitors to the number of customers is referred as conversion rate and the entire eCommerce industry is striving hard to push this figure. While it is true that not every customer who visits a site is looking for a purchase, a conversion rate <=3reflects that there is something wrong with the approach. Two of the most prominent factors that are known to hamper conversion rate include:
- Cart abandonment- This is when users add products to their cart but do not make a purchase. This behavior reflects both good and bad news for the business. The good news- the users find your platform engaging and it indeed has the product that they are looking to buy. The bad news- there is something stopping them from the final purchase, be it lack of payment options, compatibility on certain devices, lengthy process or the lack of ability to bookmark the product, you must analyze each of them separately to zero-in on the cause and rectify it.
- Lack of information- one of the main reasons that customers report about not making a purchase from any particular site is that it does not have adequate information about products and thus, they have to move to another platform. It spells a very important lesson- while competitive pricing and marketing bring customers to your platform, it is the relevant information that drives sales.
To get a more precise picture, you must also consider analyzing conversion rates with respect to the channels, product category.
Repeat customer rate
It is the ratio of customers who have purchased more than once to the total number of customers. And it is the direct indicator of the loyalty and trust your brand commands among users.
Businesses often have to spend enormous amounts of money on acquiring new customers, but it is a proven fact that it is actually the repeat customers that account for the majority of sales and help maintain a consistent revenue flow. The best example of improving this metric can be learned from the E-commerce giant Amazon that has created a vast pool of repeated customers through its Prime subscription model.
While you may not at a market position that allows you to charge customers for subscription, you can always incentivize your loyal customers that make regular purchases. Be it through exclusive discount coupons or free shipping, customers who were satisfied with their first shopping experience will definitely appreciate these gestures and reward you with their loyalty.
Customer lifetime value
This is the total monetary value that a customer spends on your eCommerce platform. It can be calculated by:
(Average Revenue Per User) x (Gross Margin) x (Average Retention Time)
As simple as it is to grasp that a higher leads to business prosperity, equally tricky it is to actually achieve. As discussed above, eCommerce players today have to spend enormous amounts on acquiring and subsequently retaining customers and by the time they earn their loyalty, more money is actually spent by businesses than by users.
The only way to optimize this metric is to leverage other metrics about users. Once you have repeat customers on your online store, you can easily track their purchase patterns and recommend relevant products to boost sales. Also, a repeat customer is known to be the single largest source of referrals for acquiring new members- for which the business do not spend on acquisition.
Now that you see how technology and analytics go behind the seemingly simple task of selling things online, you must realize that unless your application is built by competent and credible eCommerce developers, there is little chance for your business to survive in this cut-throat industry.