Business Strategy

The Three Most Important Metrics to Track for your eCommerce Store

by Gooten Editorial Team on Jan. 07, 2021


No matter how experienced an eCommerce seller you are, it’s important to frequently reflect on your store’s performance. With 2020 behind you, there’s no better way to start the new year than by considering what you can do to better your business. There are three important metrics that will help you take your store’s pulse: traffic, order values, and conversion rate. Below, we explore what these metrics are, what they mean for your store, and our top tips for improving these metrics - and in turn, your eCommerce business.

1. Store Traffic

Store traffic refers to the number of people who visit your website. You’ll want to look at both unique traffic and total traffic. Unique traffic refers to the number of visits per person while total traffic represents the total number of visits to your page.

Why Traffic is Important

Getting customers to your store is the first step to having a successful business. The more traffic you have, the more potential customers - and sales - you can gain. While you’re looking at your store traffic, you’ll also want to look at traffic sources.

Traffic Sources

There are a variety of ways people may find your page. Below are generally-used definitions of sources.

  • Direct: People who type your store’s URL into their browsers.
  • Paid search: People who find your store by either searching your store name or keywords relating to your store’s offerings and clicking a search ad (located at the top of search results and denoted by “Ad”
  • Organic Search: People who find your store by either searching your store name or keywords relating to your store’s offerings and click on your page in their organic search results (below ads).
  • Referral: A referral source comes through someone clicking a link to your store through another website such as a blog or publication.
  • Social media: Someone clicks on either paid social media ads or your store’s social media page.
  • Display ad: If someone clicks a display ad for your store, it counts as a display ad.
  • Email: Someone clicks a link to your store in an email

Where Your Traffic Comes from Is Important

So, why does it matter where your traffic comes from? Analyzing where your traffic comes from can help you get a sense of how people are finding your site and where you may be able to invest (money or time) in other traffic sources.

If you follow your traffic all the way to purchase you may also be able to see a pattern around which traffic sources yield higher-quality customers. For example, if people find you on organic search and make multiple purchases but never click on your display ads on other websites, you may consider not investing in display advertising. This data is known as conversion by traffic source.

You can also analyze return vs. new traffic to help you understand what to optimize. For example, if people visit your store multiple times before making a purchase decision, you may want to test an abandon cart campaign across different sources to help customers purchase more quickly. How about return visitors? Do customers visit after they make purchases? You may want to set up a paid social media campaign or email campaign to keep your brand top-of-mind for return customers.

How to Increase/Improve this Metric in 2021

As you look at traffic data, look for drop-offs both in finding your page and making a purchase. From there you can test optimizing your on-page and off-page experiences to maintain and increase customers. Looking for tips to improve your on-page and off-page customer experience? Check out the Gooten blog for all of this and more!

2. Order Values

Order value looks at how much customers are spending with your store. There are three different ways to assess order value:

1. Average order value: Average customer spend, equal to total spend divided by the number of orders

2. Median order value: The middle cost of your total orders

3. Mode order value: The most frequent order value

Why Order Value is Important

Order value can literally help you sell more inventory. Improving order value is part of a two-pronged approach for a more successful store. You want to want to maximize your number of customers but also maximize what your customers are spending. Committing to improving order value can also be a less expensive way to boost your store’s revenue than committing to marketing campaigns to generate traffic. Analyzing order value can also help you better understand your customers’ behavior and inform pricing decisions.

How to Improve Order Value in 2021

There are multiple ways to improve your order value.

  • Add a free shipping threshold
  • Test volume discounts with thresholds you want people to spend (i.e. $10 off $75)
  • Reveal cost savings with volume (savings for purchasing multiples of a product versus one)
  • Send a first time buyer offer
  • Build a loyalty program to encourage return customers
  • Foster a sense of urgency and scarcity to drive demand
  • Add similar product recommendations on product pages and in customers’ checkout carts
  • If you sell apparel or accessories, use photos of models wearing multiple items to encourage customers to buy full outfits

It’s important to note that if you want to see what really works for your store, you should test each approach one at a time.

3. Conversion Rate

Your conversion rate is the percentage of customers who went to your store and took a desired action. For example, you might look at the conversion rate of customers who made a purchase within a given time period, equal to the total number of visitors divided by the total number of purchases. The average eCommerce purchase conversion rate is 1-2%.

Why Your Store’s Conversion Rate Is Important

Conversion rate gives you a glimpse into how your store is working for the visitors you already have. So, instead of trying to get more visitors to your site, you might focus instead on getting those visitors to make a purchase

How to Increase Your Purchase Conversion Rate in 2021

There are many ways to increase purchase conversion rates. As always, you’ll want to test these approaches one at a time to determine what works and what doesn’t.

  • Make sure your website is optimized for mobile devices
  • Use high-quality images and photos
  • Write better product descriptions (link to product description page)
  • Make sure you have competitive pricing
  • Offer free shipping
  • Optimize your checkout process
  • Add security badges to your checkout pages
  • Improve your site search
  • Test chatbots to nurture customers
  • Utilize user-generated content/customer reviews
  • Make sure your brand and product descriptions are clear about what you’re selling
  • Make sure your website loads fast enough
  • Invest in SEO tactics to ensure customers are seeing the relationship between your website and what they’re searching
  • Always allow customers to see what’s in their carts and allow them to save their carts and come back
  • Make sure your return policy is visible (and ideally, friendly)
  • Offer multiple payment options

Understanding your eCommerce store’s traffic, cart value, and conversion rate gives you a holistic picture of your store’s health, and optimizing for all three will help you have your best sales year yet. Be sure to continue looking at these metrics throughout the year. You’ll be able to see what’s working, what isn’t, and continue to test and tweak your strategy. One way to make sure you focus on growing your store? Investing in a partner to help with the logistics. Gooten handles your inventory, so you can focus on the rest.