Your "Must Know" Ecommerce Metrics

Web Analytics can be an amazing technology, but also a highly under-utilized one. Complex deployments and integrations frequently leave business users befuddled. Without dedicated staff to analyze, analytics packages more often than not collect dust.

This brief is focused on outlining the 7 most important web metrics to monitor within your eCommerce business and what to look for as it relates to your website’s performance.

Bounce rate

First on our list is the most important metric you will encounter: bounce rate. Think of bounce rate as a first impression. The definition of bounce rate is the percentage of users that leave your website after only viewing the initial page that was presented.

Bounce rate is so vital because it provides details into how you initially message your value proposition to the customer or prospect. It provides a cue to also help you identify performance issues with your site that may be causing the inflation the metric.

Bounce rates vary by industry, but eCommerce businesses should focus on getting the metric below 30%. Especially important within paid search campaigns, bounce rate will provide valuable cues into which product assortments and promotions at the category and sub-category levels of your taxonomy are doing well. This knowledge can be leveraged across the business in other categories and implemented via multi-variate testing deployments.

Email Capture Ratio

The next metric you want to track is your email capture ratio. As an online business, you probably sell some type of tangible product or service in which you monitor orders or completed information forms. Most businesses monitor their standard conversion rate, but few businesses frequently monitor their email capture rate and take a proactive approach to increasing.

With eCommerce conversion rates yet to eclipse an average of 3%, 97% of users who come to your store are leaving without buying something. Just because they are leaving however does not mean they are not interested in communicating on some level with your business. By gaining an initial step of trust through the capture of an email address, you are not only increasing the size of your house list for future marketing but you are also building a relationship with your customer and can win their business by providing them solutions to their lives.

Strive for a 7-10% email capture rate and place the sign up tool prominent in the header. Too many businesses bury their sign up tool and do not leverage rich applications that can use browser technologies such as ajax to expand a capture field over standard text in an overlay fashion.

Number of non-branded organic keywords

Make sure you look at number of monthly non-branded organic search keywords. When monitoring SEO performance, you need to first strip out the branded terms that correlate with your business. Thats traffic that you would have received without effective SEO. Then look to the number of remaining keywords that were utilized to make up the balance of the remaining natural search visits.

Why is this important? Because SEO is driven from the long tail. Sure, core SEO terms are nice but you need to capture the 4 and 5 word queries that make up the majority of Google queries each day. Long tail placements are achieved through proper site architecture and quality targeted content. Simply put, the more terms that people are using to find you, the better your site is doing in content development. Aim for a 5% to 10% increase each month within non-branded search keywords as you structure your SEO campaigns.

Shopping Cart to Checkout “Step 1″ Progression Rate

Our next metric directly correlates to the transactional process. Make sure you monitor your direct progression percentage from the shopping cart to checkout step 1. See how many of your users are bailing for price shopping and/or they see a promo code box on your site and they are going hunting for one. This type of behavior dramatically impacts your conversion rate and overall profits and steps should be taken to measure and reduce.

Consider adding the promo box at the end of the transaction for non-affiliate sessions in order to reduce leakage. Use a cookie from an affiliate or potentially a URL to trigger two versions of the cart page. By incorporating checkout abandonment tools that re-market via email, and aggressive banners both internally and externally to try and re-capture the lost transaction, eCommerce businesses can pull prospects back in the sales funnel.

Browser and Resolution Percentages

Dont forget about looking at Browser/Resolution percentages (types and sizes) when scaling your eCommerce business. Lace face it, when you sell online you are in the “looks professional…is professional” world and goo design can make even the smallest retailer seem large. If your build your site and it breaks in Safari (Mac’s browser), or the navigation breaks on Firefox 3.5 on a PC, you essentially shoot yourself in the foot.

Look at the varied browsers and resolutions that are being used to view your website. Conduct full cross-browser testing, on varied platforms, to fully notice any potential usability problems that arrive.

Average number of cross/up sells added per visit

If you are an eCommerce business, you already know that intelligent merchandising is a crucial key to success. A primary metric to help you understand performance within online merchandising is that of average cross/up sells added per visit.

This datapoint associates to your cross sell tools that integrate at the product and the cart level and measures the average number of cross-sells added to the cart per visit. The number will provide details into the effectiveness of your product recommendations and if the recommended products are actively engaging and persuading customers.

