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January 14, 2021
Carolyn Lowe

The Three Key eCommerce Metrics You Should Know

These top three eCommerce metrics are something every business owner should know. As a founder of a digital marketing agency, ROI Swift, I'm constantly surprised when marketing execs and founders aren't familiar with the performance of their online business. Before spending money on advertising, make sure you're familiar with the following three key metrics.

#1 - eCommerce Conversion Rate

Knowing how well your eCommerce store converts is necessary to understand your conversion funnel. In general, for companies with an average order value of $150 or less, we like to see the following.

MetricBenchmark
Add to Cart6% or more of visitors
Checkout Started4% or more of visitors
Purchase2% or more of visitors

It’s standard to have about 25-30% of your cart traffic checkout and make a purchase. You can find this info in two places:

  • Google Analytics under Audience > Mobile > Overview - this will also tell you percent of traffic by device as well as conversion rate by device.
  • The other place you can find it is in Shopify if you’re using that platform. The data is not as robust as Google Analytics, but great for basic conversion rate and cart to checkout rates.
    • Go to Shopify > Analytics > Dashboards

#2 - Page Load Speed

Believe it or not, the prettiest pages in the world won’t convert if the page loads slowly. For this reason, our next eCommerce Metric that matters is page load speed. As a Google Agency Partner, we've seen the research showing eCommerce sites losing 40% of traffic if pages take more than 4 seconds to load. 

Do this now with your phone. Load a page and count out four seconds. It’s a long time. If you want a more modern way to check page load speed, try Google Pagespeed Insights, and GT Metrix.

If the load time to interactivity (when a user can click on something) is more than 4 seconds, here are a few things to look at:

  • Do you have large or high-resolution images? Can you compress them?
  • Do you have apps that you are no longer using? Can you get rid of them?
  • Do you have a lot of external programs / scripts? Can you put them in Google Tag Manager so the page can load quicker while these scripts run without slowing down the page load time? 

These are just a few examples of page speed optimizations. Talk with your web developer for additional page load speed optimizations.

#3 - Average Order Value

Average order value matters a lot. It’s needed to calculate what you can afford to spend per acquisition and still be profitable.

Let’s look at an example.

Company ACompany B
Average Order Value$40$80
Cost of Goods Sold & Expenses40%40%
Margin after COGS$24$48
Breakeven Cost Per Acquisition$24$48

If you have a business without high repeat sales, you want your cost per acquisition to be below the breakeven cost per acquisition to be profitable. If you have a business WITH high repeat sales and some cash in the bank, you can break even on the first sale and be profitable by the second or third sale depending on your model.

Why Do These eCommerce Metrics Matter?

For businesses looking to begin paid advertising, the above metrics matter because they will influence the profitability of paid advertising efforts. Once you’re familiar with these metrics, you can begin paid advertising with confidence. To recap:

  • First, make sure you have a fast website that converts well. 
  • Second, make sure you know how much you can afford to spend to acquire a customer and grow your business profitably. 
  • Third, contact us at ROI Swift to run your Paid Social and Paid Search advertising to maximize your profits and grow your business.