So many eCommerce Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), so little time! Data is an online business’s best friend, guiding you to more traffic, sales, customer service and marketing opportunities and pointing to key gaps in your strategies. Yet, so many eCommerce entrepreneurs aren’t using this invaluable data at their disposal. The most important of these are your KPIs.
KPIs are a select group of performance indicators, or data points, that help a business owner determine how their online store is performing, compared against their main objectives. As objectives are unique, so are KPIs – which owners will choose to monitor based on specific business goals they have set. Think of it this way:
- Metrics are the units by which you measure things
- Data is the accumulation of those metrics
- KPIs are the monitoring of essential business goals, based on a variety of data points
A good example of this is the KPI ‘conversion rate.’ To monitor this KPI, you have to take two vital data points: your sales and your web store traffic numbers.
(100 sales ÷ 5,000 visitors) x 100 = 2% conversion rate
Let’s say your main goal is to increase your eCommerce traffic by 25% in the coming year. Your KPI would be website traffic, which you would monitor using a few performance indicators or metrics such as unique visitors or traffic sources.
Pro Tip: Have you tried Google Analytics Intelligence yet? By inputting your KPI questions, Google will answer them using your analytics and send you alerts. Visit our Google Analytics Intelligence guide to find out more.
KPIs can be both qualitative and quantitative, and predictive (future) or revealing (past). In short, they can cover any part of your online business operation. Generally, though, eCommerce KPIs fall into one of these five categories:
- Customer service
- Project management
In this post, we take you through creating your own KPIs based on your unique business goals and the 54 most popular eCommerce Performance Indicators (KPIs) to monitor.
Let’s get started.
Choosing KPIs for Your eCommerce Business
The secret to assessing your KPIs is in being able to decipher your data to extract the actionable insights you need to improve your business based on your goals. Therefore, the first step of creating your eCommerce KPIs is drilling down your key objectives.
Yes, these will fall into those generalized groupings we mentioned – customer service, marketing, boosting sales, manufacturing and product management. However, the specifics of each will be determined by your business goals. A good KPI should be:
- Accessible in real-time
- Related to improving your bottom line
Here are four goal templates with KPI examples to get you started:
Business Goal 1: Increase site traffic by 25% in the next year
- Store traffic
- CTRs from ads and promotions
- Bounce rates
- Social shares
- Traffic sources
Business Goal 2: Increase product sales by 15% in the next quarter
- Conversion rates
- Sales per day
- Store traffic
Business Goal 3: Increase Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) by 5%
- Average purchases per customer per year
- Shopper retention average (months/years)
- Average order value
Business Goal 4: Increase conversion rate by 1.5%
- Cart abandonment rates
- Competitive pricing
- Conversion rates
And this is just the tip of the iceberg. To kick-start your strategy, we are going to take you through the 54 most popular eCommerce KPIs, divided into key sectors including:
- Marketing KPIs for eCommerce
- Manufacturing KPIs for eCommerce
- Sales KPIs for eCommerce
- Customer Service KPIs for eCommerce
Marketing KPIs for eCommerce
Marketing KPIs are those performance indicators that are related to your advertising and marketing goals.
1. Affiliate Performance Rates
If you want to understand which affiliate channels are performing, then you want to keep an eye on this KPI. This includes metrics such as sales from affiliates or affiliate traffic sources.
2. Average Position
This KPI gives you insights into your paid search and SEO performance by showing you what your average SERP position is.
3. Blog Traffic
By filtering traffic sources in your Google Analytics, you can find specific blog traffic data. It will show you the percentage of traffic it’s generating and your top performing pages – a useful KPI to watch to help with SEO and eCommerce content marketing.
Bonus Content: Google Analytics for eCommerce
4. Bounce Rate
Like session duration, bounce rates are a valuable KPI to gain performance into your marketing relevancy and landing pages. It refers to the number of site visitors who exit your online store or blog after viewing just one page.
This KPI is the number of clicks a specific link gets. It can be used for any particular goal – from Google and Facebook ads to email marketing, internal website clicks, backlinks and more.
6. CTR Averages
CTR KPIs point to your average number of potential shoppers or customers clicking your marketing links. This can include all marketing clicks from a variety of channels, including email marketing and display advertising CTRs – depending on your goals – and helps determine areas where optimization is needed.