It is tough to provide a benchmark statistic for this metric since products can vary so greatly in terms of pricepoint. But look at your historical performance and consider automating this component through algorithmic third party solutions.

What's The Difference Between A Reseller Program And Affiliate Program?

Many people ask me what's the difference between becoming an affiliate or a reseller? What's the simple answer? Let's say there is a resellers and an affiliate, they both sell the same digital service for XYZCO; However, there are significant differences between each person's agreement.

What is a Reseller? A reseller creates a reseller account with XYZCO, and then solicit (proprietary) for customers to sign up under it for products or services. The reseller can sometimes provide the technical support for his or her customers and in some cases manages the billing directly with his / her clients then the order is fulfilled by the reseller company. Many companies offer while label solutions and ever customer support can be included to look like your service. With digital products, you get paid by your clients $ xxx.xx amount then your reseller fulfills the order charging you your wholesale reseller rate $ xx.xx so you make the difference on each order. Customers deal with the reseller directly, and sellers may set their prices at any level they choose.

What's an Affiliate? An affiliate is strictly an evangelist for our service. He or she refere customers or traffic to XYZCO, where they open their own accounts with the affiliate's special code to let us know who referred them. Affiliates are paid on commission by XYZCO and the current rate is an ongoing percentage of referred sales. Many affiliate programs pay a one-time commission; However, companies like SendPressReleases.com – Send Press Releases affiliate program offer a free program to sign up and you get paid forever on any of your referred clients allowing you to build a real affiliate business with digital products that sell.

There are pros and cons to each type of account, and which is right for you will depend upon how much time you would like to invest.

Key Points to Consider When Becoming a Reseller;

Getting started as a reseller is very easy and can be done within a few minutes. I would recommend taking some time and do a little research on the type of monetization terms each reseller program offers. Many key points for both reseller and affiliate can be the same and really come down to your potential profit and success with the individual program.

  1. How long does the software track client visitor cookies? Most reseller software will have a tracking cooking so if you refer someone using a referral tracking link, it will keep a record if they then purchase for up to 30/60/90 days and sometimes longer. Many people take time to get started and execute an order so this defiantly is a very important factor.
  2. Many reseller programs will pay you for your first referral that orders but then the terms might change. Ideally you would like to get paid on that client whenever they order.
  3. Simply said, read the terms a reseller provides you and see if they are fair and profitable. There are many types of reseller businesses that you could start so first you need to identify which type of reseller business model is right for you. Maybe the overall key factor is reselling something you have an interest or passion in? Choosing a reseller for the profit is not always a bad idea either!

Key Points to Consider When Joining an Affiliate Program;

  1. Minimum payment threshold, this can be the amount you must generate before a payment will be released to you for your affiliate marketing efforts. The payment threshold can vary from program to to program and can be anywhere from $ 5 to $ 100 and in some cases if you do not meet the terms (within 120 days as an example) you would forfeit your affiliate earnings. I would recommend learning the terms before joining any program no matter how great the initial profit model looks.
  2. Are the products you want to become affiliated with profitable and easy to process? This might be a very good question to ask your-self. Keep an eye out for shockingly high transactions, yes, sometimes Internet marketing is like pyramid schemes and if an affiliate program sounds too good to be true, it probably needs a closer look.
  3. Make money type of products and MLM. I am sure you know someone in one of these product categories, maybe they are even making money. Do not do it. Move in another direction, the statistics and numbers do not lie. These type of programs work on your greed and in many cases do not provide a products that justifies the potential. Do your homework ..

What's a Better Affiliate Program or a Reseller Program?

This is the questions you need to determine yourself. With each comes their own set of pros and cons. With a reseller program you might have more of a standard business that you can grow over time, however an affiliate program is easy to get started for free in many cases and can be a great part time business or second income.

Here is some statistic to reflect upon while you consider your options;

  • Affiliate marketing spend matches $ 5 Billion in the US
  • Affiliate marketing drives a whopping 1% of the country's total GDP in the UK.
  • Approximately 15% of all digital media industry's revenue comes from affiliate marketing.
  • In 2016 over 80% of brands utilize affiliate marketing.

Why Does it Have Setup Fee?

Many reseller and affiliate programs will charge a setup or account fee to get started, and yes this is very common. Reseller programs that offer you a great program, support, even white-label client support to assist and help your clients for you on your behalf. This can be a fantastic situation and can allow you to operate your own business and have it sully supported by your affiliate reseller company. I find digital products that are in high demand, that also offer your clients support in your behalf are some of the best most effective programs.

