When building your business and working towards its improvement, it’s incredibly important to know your strengths and weaknesses. However, as someone personally, financially and emotionally involved in the process, you’re bound to be biased. This is why you need to trust metrics. Metrics allow you to gather actionable information and then make your decisions more data-based and, therefore, more reliable. The problem with these metrics lies in the fact that a lot of people aren’t that good at gathering or interpreting data. In order to help you avoid this problem, here are several tips to help you improve your e-commerce customer data collection methods.
Start with the general analytics
The first thing you want to know the number of visitors, the so-called traffic, which can unveil the visibility and the overall appeal of your website. If the number is not satisfactory enough, you get the indicator of a major problem and you have more than several methods to resolve it.
Once you have this out of the way, your next point of interest needs to be concerned with the specifics of the visit. Most notably, you need to know the time of the visit, the duration of the visit, as well as the time that your average visitor spends lingering on every single page. The time of the day when your content is the most popular can be a useful piece of information for your editorial calendar. As for the duration of visit on each page, it helps you figure out which items are most interesting to your audience, even if they aren’t best sellers. Perhaps, by adding a special offer or tweaking the price just a bit, might make a massive change in your sales.
Apart from this, you also need to know where the bulk of your traffic is coming from. In this way, you’ll spot patterns. For instance, some blogs or even blog types may prove to be a more reliable source of qualified leads and by focusing on them, you might get an easier job of making conversions. Either way, these are the most basic metrics that can be obtained through tools as simple as Google Analytics, which means that there’s virtually no excuse for you not to do so.
Additional relevant metrics
Apart from these primary metrics, what you also want to know is the number of document downloads, provided that your site has such attachment. If you’re playing strong on the video format, you need to know the number of clicks on the video in question.
One of the least discussed metrics, yet a particularly important one is scroll depth. A lot of website owners believe that the duration of the visit is interchangeable, however, when combined with the depth of scrolling, this metric can reveal whether your audience is reading/carefully examining or just skimming through your website. It can also help you learn a thing or two about the efficiency of your layout. Think about it, if they scroll long enough and then just abruptly leave, they might have been looking for a CTA button and never found it. This is particularly important in professional e-commerce website design.
Lastly, you also need to understand that an average online user doesn’t have that great of a patience. This means that they are likely to just give up randomly whenever they encounter a particularly annoying road bump. This is why tracking metrics like errors when users fill out forms may be incredibly useful. For instance, if too many people are having trouble with the same section of your form, you might not have clarified enough what you want of them. By fixing this simple issue (in less than several minutes), you might boost the number of new registrations by quite the margin.
Shopping cart abandonment
As an e-commerce business, one thing that you should care the most about is the metric known as shopping cart abandonment. Simply speaking, this is a metric that tells you how many people left your e-store without actually making a purchase. Knowing the reason why this happens is the first step in making the change in the right direction. Now, there are some statistics that you can start with, however, in order for this to really work, what you need is to make your own survey/research. In other words, you don’t care why customers are leaving without buying, you care about why YOUR customers are leaving without buying.
Check out best tools for shopping abandonment.
Most commonly, it’s about the price or the comparison shopping. This latter isn’t necessarily bad, seeing as how a person might just come to your website in order to see how your prices fare against those of your competitors or do the other way around. In this particular scenario, they might eventually come back. On the other hand, things like unexpected costs, complicated registration process, lack of product details and not enough payment options are more serious concerns that need to be addressed as soon as possible.
At the end of the day, you need to understand that the term metric can apply to simply too many things. Virtually everything that a customer does that’s in any way related to your business can be considered (and is) a metric. Nonetheless, what you need to do in order to get better at this game is to figure out which of these metrics are worth getting into and which of them are not as relevant and are, therefore, a waste of your time and resources.