Analytics Essentials for Your eCommerce Store

Analytics Essentials for Your eCommerce Store

Every business wants to make the best use of their budget, no matter what it is.  For your eCommerce store, there are a lot of numbers you can look at.   It can be overwhelming.

Here’s the good news.  You don’t have to spend hours and hours pouring over data, trying to make sense of what’s happening with your website.  There are key metrics that enable you to understand what’s going on so you can make changes and improvements and grow your business.  Here are the essentials:

Conversion Rate

Conversion Rate is calculated by taking the number of sales (conversions) and dividing it by the number of visitors to your website.  This is the most important metric for an eCommerce store since it deals with sales volumes.  Actual sales are only part of the story.  You want to track every step of the purchasing process so you can understand what’s happening and what you can improve:

  • Adding items: how may shoppers add items to their shopping cart?
  • Checkout: how many shoppers go to the checkout?
  • Actual Sales: how many people complete the purchase?

Knowing how many people abandon their shopping cart, or how many don’t complete the purchasing process is essential for you to understand;  this information will help determine if there is an issue with any of the steps in your purchasing process.

A good conversion rate for an eCommerce website is 1-3%.
Some business sectors are lower than that.  For example, Travel  0.7%,  Home & Garden  0.6%,  Home Furnishings  0.4%.

It’s important to note that there is a discipline of Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) that is focused on increasing conversion rates.  If you have significant volume and revenue, it’s best to get an expert focused on optimizing your conversion rates.  If you have a smaller store, there are some essentials in conversion optimization that you can employ to get better conversions on a budget.  Check out our article 7 Ways to Improve Your Online Store’s Conversion Rate.


Obviously, you need visitors coming to your website.  Traffic reports help you understand things like:

  • How many are coming?
  • Where are they coming from?
  • What is trending?
  • How did they find you?

Traffic reports can also help you understand what channels appear to be working best and should provide you with solid returns.

Total Sales

This key metric typically examines sales over a period of time; however, it’s also important to take a look at trends daily and hourly.

  • Are there certain days when more sales happen than others?
  • What about key times of day when sales spike?
  • What channels are the spikes being driven by?

When you start to see peak sale trends, you can then consider how to leverage these even more.

New vs Returning Customers

You want return customers;  they are typically less expensive to attract to your website and are more likely to make a purchase.

You also want new customers, because you want to grow your business.

The New vs Returning metric helps you understand the balance of new and returning customers.  Then you can consider strategies to target and maintain an optimal balance.

Average Order Value

The Average Order Value metric shows the average a customer spends in a single transaction.  This can have a significant impact on your business and its ability to absorb shipping costs.  If you are able to increase your average order value, you can increase your profitability without increasing revenue.

This is not the end

This is the just the beginning of analytics for you.  Once you start to master these foundational metrics, there are other numbers that can help you.  A good eCommerce vendor partner can provide you with insight into these metrics and how you can grow your business.

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