The Significance of E-Books

E-Books are virtual books used to display information on any subject on the digital medium. This has made the task of Internet users easier to publish any kind of information. It is easy to create these electronic books on the Internet. This format is accessible and portable on multiple platforms. Computer users can have access to these digital books on any system with different configuration. You can open and view the digital books on the computer system easily. The original format does not change. If you create the digital book in an appropriate format, you can easily reduce the size of the file. Here, one can accommodate more than hundred pages in the electronic book. It is also easy to store and carry the digital book in portable devices like pen drive, Digital Video Disc or iPod.

Importance of E-Books:

The significance of electronic books is that they can be used for several purposes. You can use e-Books for promoting online business. An entrepreneur can write informative or promotional content for alluring the potential web visitors towards the company website. This enables you to promote the products and services online and build favorable company reputation. An e-Book can carry thousands of pages. One can make available any kind of information on the Internet through electronic books. An organization can create manuals, newsletters, reports or presentations. You can use digital books for educational purposes such as tutorials and e-notes. One can create digital books on science or medical field and on other such subjects. Universities can organize for imparting education to the distant learning students through Internet. They can provide digital books on various subjects to these students and make learning easier as well as fun. Even authors can publish their work online like poems, novels, fiction stories, rhymes and much more. Authors can also receive feedback from the readers for their work on the Internet. You can add animation or graphics along with other such content in the digital books.

E-Books can be published in a variety of formats such as PDF, HTML, Word document and much more. These formats make your task of publishing content easy and smooth. You can create e-books in different file formats and for this you can also use conversion software like word to PDF converter and make e-books creation easy and smooth.

The New Marketing Research Tool – Twitter

Conducting marketing research is very important for any business. The key to success of any online business is the profitability of the niche market you select. First and foremost though should be the determination of market demand. Without the demand the probability of generating any profit is zip. With that said our consideration will turn to a reliably new way to conduct market research that will enable you to unforgettable those niche markets with plenty demand and profit potential.

Twitter, the fast growing micro blogging social network site offers you the opportunity to tap into a real time search engine containing valuable search information.

If you're looking for online business ideas around which to build an income Twitter could be your answer.

Let's look at a simple 3 step process you can use to help you generate potential niche marketing opportunities by using Twitter.

Determine Popular Topics First

Firstly you want to see what everyone is talking about by looking at 'trending topics' which is located on the right hand side of the page. Being Twitter is a highly populated social network site you can assume trends found here reflect most of what you may find across the internet.

Under trending topics you'll find separate 'discussions' being held on various topics. The topics or keywords of these individual discussions are precluded by a hash mark (#). Choose a topic of interest to you and join the conversation.

Focusing on conversations that interest you is very important!

Two other methods you can use to locate popular topics on Twitter are visiting hashtags dot org and stufftotweet dot com.

Find the Conversations

Track down these conversations on Twitter by entering the appropriate keywords into the search box.
Plug into conversations as this will be your market research.

Start to follow some of the participants since once once you follow someone they'll follow you back. This allows you to stay up with and view these conversations as they occur from day to day.

Plug Into & Follow the Conversations

Now that you've located these conversations you of course will contribute where you can but you definitely want to listen and take notes. You are looking for trends, common problems, angles, or other ideas to explore. If possible unforgettable a common problem and develop a solution for it. This could be the basis of your niche.

Throughout the course of these discussions various ideas, opinions, or preferences will be offered so take note of this. Focus in on the more prevalent and consistent 'sub-topics' to help you' narrow 'your search'.

By following these conversations over an extended period of time you'll be validating the thinking popularity or interest of the topic you're 'researching'.

This process will be connected over a period of time and the information you collect can then be used to further explore with other market research tools. You'll want to do this to insure your hunch / finds possess the market potential you are looking for.

Marketing research can be very time consuming and boring but it is a necessary evil for any online business. The key to your success will the profit potential of the niche market you select as the core of your business. Determining the market demand is your first step when considering the potential of any number of niche markets. The accuracy of your market research is crucial and if done correctly will lead to profitable online business ideas for you. Knowing how to efficiently use the real time search engine that Twitter should enable you to speed up the research process. Just following the current trends and the conversations surrounding them should supply you with very insightful data. It is then up to you to put this information to work as you apply it to your niche marketing efforts. The end results should be rewarding.