5 Critical Ecommerce Metrics And How To Boost Them With Smart Design Decisions

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In order to grow your ecommerce business, you need to keep a careful eye on certain sales, marketing, and optimization metrics. They will clearly indicate whether you are doing a good job and meeting the needs of your customers or failing to live up to their expectations. 

Depending on your goals, you’ll want to tweak the metrics you track somewhat. However, these six are the ones every ecommerce store should track. Here is how you can boost them with the help of clever design decisions. 

Average order value 

The average order value is the average amount customers spend per transaction. You can calculate it by dividing your total revenue by your total number of orders. 

For example, if you generate a revenue of $1000 from 10 orders, that means your average order value is $100. 

Average order value is important for several reasons. First, and perhaps obviously, it will increase your total revenue. It can also help you lower your operational costs. 

Selling to one customer will be a more cost-effective way to do business than to pay for the packaging and shipping of multiple orders. Increasing AOV can thus help you generate more money and maintain lower operational costs.

Average Order Value

One way to increase your average order value is to set your free shipping threshold just above what it currently is. This will encourage customers to add another item or two to their cart just to qualify. As most people prefer shopping this way, this can be a simple and effective tactic. 

Natasha Denona, for example, has a free shipping threshold at $35. To qualify, you either need to buy one of the pallets, which are her most expensive product, or two smaller items. 

Another great way to increase AOV is cross-selling, i.e. offering your customers products they are likely to be interested in, based on the one they are currently looking at. This tactic also does a lot to boost user experience, as it enhances the browsing experience. 

The key is to suggest products shoppers will actually like. Making random recommendations is not likely to work. Check out this maxi dress page on H&M. The suggestions that accompany it make perfect sense. They are either items you can wear with the dress or other similar dresses you might want to check out. 

Sales conversion rate 

Sales conversion rate is the percentage of visitors who perform a desired action when interacting with your offer or pitch. 

For example, if you email 1000 people, and 200 of them buy a product, your sales conversion rate will be 20%.

In ecommerce, the average conversion rate is roughly 2.5-3%. This should be enough to keep you in business. Anything below 0.5% means that you should start looking into the underlying causes of your low conversion rate and implement some changes. 

What can you do in the design department to improve conversion rates? A good place to start is overcoming the most common and most likely conversion obstacles your audience is likely to have. 

Are they concerned about shipping costs? Or perhaps the costs of returning an item? Are they worried about sizing? Do they have concerns about product quality? Are they worried about how long the item will take to get to them?

Sales Conversion Rate

Talk to your customers and look at your customer care calls and emails. What are the top issues? What can you do to overcome them? 

Check out this mega perch cat tree tower page. There are several elements on the page that aim to overcome common conversion obstacles.

The product is described in detail and its key features are clearly listed. Customers will understand how big the cat tree is, whether it will match their home’s aesthetic, and how they can customize it. There’s also room to ask a question, and shipping details are listed as well. 

The page also addresses certain concerns more prominently: the tree provides environmental enrichment (it’s good for your pet’s mental health), all cats can use it, and the shipping will be free.

Customer lifetime value

Customer lifetime value, or CLV, measures how valuable a customer is. It denotes the total revenue you can expect from a single customer during their lifetime with your brand. 

It is calculated by multiplying customer value with the average customer lifespan. 

In order to improve CLV, you’ll have to nurture customer relationships. Here are some suggestions:

  • Provide exceptional customer service. Respond to queries as quickly as possible. Listen to complaints. Provide simple solutions. Mean what you say, and don’t overpromise. Take your time to really get to know each individual case. Make sure that getting in touch with you is easy – clearly display all of your contact information. 
  • Create a loyalty program that will reward your most active shoppers. Create custom rewards and make sure customers can choose what they get when they hit a certain milestone. Make the rewards worth it. Highlight the loyalty program on all of your product pages. 
  • Personalize the shopping experience as much as you can. Send personalized emails and product recommendations. Send birthday cards and gifts. Make it easy to sign up to your newsletter. 
  • Publish relevant and valuable content on your blog as well as your social media. Engage with your audience as much and as often as possible. Make them feel a part of the conversation. Include links to your social media and your blog posts where visitors are likely to spot them. 
Customer Lifetime Value

Another great tactic to use is creating a subscription option. Check out this Transparent Labs weight gainer product page. You can choose to buy the product once, or you can have it delivered as often as you need it. This will not only reduce the price and make the shipping free, you’ll also get access to exclusive promotions. 

Shopping cart abandonment rate

The average cart abandonment rate is a whopping 70%. This means that more than half of your potential customers are going to leave their cart behind. 

The most common reasons customers abandon their cart include:

  • Extra costs, like shipping or taxes
  • Forcing customers to register an account
  • Lack of trust
  • Poor UX 
  • Security or privacy concerns
  • They are just browsing

What can you do to address these issues? 

  • Be transparent about your pricing. List the cost of shipping and the free shipping threshold clearly. Provide a shipping calculator on product pages. 
  • Offer numerous payment options, and highlight the security measures you have in place to protect the privacy of your customers. 
  • Allow customers to save their cart and create wishlists. 
  • Send reminders and use retargeting ads to gently nudge customers to convert. Don’t be pushy about this, and don’t send an email minutes after someone has abandoned their cart. 
  • Make the checkout process simple. Don’t ask for too much information, and only incorporate a single step. 
cart abandon rate

Colourpop does this very well. They clearly display their free shipping threshold at the top of their pages. While shopping, they tell you exactly how much more you need to spend in order to qualify. 

The checkout process itself is also straightforward. You can either log in or checkout as a guest. You can do the latter even if you do have an account but can’t remember your password and don’t want to bother resetting it. The purchase will still be associated with it, and you’ll be able to track it when you do log in. 

Time on page

Time on page is exactly what it sounds like: the time a visitor has spent browsing a page. 

It’s an important engagement metric, and it can tell you how well you’re matching search intent or how valuable and relevant your products are to your target audience. 

In order to boost time on the page, your first order of business is to match the above mentioned intent. Take a look at what kinds of pages are ranking for your desired keyword. Try to emulate them as much as possible, while still putting your own twist on the design and content. 

Make sure that the page is helpful and useful. Provide the information a customer is likely to be looking for and try to overcome their likely conversion obstacles, as we’ve mentioned before. 

Ensure your pages are loading fast and smoothly across all devices, especially on mobile phones, as this is where the majority of your traffic is likely to come from. 

Time on Page

Adding video to your pages is another great way to increase engagement rates and time on the page. You can create an explainer or a how-to video, you can shoot a promo video, you can even film video testimonials. Aim for the format your audience is most likely to be interested in.

Check out this medical alert systems page on Bay Alarm Medical. There are several videos that will be of interest to customers. One video shows the product and explains what it is, how it works, and whom it can benefit. There’s also a video of real medical emergencies where the product has assisted someone in need. 

Wrapping up

Before you start making any UI and UX changes to your website, take some time to analyze all of these metrics. Which ones are trending up, and which ones are underperforming? Start by addressing the ones that could yield the best results. 

Don’t make too many changes at once. Implement one at a time, and monitor how your key metrics respond. 

About the author 

Peter Keszegh

Most people write this part in the third person but I won't. You're at the right place if you want to start or grow your online business. When I'm not busy scaling up my own or other people' businesses, you'll find me trying out new things and discovering new places. Connect with me on Facebook, just let me know how I can help.

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