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41 eCommerce Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to Get You Started

By Derek Janis on January 24th, 2014

When it comes to selling your products online, there are literally only two things that matter the most: traffic and sales. Everything you do and every strategy you perform must directly affect either one or both of these performance indicators.

However, how do you know along the way if you are headed in the right direction? How do you know that you are traveling on the right road or if you are on your way to your goal destination? That’s where key performance indicators, or KPIs, come in.

A key performance indicator is a quantifiable site metric. For example, your organic and social media site traffic are both KPIs that you want to pay attention to if you are performing SEO or participating in social media marketing. The following is a list of 41 KPIs, categorized by traffic and sales, that you must have if you run an eCommerce site and are a great place to start if you are wondering how to measure your site’s success.

Traffic KPIs

  1. Overall site traffic – this is every visit your site has received, no matter how the visitor got there.
  2. Traffic from social media sources – Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Reddit…it doesn’t matter what social media site your visitor comes from, make sure you know which one it is!
  3. Traffic from search engines – make sure you know how effective your SEO is by seeing how much traffic you get from search engines. Don’t forget to track smaller search engine traffic to from sites like DuckDuckGo.com.
  4. Granular search engine keyword traffic – know what your visitors are searching to find your site and your products.
  5. Branded traffic – ever wonder how much your brand is actually worth? This is a terrific indicator!
  6. Individual product traffic – track which of your products receive the most traffic. You might be surprised to see that it’s not always your most purchased product. This information can help you know which products might need a description or price change in order to sell more.
  7. Unique visitors vs. returning visitors – pretty self explanatory.
  8. Time on site – know how much time your visitors are spending on your site.
  9. Pageviews per visit – how engaged are your visitors?
  10. Primetime – what hours of the day is your primetime? This can help you to determine best times to place marketing materials on your site’s homepage.
  11. Top visited pages – maybe you have a blog post that a lot of people read? You’ll never know unless you track this.
  12. Top landing pages – are their specific products that bring people to the site? Find out why and maybe you can duplicate the effort to other products to bring in even more traffic!
  13. Top exit pages – know which pages people are leaving your site on. If it is your successful purchase page, you’re a rockstar! If not, figure out why so many people are leaving on that page.
  14. Traffic from PPC – if you are running a pay per click campaign make sure you are tracking how many people come to your site by clicking on your ad.
  15. Visitor markets – where are the visitors from geographically?
  16. Bounce rate – how many people leave your site without going to a second page?
  17. Ages of visitors – are you marketing to the audience that is actually viewing your site?
  18. Gender of visitors – same here, are you marketing to men instead of the more majority women who visit your site?
  19. Technology preferences of visitors – are they on mobile devices? More Macs than PCs? iOS over Android? You’d be surprised at the marketing opportunities you have when you know these details.
  20. Most searched – if you have a search on your site, what are the most searched things? Are they product categories? A specific product?

Sales KPIs

  1. Sales in dollars – the big kahuna. Make this go up and your life gets a whole lot nicer.
  2. Number of orders – how many orders did you receive?
  3. Average order size – how many products were in the average order?
  4. Average order value – how much money did you receive on average per order?
  5. Orders by product – which were your most sold products?
  6. Orders by product groups – which products were typically bought in the same order? This can help you market “packages” to increase sales. Think: “Customers also bought…”
  7. Number of returns – how many returns did you have?
  8. Return order size – how many products were typically returned in the same order?
  9. Return order dollars – how much money did you have to refund?
  10. Shopping cart abandonment rate – how often did somebody add something to the cart and then never checkout?
  11. Checkout abandonment rate – how often did someone start to checkout and never finish?
  12. Cart return rate – how often did someone abandon the cart or checkout process only to come back later make the purchase?
  13. Cart return time – how long did it take for that customer to come back once they abandoned the checkout process?
  14. Overall conversion rate – Overall site traffic vs. number of orders
  15. Social media conversion rate – Social media traffic vs. number of orders from social media. Make sure you know which social media sites are converting the best for you.
  16. Search engine conversion rate – Search engine traffic vs. number of orders from search engines. Make sure you track it on a search term based level as well.
  17. Brand traffic conversion rate – Branded traffic vs. number of orders from branded traffic.
  18. New customers vs. returning customers – how many of the orders are from new customers? How many are from returning customers?
  19. Average visits before first purchase – how many times does someone visit your site before they make a purchase?
  20. Average marketing cost per conversion – how much money are you spending on marketing and advertising per order?
  21. Top performing markets – where are your paying customers from? This can help a lot with knowing how to present your products and messaging.

For each of these key performance indicators you can get pretty granular. For example, maybe it would be beneficial for your company to know on an hourly, daily, weekly, monthly, and annual basis what your sales numbers are. It is really up to you how granular you want or even need to be. We recommend start tracking on a monthly basis and then drilling down to weekly and then daily as you need to.

We also recommend setting up custom dashboards within Google Analytics to track all of these KPIs for you. Some of them do require goal tracking though, so make sure that you review how to create and track specific goals for your eCommerce site.

Feel free to ask any questions in the comments section below. I am happy to respond and help individuals get their analytics and KPIs setup. This could quite possibly be the most important thing you do to manage your online sales!

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