Time for chit chat
If any organism or organisation is to prosper, it’s vital that it be able to keep track of the things that are keeping it alive. If a healthy human being goes for a day without eating, they’ll experience hunger – and thereby stand a much greater chance of taking corrective action and ultimately stay alive and satisfied.
The same principle applies to your online shop – you’ll need to keep track of certain measurements of your company’s health. That way, you’ll be able to review their progress over time, determine what it is that’s effecting any change, and take corrective action. Let’s take a look at five of the most important.
This is a crude measure of the number of people who find their way to your site. Using Google Analytics, you’ll be able to determine the number of unique visitors your site receives each month. It is also worth remembering that you’re interested in unique visitors rather than the raw number of hits you get each month.
As well as telling you the number of unique visitors you’re getting, Google Analytics will also help you determine the proportion of new visitors you’re getting relative to the recurring ones. It’s a very useful metric, in that it describes how ‘sticky’ your site is, and how effective your efforts to draw new customers in are.
This is another crude measure of the number of orders that have been made, and their total value. Once you’re gotten the sales and traffic figures, you’ll be able to work out how many of the people visiting your site ultimately go on to make purchases. This is the conversion rate – and ideally, you’ll want it as high as possible. There’s no point in drawing people to your site, after all, if they don’t buy anything.
This is a particularly important, and neglected statistic. It measures the proportion of visitors who, upon landing on a given page, immediately close the window and take their custom elsewhere. If there are certain pages on your website causing people to immediately leave, then it’s a good indicator that something is wrong with them. A good healthy bounce rate should ideally be less than 5%.
This is another metric that’s easily obtained, and which will give a vital indication as to how you might increase the amount of sales you’re getting per customer. It’ll also tell you whether your targeted marketing is effective – if your average basket value remains unchanged after you implement a ‘suggested complementary items’ banner beneath each item in your site, then it’s an indication that things aren’t all that they might be.