The most important metrics to monitor in your online store (and how to improve them) – Part II
Raising AOV raises your overall revenue
(Part I of this article you will find here)
In our previous post we introduced the three most important metrics of your online store worth monitoring. Let’s move forward and take a closer look at your business performance. What do specific statistics actually indicate, how do we measure them, and what tools can help us make the work easier? In this post we’ll cover the following metrics:
- Average Order Value
- Rate of Returning Visitor
- Traffic Source
1. Average Order Value
You may guess from its title that AOV stands for the average customer’s spend per order (i.e. the value per transaction – note, not the customer!). This is calculated as Total Revenue divided by the Number of Orders.
AOV supplies very valuable information for driving business decisions such as product pricing, store layout, shipping costs, and how much is spent on advertising. It also lets merchants see where their investments are paying off the most for each order. You want to see your AOV rise relative to the amount spent by each customer – the more they spend each time they visit your site, the better.
Average order value, as one of the critical ecommerce metrics, is usually reported in each online store’s analytics and Google Analytics, and is therefore one of the main statistics that comes up on any dashboard.
How to raise your AOV?
- create a threshold for free shipping at 15-20% above your AOV – motivate your customers to order more to get free shipping
- use cross-selling – recommend the best selling combination of products (for example, advertise replacement filters when pitching a water kettle or filter)
- offer special product bundles – this works well when someone is starting a new hobby but is not well informed about what is needed
- offer 15% volume discount – this works towards products that require several pieces, or can be bought in bulk
- set time-limited offers – sell some products at strategic discounts, for example offering a 40% less deal during a holiday or weekend
- start a loyalty program – reward your customers with discounted coupons and encourage them to put more items into a shopping cart
While we talk about the AOV and products, you don’t need any special tool except from your online store reports. When it comes to loyalty programs, there’s no better expert than SweetTooth which is one of the top platforms for eCommerce.
Read more about how important watching your average order value is.
2. Rate of Returning Visitors
(also known as Repeat Customer Rate – RCR)
This stat is displayed as a percentage of how many visitors come back to your store to shop repeatedly. This metric is also monitored in your online store and Google Analytics.
The group of returning customers is very important for your business because it shows customers’ preferences and is also a good measure of how loyal they are to your brand and how much they trust it. Additionally, this demographic is also important because they can supply desired reviews and spread your brand by word-of-mouth.
The share of returning customers compared to new customers is usually slammer and this is quite natural, whether you’re a small up-and-coming store or one with name value. The important thing is the care given to both the groups and the effort spent on converting new visitors into loyal customers.
How do you make that transition?
- provide excellent customer service with live chat or phone support
- use newsletters with relevant, timely, and personalized content (e. g. recommend buying a product as a gift, or for themselves, etc.)
- send gift or discount coupons on their birthdays
- engage them on social media – don’t forget to let them know about your presence on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram
To keep your customer database under control it’s also a good idea to find a good CRM tool. We can recommend Salesforce and Insightly for small online stores. Other apps that easily integrate with emailing protocols include MailChimp or GetResponse.
Sometimes CRM, emailing, and loyalty tools don’t give the whole picture for a proper understanding of correlations between specific numbers. To make your offer more accurate you might need to add some detailed analytics to know what campaigns drive the most visitors, which of them make them purchase, and what the busiest shopping days and hours tend to be. Consider using a reporting app that provides detailed stats about your online stores.
3. Traffic by Sources
This metric has a bit different character than the previous ones. It is used to identify from which sources your visitors are coming to your store. There are 3 basic types of traffic sources: Organic Search, Direct traffic, and Referrals, which are sites or social networks that incorporate links back to your store. Foremost, it helps eCommerce merchants to understand how well their campaigns are performing.
Google Analytics provides only basic traffic analysis, so if you want to work with your traffic and campaigns wisely you should know which channel and campaign generates the most leads and revenue.
How can you improve your website traffic?
We could devote a whole article or e-book to this topic. To sum it up, we recommend focusing on organic searches – it’s free and much more effective than paid searches, especially if you’re just starting out. There are a few key things to keep in mind:
- which channel is the most effective for sales? – consider the money you invest into the ads and campaigns and compare this with the revenue they brought in
- track and pinpoint the types of content that receive the most shares – identify the topics your customers are interested in
- find out what form of content is the most engaging for your customers – do they prefer blog posts, newsletters, or short posts on social networks?
If you’re doing your social media marketing actively, the automation of data collection saves you a plenty of time and gives accurate information.
Tracking and understanding the metrics from of your online store can take you to the next level as an entrepreneur. Accurate and easy-to-understand data can give you confidence and ability to make educated business decisions. And the increasing availability of eCommerce tools allows you to outsource some work to professionals, allowing you to focus on the things that matter.
Good luck and enjoy doing your business!