If you are developing a digital marketing campaign for your ecommerce business, then data should play a central role in your decision-making process. Data can provide insights into your customers while helping you troubleshoot problems.
While many marketers are comfortable tapping into data at the start of a campaign, few continue to return to data sources throughout the customer journey. In this post, I’ll look at key performance indicators to track in the entire campaign, to drive performance.
Awareness is the first part of the customer journey and an important opportunity to incorporate data into your ecommerce marketing efforts. The data you collect now on your prospects can help guide your decisions throughout the buying process.
While tapping into awareness-related ecommerce statistics is fairly easy (especially when you’re using social platforms that offer their own insights), this part of the funnel is also rife with useless metrics. Many campaign managers still rely on basic analytics like “potential reach” and “impressions” rather than concrete data that proves the effectiveness of your campaigns. Instead, consider other data points.
- Share of voice. Percent of people talking about your brand or are knowledgeable about it.
- Brand recognition and recall. The percent of people who remember your brand message a few days after they see it.
- Amplification rate. The percentage of people who see your brand messaging and share it with others.
- Sentiment. How people react to your brand messaging.
The fact that you received 1 million impressions means nothing. How many people cared? How many were relevant? A better indicator of success would be if 10,000 people shared your message and 75 percent were able to recall seeing your ad three days later.
The consideration phase is where data get a little murky. Marketers typically have a hard time tracking the value of mid-funnel engagement before a prospect makes a purchase. But it is possible.
Mid-funnel analytics track purchase intent, which helps brands sort the leads that have a significant chance of making a purchase, thereby increasing the efficiency of their marketing efforts.
Consider reviewing these data points to track purchase intent, to better understand customers that show a genuine interest in buying.
- Site engagement and use. Which shoppers read reviews, look at multiple product pages, and spend meaningful time on your site?
- Average time to purchase. How long do shoppers typically spend before they decide to buy?
- Average number of touches. How many times do shoppers engage with your brand before they purchase?
- Competitor engagement. What is a likelihood that a shopper will engage with a competitor before purchasing from your company?
You don’t have to mourn every visitor that bounces, but you should be concerned about people who land on your site, spend 10 minutes conducting in-depth research, and then bounce for good.
Once you have whittled down your top prospects, you can finally start to sell. But even the best marketing strategies can go awry if shoppers have a poor website experience or can’t find the inventory they want.
Tracking purchase metrics help you understand the effectiveness of your ecommerce marketing efforts. They also predict which shoppers will complete a purchase and which ones are likely to return. Consider the following data to evaluate your purchase process.
- Ease of finding the right products. Do shoppers find the right inventory?
- Effectiveness of upsells and sales targets. What percentage of shoppers respond to free shipping thresholds or impulse buy options?
- Abandon cart reasons and rate. Why do shoppers leave and at what rate?
- Return rate and customer service calls. What percent of customers return their purchases or require customer care?
You don’t want to drive your prospects away with complicated navigation, checkout, or lack of inventory. These are basic statistics that your design and operations teams can track to understand how their work impacts conversions.
The customer journey doesn’t end on the purchase confirmation page. As soon as the order is placed and fulfilled, it’s time to turn those buyers into repeat customers.
There are dozens of statistics that prove the value of investing in repeat customers. For example, returning customers convert, on average, 60 percent of the time versus just 20 percent for new visitors. New visitors grow your business and returning customers boost profit.
So which data tracks customer retention? Basic options in Google Analytics are new versus returning visitors. But you may need to look at your internal systems to see how returning customers behave. A few insights to keep an eye on include:
- Customer lifetime value. The amount your customers spend and how long.
- Average time between purchases. How often do customers buy?
- Customer spend over time. Do your customers spend more as they gain trust in your brand?
- Rate and reasons for brand abandonment. What percent of customers never visit your site again and why?
From here, build strategies to increase your retention rate while encouraging existing buyers to spend more.
Word of mouth marketing is powerful. But few brands, in my experience, know how to tap into it with the trackable metrics. Fortunately, there are ways to track the performance of your word-of-mouth campaigns.
Even a small amount of word-of-mouth advertising is powerful. A 10 percent increase in word-of-mouth marketing can increase sales by up to 1.5 percent, according to a BigCommerce post. Moreover, 40 percent of shoppers make their decisions after reading just one to three reviews.
How to track your advocacy efforts? Start by developing a campaign to turn customers into brand ambassadors. Then track the corresponding data.
- Percentage of customers turned advocates. What is the likelihood that a customer will leave an online review or a social post about your brand?
- New versus returning advocates. How long does it take for a new customer to become an advocate?
- Traffic driven from advocates. What percentage of site visits come from ambassadors’ reviews and posts?
- Increased sales through brand advocacy. How likely are shoppers to buy products with reviews?
With this information, you can track each new brand ambassador and each review, to gauge an estimated return from your brand advocacy efforts.