With dozens of programs and an infinite amount of data to extract from e-commerce performance, data can easily get lost in the sea of information. Strategies to drive e-commerce performance for products or websites include utilizing important key performance indicators in Google Analytics.
Breaking Down Basics: Google Analytics E-Commerce Performance Metrics
Acquisition based metrics include users, new users, and sessions offers data on the marketing channels that contribute to increased traffic for e-commerce businesses. To benchmark success, compare the previous month to the current month to grasp an idea of growth during a short period. For overall growth, comparing year-over-year periods consists of more in-depth benchmarks for progress, as it often accounts for seasonal business conditions. Take notice of new user metrics to gain an indication of marketing efforts that drive new users. Although, this measurement falls into the category of behavior-oriented metrics.
Behavior-based metrics are crucial in understanding how users engage with the brand. These include Bounce Rate, Pages/Session, and Average Session Duration. Bounce rate is calculated when a user visits a single-page on a website and does nothing before leaving. A high Bounce Rate offers helpful indicators to measure the cause of users leaving. Examples that might be at fault include inaccurate targeting or poor landing page experiences.
How-To Analyze Pages Per Session Results
Pages Per Session indicates two different types of results. Either a user is exploring a greater amount of pages and discovering more products or the user is not finding the content they are searching for. In this case, cross-reference the data with the conversion rate. If the conversion results are low, the issue is related to not being able to find content. However, if the data produces an average or higher-than-average result, the user is accessing more pages. An average or higher-than-average result indicates the strategy is playing to your advantage. Little Data reported, the average benchmark for pages per session is between 1.8 and 4.4. Anything less than 1.4 is considered as an underperforming benchmark.
Cross-Reference Conversion-Based Metrics
Average Session Duration is the amount of time a user spends on a website. This metric is a key indicator for how engaged a user is with a brand, specifically for category level pages. When reviewing page sessions, ensure the duration is as low as possible. Each additional second can cause a 20% drop in conversion. Measuring the impact of behavior-based metrics is best analyzed by cross-referencing the data with conversion-based metrics. According to Databox research, a reasonable benchmark for Average Session Duration is between 2-3 minutes. A Databox survey stated 55% of marketers reported an Average Session Duration greater than three minutes and 27% reported greater than four minutes.
Opportunities For Conversion-Based E-Commerce Performance
Conversion-based metrics are considered the ‘money makers’ in analytics. This refers to metrics measured across marketing and advertising efforts that produced results. From Ad Campaigns to landing page copy, conversions provide clear context when layered with acquisition and behavior-based metrics. Conversions measure the volume of actions, such as sales or newsletter sign-ups. This is effective for providing data on marketing channels, pages, or products that lead to actions.
Conversion rates can also be used as a metric to discover hidden opportunities to increase conversion volume. For example, if a product page is receiving an above average conversion rate due to the layout design, the design can be duplicated and utilized as a template for other product pages. Next, analyze how the optimizations impacted sales. Collect results from the increase or decrease in conversion rate to contribute data-driven decision making efforts moving forward.
Combined, these key metric categories can positively impact e-commerce performance and scale brands. While a variety of additional metrics exist, mastering the basics is a crucial to analyzing how paid media and user experience marketing strategies affect the bottom-line.