7. Day Part Monitoring
If you’re trying to increase traffic or sales at a specific time of day, then day part monitoring will be an important KPI. It will also point to peak times for your website traffic, which you could use for ad or content scheduling.
8. Email Open Rate
If you want to increase your email marketing performance then your email open rate is a critical KPI. A low open rate points to poor subjects or an outdated subscriber list that needs a spring-clean.
Bonus Content: eCommerce Email Strategies that Convert
9. Email Subscribers
Another important email marketing KPI is the number of newsletter subscribers you are signing up. We suggest that you don’t just look at email subscriber numbers as a whole, but break them down into segments, such as demographics, to see which segments are lagging. By additionally comparing your subscriber growth rate KPIs with total subscriber numbers, you will get invaluable insights into this marketing channel.
Here is our guide to the five top recommended email marketing metrics to watch, for maximum success.
Pro Tip: Not meeting your email marketing KPIs? It could be one of these four things: your email subjects, personalize your ‘from’ settings, you need to segment your subscriber lists further or you haven’t implemented enough email automation.
10. Initiated Chat Sessions
For those of you capitalizing on the power of live chat, this KPI helps you determine performance by tracking how many users engage with your chat tool. If you’re considering adding live chat to your store but still need a push, here are some benefits to inspire you: it builds trust while enabling you to deal with product questions in real-time, thus decreasing cart abandonment and increasing conversions.
11. New vs. Returning Visitors
Another important traffic KPI is the comparison between first-time site visitors and those who have visited your store before and returned. This KPI will, for example, show you the performance of your remarketing campaigns, which would reflect in higher returning vs. first-time visitors.
12. Mobile Traffic
With the rise of mobile shopping, you want to keep a close eye on mobile traffic KPIs. This will help you plan your advertising placements, site optimization and adjust marketing strategies where necessary.
13. Pageviews (Per Visit)
This is the average number of pages a store visitor views during each session. The higher the average, the more engaged your traffic is. However, it is a critical marketing measurement in terms of ensuring that your driven traffic isn’t having to click through too many pages to find the product or promotion you’re pushing.
14. PPC Traffic Volume
If you’re running Google or other pay-per-click ads, this KPI will help you monitor the performance of your campaigns by giving you insight into how percentages are increasing or decreasing.
15. Product Review Quality and Quantity
If you have goals to increase DIY SEO results, build trust and feedback, or improve your review strategies, then the number and quality of your product reviews is a very important eCommerce KPI.
Bonus Content: How to Use Word-of-Mouth Marketing to Boost eCommerce Sales
16. Session Duration Average
To ascertain the average amount of time a potential shopper spends on your site, you want to track average session duration KPIs. Why is this important? If you are getting clicks but have a low duration average, this could point to issues in your marketing or UX.
17. Site Traffic
Site traffic is the overall number of visits your online store is getting. It goes without saying that this is a must-follow eCommerce KPI for any entrepreneur.
18. Social Follows and Likes
This is a useful KPI if you are trying to gauge and grow shopper loyalty and build awareness for your store. You can look at this as a whole (for all platforms) and for each platform. Additionally, each platform will have metrics for who these followers are in terms of demographics.
19. Social Media Engagement
Another essential social KPI is engagement. It points to how engaged your social followers are, as well as the engagement of your paid content.
20. Text Subscribers
Quite a few online store owners are testing SMS-based marketing. This KPI will tell you the number of people subscribed to your SMS contact list. If you’re looking to branch out into text marketing, this step-by-step guide from Sumo is a great place to start.
21. Time on Site
This is a particularly important KPI if your goal is to increase eCommerce blog and promotional landing page engagement. But generally speaking, it points to how long a store visitor is spending on your website before leaving.
Pro Tip: When it comes to the time on site KPI, you will want to ensure this is lower for checkout pages. More time could point to a checkout process that’s too complicated or not optimized.
22. Traffic Source
Have a goal to increase traffic by a certain percentage from a specific source? Then your traffic source KPI is an important metric. You will want to assess which channels are bringing you traffic as well as the behavior of that traffic, such as checking the KPIs mentioned already – like time on site, sessions, pageviews, etc.
Another vital KPI for email marketing is your unsubscribes. Here, you should look at not only the rate of your unsubscribes but the total number of unsubscribes.
