In the age of big data, not understanding what to track or even how to track it, can have a serious impact on your business. When it comes to e-commerce businesses this process can be daunting and expensive. Many founders, as they should, begin by setting up their Google Analytics profiles even though they might not even know what to look for once it’s set up. In this article, we help you set up and track your Google Analytics KPIs to optimize your E-commerce business so that you can leverage data to increase sales.
We’ve heard way to many stories from managers facing information overload, tracking the wrong metrics, and wasting time building reports that have little to do with their bottom lines only because they’re supposed to do so. If you fall into that category, take a breath. You can have your e-commerce KPIs in front of you with just a few clicks with Factivate. However, before we show you how to do that, you should take a step back and do the following:
Identifying your E-commerce KPIs
In the age of share counts, likes, search rankings, impressions, clicks, and goal conversions, it’s tempting to track the metrics everyone else is talking about. The problem is that what makes sense for others might not make sense for you. Before you even get started with Google Analytics, you need to consider: what kind of performance indicators really matter to my business that I could act on? Do I want to understand why they are becoming customers? How many times does a user comes to my site before they buy a product? Do they read reviews? Are they looking for more information before interacting with me? Where did they find me? How much does one user spend on average? Can I track the seasonality of my products? If you need help identifying these KPIs, creating a flow chart like you see below might help you:
Answering these questions will help you create a framework for your analytics practices. As you complete your KPI analysis, keep in mind the following:
KPIs should align with business goals
The KPIs related to your website should align with a specific action you want your website visitors to take. In many cases, this will be a revenue-impacting action. There are, however, numerous interactions that could take place before revenue comes in. You should be tracking each one of these conversions (or micro-conversions)! Examples of these micro-conversions include: newsletter signups, contact us forms, ebook downloads, video views, etc… in other words, the steps that a potential consumer took before buying your product or service.
KPIs should correspond to your trackable metrics in Google Analytics
Google Analytics is a great tool that helps you monitor KPIs. The trick here is in making these KPIs relevant to your business. Be sure to implement your goals, funnels, and other relevant filters within Google Analytics to make sure all of your metrics are being tracked correctly.
Here is a list of some of the important KPIs tracked by a vast number of e-commerce businesses in one way or another:
- Completed Transactions: Goal pages, which can be found within Conversion reporting.
- Incomplete transactions: Funnels, which you can set up when you set up a Goal page. Funnels help you trace the path to a goal. In the case of an incomplete transaction, you would monitor the percentage of users that begin the checkout process only to abandon it before following through with a purchase.
- Number of pages visited before completing the transaction: Find it in both goals and funnels
- Contact Form submitted: Goal pages
- Bounce rate by page: Where users are leaving your page completely.
- Traffic sources that lead to conversions: Funnels and traffic acquisition reports
Track, review, and iterate on a continuous basis –
Now that you have a good idea on how important it is to track your e-commerce KPIs, you should understand that the more you see these KPIs, the better you will understand them, and the better your business will be in the future. As such, you should be tracking them on a daily basis at a minimum. In our business, we keep a Factivate spreadsheet tab titled “Dashboard” open in the middle of the office that lets us view all of our KPIs and trends 24×7. This helps us keep an eye on what’s important to us whenever we have a marketing, sales, product, and even business strategy meeting.
If you are still looking for a quick way to get started with your Google Analytics e-commerce KPIs, Factivate has created a spreadsheet template for commerce businesses that will let you dive in right away. With just a few clicks, you will have a KPI spreadsheet report that you can use for your e-commerce businesses. Use it, but more importantly, be sure to iterate on it as your business KPIs evolve. In order to get started, sign up for a Factivate account today!
Factivate is a software company part of the Google for Entrepreneurs community in Durham, NC. Factivate provides business users with a cloud-based data analytics platform that can sync with different online tools to create automated, real-time spreadsheet reports and web dashboards with just-in-time business reactions. The result of our intelligent spreadsheet is accurate data analysis that drives better business decisions while reducing manual spreadsheet report time and errors by a factor of 150+ hours/employee/year. Factivate requires no learning curve or programming knowledge. In sharp contrast to the complex and expensive business intelligence tools on the market today, if you know spreadsheets, then you know 95% of what you need to use Factivate–we’ve got the rest covered.