Do Your eCommerce Analytics Include These 5 Metrics?
Metrics is the most important tool that you have for improving your end users’ eCommerce experience. Not all metrics are created equal, however – some will be more valuable than others. If you don’t have strategies, like the ones below, in place to monitor and act upon eCommerce analytics results, then you’ll miss out on major opportunities to improve your end users’ experience.
5 Steps to a Strong eCommerce Analytics Framework
1. Start monitoring load time and stop having a slow application
One of the most important metrics to monitor regarding the end user eCommerce experience will always be load time. The faster your content loads on the user’s device the better your results.
Think about some of the most popular applications on the Internet, like Facebook or Amazon. They get hundreds of millions of unique visits on a daily basis. Despite what is an astronomical burden on the site’s infrastructure, their load time is usually less than three seconds. This translates into a pleasant browsing experience because users can find the information they came to the site for within seconds. These are the types of results that your eCommerce experience should strive for.
If you give a user any reason to leave your site, they will take it; so provide them with the best possible browsing experience. Businesses are already operating in an intensely crowded marketplace where the “competition” is growing in numbers on a daily basis. If your site takes even two or three seconds longer to load than the user feels it should, they will go someplace else.
2. Create and monitor custom goal completions
No two eCommerce sites are created in quite the same way, which is why creating your own custom metrics is so important. An element of the end user experience that is incredibly valuable to a competing service might not have much relevance in your world – and vice versa. As a result, you need to look inward toward your own operations and come up with a list of metrics that are valuable to your business and the way it operates.
One of those metrics might be “Views for the Top Five Product Pages,” for example, which will give you an insight into the products that are attracting the most amount of attention among visitors. Another could be “How Many People are Becoming a Subscriber,” which is an excellent way to track new leads and sales opportunities. You know which elements of your application and content are most important to your business; as long as you have a framework in place to monitor these elements, then you can ensure you’re doing everything within your power to achieve these goals and improve your business performance.
3. Ensure your application performs well on all types of devices
In years long past, the eCommerce experience was essentially limited to one key outlet: a PC. In today’s modern technological climate, however, users are visiting your site on any one of hundreds of different devices. Some users may be visiting on a smartphone or a tablet, an Internet-connected television set, or even a video game console with a Web browser like the Sony PlayStation 4 or the Microsoft Xbox One.
Your content could load differently (for better or worse) on any one of these devices, which is why you want to pay equal attention to all of them to avoid leaving someone out in the cold. As a result, you need to get an idea of which devices your end users are viewing your application on to provide everyone with an equally good experience across the board.
Some analytics tools like Google Analytics give you insight into the devices users are accessing your application from. Keep an eye on these metrics, and make sure your application is optimized to perform on a mobile, tablet, and any other devices your visitors are using.
4. Customize your in-page content based on user activity
In-page content is also commonly referred to as event tracking. The good news is that these types of metrics are customizable to fit the needs of your business in much the same way your goal completions are. If your eCommerce app has video content that is integral to the end-user experience, for example, you should be tracking which visitors are clicking to play the video and which aren’t even scrolling down your page past the navigation bar.
You can begin to get an idea of what type of content people are gravitating towards (for example, visual content over textual) and which content people are skipping over. If 90% of your users are ignoring video content altogether, you may be better served by eliminating it. Not only will this give users what they want, but it will also decrease load times for everyone.
5. Track and optimize your highest exit pages
Tracking the highest exit pages on your site is a great way to track the behavior flow of your users. Simply put, exit pages are the last pages users visit before leaving your site. You’ll begin to get an excellent indication of the pages that most commonly drive users away, and can create an A/B testing strategy to discover what could be driving your users away and how to improve these elements. If issues arise, you will notice if a page suddenly has a very high exit rate, and you can correct the issues as quickly as possible.
By tracking these types of metrics, you begin to get valuable insight into the likes and dislikes of your users. By improving what is already working and fixing what may be considered broken, you can create a much better environment for everyone – regardless of the type of device, they’re using.
- Load times should always be one of your primary focuses.
- You should have a strong indication of the types of devices users may be visiting your page on.
- In-page content will tell you the types of content that people are enjoying and what they are ignoring.
- The highest exit pages will give you valuable information regarding the reasons why a user may choose to leave your site abruptly.