The Most Important Web Analytics Metrics for Your Store
Monitoring a specific set of metrics can help you see where your store needs improvement and help you make changes that’ll generate more orders. In this guide, we’ll explore some crucial Web Analytics metrics to track in Datma Analytics (or Google Analytics, or any other) that will help you boost your revenue.
Number of Sessions
A session is the period of time a visitor is interacting with your store. The session starts the first second a visitor lands in your store, and it ends when it leaves. If the visitor remains inactive (no scrolls, no clicks), for more than 30 minutes, any future activity will be attributed to a new session.
The number of sessions indicates how many visits your store had in a certain period. Remember, visits not visitors. A rule of thumb is that more sessions result in more sales. As we’ll see further down this article, it’s not that simple. The quality of your visits has a huge impact on the number of sales generated.
The bounce rate is calculated by dividing the number of single-page sessions by the number of total sessions on your store.
Some examples of bounce rates:
- Landed on your store homepage and left without taking any further action.
- Landed on a product page and did not interact with it before leaving the store.
- Landed in the order details page most probably from email, took the information they wanted, and left to store.
A high bounce rate is problematic on non-service pages (contact, order details, etc.) as it's a key indicator of the value of the store and/or the value of the visitor. If a visitor arrives in your store and leaves immediately without further interaction, either he didn’t find what he was looking for, he didn’t like what he found or you failed to persuade him to place an order.
Revenue per sessions
Divide your entire Revenue by the total number of sessions to arrive at your Revenue per Session. Example: if you have generated $1,000 from 10,000 sessions, your Revenue per session would be 1,000 / 10,000 = 0,1
The trend provides a good picture of the performance of your store. If it’s trending upwards, you generate more money, on average, from each visit. Either more high-intent visitors are arriving in your store, or your AOV is increasing (for more about AOV read here). Meanwhile, a downward trend may indicate that the quality of traffic is reducing, recent changes to your store have affected the experience of your usual visitors, or your product offering is not as attractive as before. Although there can be many reasons for either trend, it’s a good place to start an investigation.
Segment your data by Traffic sources and Locations for a better view.
Session Conversion Rate
The most used KPI in the e-commerce industry, Session Conversion Rate is obtained by dividing the total number of orders by the total number of sessions and multiplying it by 100.
Example: If you have 10,000 sessions that have generated 1,000 orders, your Session Conversion Rate will be 1,000 / 10,000 * 100 = 10%.
Basically, it measures how well you convert your visitors into shoppers.
There is no universal benchmark when it comes to Session Conversion Rate. It depends a lot on the industry, your average selling point, where your traffic comes from, the type of products you sell, your geographic location, etc. The best way to compete is to compare yourself with your past performance.
There is a multitude of factors that nudge the Session Conversion rate in one direction or another, but we can summarize in a few broad categories:
- Quality of your store. Make sure your visitors are having the best experience to convert them to customers. Reduce friction points and make your messaging as clear as possible.
- Quality of your traffic. When investing in different advertising channels, make sure you bring traffic with high purchasing intent to your store. Volume does not necessarily equate to purchases.
- Quality of your products. This includes how your products are presented, the trust you earn with past purchase comments or accolades, and current prices.
- Quality of your service. Your reputation precedes you. If somebody that visits your store had a bad experience with your services or heard a story of someone that had a bad experience, they will most probably walk away.
Most importantly is to pair Session Conversion Rate with traffic sources and invest your marketing accordingly to performance. Besides marketing, make sure you always improve your store experience with A/B tests and smooth out any friction points gathered from post-order feedback.
New Visitor Conversion Rate
A sub-category of Session Conversion Rate is the New Visitor Conversion rate. This focuses only on the new visitors and measures how well you acquire new customers.
There is a caveat though: there is no sure way to say that a new visitor has never been in your store before. Every time someone visits your website, the tracking code looks for a cookie. If there is one, it modifies it to reflect the new visit. If there is none, it adds one and marks the visitor as new. But there is no way to check if the visitor is not using a different browser, a private session, another device, etc. There are complicated methods to reduce the error, but there is never a 100% guarantee.
This being said, it’s still a good metric to monitor. Although not all new visitors are indeed new, the vast majority are, providing you with a tool to measure how well you convert new visitors into customers.
Product Detail Views per Session
One metric to keep in mind is how many Products are seen on average per session. The number varies wildly in each industry. Impulse shoppers will need fewer PDVs to make a purchase, while somebody that looks for a $500 product will need more.
Product Detail Views per Order
Another metric to look at is Product Detail Views per Order, meaning how many PDVs are needed, on average, to make a purchase. In theory, the lower the number the better. One way to decrease it is to look at how easy it is for your customers to find their desired products. Invest in Search, Filters, and better merchandising of your offering.
As before, pair it with traffic sources to find the right marketing channels to focus on.
The web page where a visitor leaves your store is called an Exit Page. Monitor them periodically to find bad products.
Some pages will have inherently high exit page values, like the Thank You page or the Order Status page. But a certain product with a high exit page value is something to avoid. There must be a reason why your customers leave your store after seeing that particular product.
Traffic by UTMs
UTM (Urchin Tracking Module) codes (or parameters, or tracking tags) are snippets of text added to the end of a URL to help you track where website traffic comes from. Knowing where your traffic is coming from allows you to attribute the performance of a visit to a traffic source.
|UTM||Example 1||Example 2||Description|
|utm_id||abc.123||campaign_1234||Used to identify which ads campaign this referral references.|
|utm_medium||CPC||You can think of this as a channel.|
|utm_source||newsletter||A part within the channel.|
|utm_campaign||of_20||summer_sale||The name of the marketing campaign this link belongs to.|
|utm_content||prd_link_header||prd_link_footer||Used to differentiate similar links in the same context, i.e. a newsletter. Rarely used.|
|utm_term||shirt||red+shoe||Used for tracking your keywords during AdWords Campaigns. Advanced use.|
Let’s look at a simple example:
Example link: your-store.com/a-product-name?utm_campaign=blog_post &utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook
your-store.com/a-product-name = The base URL of the page, this is all that is needed for a visitor to navigate to a certain page.
? = This marks the start of parameters in your URL. Any analytics software recognizes this sign and knows where the base URL ends and where the parameters start.
utm_campaign=summer_sale: The traffic comes from your Summer Sale marketing campaign
& = this marks that another parameter is following
utm_medium = Social is the channel
utm_source = Facebook is the site
The only way to optimize your marketing spend and increase your Return on Ad Spend (ROAS) is to:
- Use UTMs on all links that send traffic to your store.
- Regularly monitor your traffic
- Adjust the marketing budget on each channel according to their performance
For more details on UTM tracking, read our article on UTM Tracking: UTM Parameters and Why You Need These Codes
Traffic by Location
The cost and performance of the traffic can vary depending on the geographical location: weather, the presence of different competitors, your brand power, delivery times, etc. Adjust your marketing budget accordingly.