Sales KPIs for eCommerce
Sales KPIs for your website as a whole, as well as for specific channels, time periods or platforms, are vital to ensuring you get the information you need to meet (or exceed) your revenue and/or conversion goals.
24. Average Order Size
This KPI, often referred to as the average market basket, is the average amount of money a shopper will spend in a single order from your online store.
25. Churn Rate
Churn rates measure the percentage at which your business is losing customers or subscribers during a specific period of time. A sign of a well-performing business is when your acquisition rate well exceeds your churn rate. This is particularly important for subscription businesses.
Newbie Tip: To work out a churn rate for a specific period, you want to take the number of churns you had during a specific time and divide it by your total number of customers at the start. Here’s an example:
26. Competitor Pricing
Keeping an eye on your competitors is essential. This metric will allow you to compare your growth and pricing strategies with that of your closest competitors.
Bonus Content: 12 Tools for Spying on Competitors
27. Conversion Rate
This important eCommerce KPI is the percentage of traffic who buy (are converted). It is achieved by dividing your total number of site (page/category/page group) visitors by the total number of sales. To make sure this is accurate, use site-wide tagging. You can read more about it here.
28. CAC (Customer Acquisition Cost)
If your goal is to keep costs down and sales up, then monitoring your CAC KPIs is vital. This KPI will point to how much you are spending to acquire each new customer. You can work this out by simply dividing your acquisition costs (marketing) by the number of customers acquired during the desired time period.
29. Cart Abandonment Rate
Another significant KPI is your cart abandonment rate. This tells you the total number of potential shoppers who left their cart before finishing the transaction. Your aim here is to have the lowest number possible, but with the right abandonment strategies, you can bring them back to convert. Here’s a case study of how an online seller boosted their sales by $15k using abandonment strategies.
30. CLV (Customer Lifetime Value)
CLV is an important KPI that tells you what your customers have been worth to your business since their first purchase. If your goal is repeat business (which is a must), then you want to keep a close eye on this data, to ensure you are boosting loyalty over time. Here’s an example of how to work out this eCommerce KPI:
31. COGS (Cost of Goods Sold)
Keep an eye on your costs by watching your COGS. COGS is a KPI that includes manufacturing and other overhead costs of your products.
32. Gross Profit
By subtracting your total product costs from your sales, you get your gross profit KPI.
33. Inventory Levels
This KPI measures the amount of stock you have and how long it has been sitting in your warehousing, as well as the rate at which you’re selling.
34. Margin Average
Average margin KPIs are the percentage of your profit margin over a period of time. You can do this for your whole site, or work this out for a product, category or promotional level.
35. New vs. Returning Customer Orders
By comparing your new and returning customer orders, you will be able to assess and compare a variety of data. Such as retention – which is vital for building loyalty or looking for ways to improve either with upsell promotions.
36. Number of Transactions
The transaction number KPI can be used with a variety of other eCommerce KPIs to deepen your insights and pinpoint ways to improve your business – such as site visitors or order size averages.
37. Product Affinity
Product affinity is a KPI that points to products that are often purchased together and shows you possible cross-selling strategies.
38. Product Relationship
If one of your goals is to increase order values, then product relationship is a valuable KPI. Product relationship will show you which of your products are consecutively viewed. To get to this KPI, you want to use Google’s Behavior Flow report.
39. RPV (Revenue Per Visit)
Another KPI to help with goals to increase spend per customer is revenue per visit. RPV is a KPI that measures the average spend per customer per visit. This KPI is calculated by taking your total revenue by the number of site visitors during the time-frame being measured. A low RPV could point to missed up- or cross-selling opportunities, or lack of reward programs, timely customer service or product page optimization.
Your eCommerce sale total is one of the most used KPIs for online sellers. This will tell you your gross sales in a given time frame such as daily, hourly, monthly or annually.
41. Total Market Available
The last popular eCommerce KPI in the sales category is your total market available KPI. This points to your share of your niche market and it is what you would track if your goal is to increase market share in your industry.
Manufacturing KPIs for eCommerce
eCommerce manufacturing KPIs help you to monitor inefficiencies within your manufacturing and/or production process. They relate to things like your production process and supply chains.
42. Cycle Time
If your goal is to increase your production efficiency, then you will want to monitor your cycle time KPI. This will tell you how long it takes you to manufacture a product from beginning to end, giving you insights into where your bottlenecks are, based on metrics such as individual cycle times, production rates and total output vs. total orders.
