KPIs, or key performance indicators, refer to measurable statistics that let you know where your e-commerce business is succeeding and which areas you need to improve.
The most important e-commerce KPIs to track will depend on your business’s stage of development and what you’re trying to achieve. For most e-commerce businesses, the following five KPIs are essential for long-term growth.
1. Conversion Rate
Your website conversion rate refers to the percentage of visitors who take the desired action, such as signing up for emails, creating an account, or making a purchase. Your conversion rate — the number of total site visitors divided by the number of visitors who took some action — is best calculated each month and is a good indicator of how well you cater to your target audience.
The following strategies are effective for helping you improve your conversion rate:
- Ensure that your page loading times are no longer than 3 seconds.
- Use professional product and category photographs.
- Add badges, trust marks, and reviews to build trust.
- Make your products easy to find.
- Provide incentives for signing up to an email list.
- Guide your visitors smoothly through the purchase funnel.
- Make the checkout process quick, easy, and convenient.
2. Average Order Value
The average order value is a metric that helps you track the amount that customers spend per transaction. It is calculated by dividing the total amount spent over the specified time period by the number of transactions made in that time. Increasing your average order value is an excellent goal to pursue because it’s an easy way to increase your profits without acquiring new customers.
The two most effective strategies for raising your average order value are cross-selling and upselling:
Cross-selling is the practice of offering your active customers other products that they might enjoy based on their browsing history, purchasing history, and similar products that other customers bought. Cross-selling techniques require the use of artificial intelligence (AI) to analyze your customers’ browsing and purchase habits.
Upselling is when you offer your customers a more expensive product as they go through the checkout. Let’s say that a customer is buying a premium web plan, and you offer them a professional package. Or, if a customer is buying a student laptop, you offer them the next model up. Amazon increased its profits by 35% by cross-selling and upselling its products!
3. Cart Abandonment Rate
Cart abandonment rate is an important e-commerce KPI to track because cart abandonment costs you money for no good reason. The top reasons for cart abandonment are:
- High shipping and tax rates at checkout
- A checkout process that is long and complicated
- Too few payment options available
- A declined credit or debit card
As a first step to reducing your cart abandonment rate, invest in an international merchant services provider that can handle foreign bank cards as well as alternative payment methods. Don’t simply use a merchant aggregator like PayPal; be sure to invest in a dedicated payment processor like Unicorn Payment so that you can accept payments directly without a third party.
Then, simplify the checkout process by offering “check out as a guest” and collect only the necessary information. Finally, consider offering your products with free shipping so that the pricing is always straightforward.
4. Customer Retention Rate
According to a study by Frederick Reichheld of Bain & Company, a 5% increase in customer retention can boost profits from 25-95%. Repeat customers spend more money, so it’s worth keeping the customers you have and encouraging them to make more purchases at your store. Furthermore, returning customers often refer their friends — giving you more new customers without you needing to spend a cent.
To keep your customers hanging around, you’ll need a quality product that always delivers top-notch customer service. Beyond these two foundational factors, you can also improve this KPI with the following strategies:
- Make the purchase process simple.
- Offer free two-day shipping.
- Follow up to see what the customer thought.
- Offer loyalty and rewards programs.
- Offer a subscription box model.
- Use artificial intelligence (AI) reminders to keep subscribers’ card details up to date.
5. Net Profit
Finally, net profit is one of the essential e-commerce KPIs to track for any business. If you’re building your brand at the end of the day but reducing your profits, your business will be unsustainable in the long term. In contrast, if you turn a decent net profit year over year, you can invest further in sustainable growth.
Whether you’re just starting or looking to improve your net profit, consider the following ideas:
- Charge what your product is worth, and help customers to see it as an investment.
- Don’t offer constant sales. Customers will buy your products because they like them.
- Make sure that you build offers like free shipping and products into your base price.
- Find out how much it costs you to acquire a customer, and then reduce this figure if possible.
- Follow your ROI for marketing closely, and invest in the channels that boost your sales.
The Bottom Line on KPIs
Whichever e-commerce KPIs you track, make sure you can obtain reliable data and follow each metric through until you see a measurable improvement.
As you improve your conversion rate, retention rates, and average order values, you should soon see an increase in net profit — and that’s what will propel your business into the future.