43. FTY (First Time Yield)
First time yield is a quantitative KPI that points to areas in your production process that may be wasteful. Simply put, FTY will tell you how many product units are making their way down your production line to the eCommerce fulfillment stage without errors or defects that needed to be fixed. To calculate your business FTY, you would take your total number of finished manufactured units and divide them by the number of units you started with.
44. Number of Non-Compliance Events
As the name suggests, this KPI measures the number of events where non-compliance occurs. Non-compliance events are usually related to safety, quality or working conditions as required by regulations and policies.
45. OEE (Overall Equipment Effectiveness)
Overall equipment effectiveness is a KPI for monitoring the performance of your manufacturing equipment.
46. OLE (Overall Labor Effectiveness)
If you’re looking to increase your staff efficiency in terms of production, then it’s the overall labor effectiveness KPI you will want to monitor. For OLEs, you will factor in things such as employee availability, performance and absenteeism, and scheduling effectiveness as well as any material delays, shift changeover or idle time, or machine downtime.
Another important eCommerce manufacturing KPI is yield. This KPI will give you insights into total products manufactured in a given time, and when used in conjunction with other KPIs like yield variance, will show you percentages of growth or decline as compared to previous periods.
Customer Service KPIs for eCommerce
Lastly, let’s look at your most popular eCommerce customer service KPIs. If your business goals include improvements to customer service efficiency, ratings and/or turn-around time, then these will give you invaluable insights.
48. Average Resolution Time
This KPI looks at the average time it takes you and/or your customer service support team to resolve a specific customer issue or ticket. This includes the whole time from when a customer first reaches out to when the issue is resolved.
49. CSAT (Customer Satisfaction) Score
Customer satisfaction scores are one of your most important customer service KPIs. CSATs are usually based on customer survey questions on a numbered scale, which you send out before renewal or after events (like purchases or customer service resolutions).
Newbie Tip: If you haven’t worked with KPIs before, try Hubspot’s free customer service metrics calculator, which includes these metrics.
50. Customer Service Count
This refers to the total number of customer service requests per channel. For example, if you’re using live chat in your customer service strategy, then the customer service counter KPIs will help point to the number of chats received and resolved. Meanwhile, customer service email counts are based on the total number of emails, and customer service call counts are based on the total number of calls your brand has received.
51. First Response Time
This KPI will give you the average time it takes you to first respond to a customer who has emailed, messaged or called in a query. The goal here is, obviously, to keep the average time as low as possible. Zendesk suggests that you aim for half a day for email and online form responses, two hours for social media replies and only a few seconds for live chats.
52. Hit Rate
To get to your hit rate KPI, you need to take a product’s total unit sales numbers and divide them by the total number of shoppers who bought that specific product and contacted your help desk in relation to that sale.
53. NPS (Net Promoter Score)
Another popular eCommerce customer service KPI is your NPS. A net promoter score is a way of tracking your customer loyalty performance to gauge how likely they would be to recommend your brand. In other words, it’s the accumulation of answers from the question “How likely are you to recommend our brand” to give you an average. If you’re new to NPS KPI, this beginner’s guide from Orbelo is a good jumping-off point.
54. Service Escalation Rate
The last of the most popular KPIs for eCommerce we will mention is service escalation rates. This KPI will tell you how many times a customer has requested to speak to a more senior person in your support team, such as a supervisor. Ideally, you want to keep this number low, as high numbers could mean your customer satisfaction is lacking or that your customer service team is not handling queries efficiently enough to prevent such escalations.
As you can see, the number of eCommerce KPIs is almost endless but vitally important to ensure your goals are being met.
All these KPIs have their importance, but you want to start with your most important KPIs first, after which you can further your business growth and use other KPIs to optimize your store. I suggest starting with (and always including) these critical metrics for eCommerce:
- Gross profit marketing
- Customer lifetime value
- Conversion rate
- Average order value
- Cart abandonment rate
Nicole is a content writer at StoreYa with over sixteen years experience and flair for storytelling. She runs on a healthy dose of caffeine and enthusiasm. When she's not researching the next content trend or creating informative small business content, she's an avid beachgoer, coffee shop junkie and hangs out on LinkedIn.
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