Setting up an online store is just the first step to taking your brand to the world. The next step is a harder battle to win - marketing.
As an online store, you’re probably exploring every possible platform to market your business - social media, emails, SMS, WhatsApp, influencers, offline events and so on.
You’re probably even struggling to juggle between them all.
But what if you could measure the success each tactic brings to your business and focus your efforts in one direction?
What if you could get a better control over your resources and streamline your spending?
That’s what ecommerce marketing analytics is all about. And in this blog, we’re going to share how you can measure the success of your marketing campaigns.
What are ecommerce analytics?
Ecommerce analytics is the process of gathering data from all the platforms that you’re using to derive insights to help promote your online store. Using this information, you can understand consumer behavior, trends, demographics and more, to make data-driven decisions for your marketing and advertising strategies to increase your online store sales.
Now depending on your marketing goals, you may want to track campaigns in the following ways:
- View referrals to your store through an acquisition report
- Track standard actions on the store using Google conversion tag or Facebook pixel
- Evaluate marketing campaigns based on conversions
- View conversion reports for marketing activities created in Shopify
- Integrate with marketing apps to get in-depth insights on campaign performance
If you have a store on Shopify, most of your marketing analytics are available on the admin dashboard.
Sounds like gibberish at the moment?
To help you understand the above better, we’re going to walk you through the key metrics that define the success of your campaigns, what they mean and where you can see them on the dashboard.
Ecommerce marketing analytics: KPIs for ecommerce businesses
The ecommerce metrics you choose to measure may vary based on the marketing and advertising channels/ platforms you’re using for promotions. But the key KPIs for ecommerce marketing include the following.
These are ecommerce metrics that give you a comprehensive view of the success of your online marketing and advertising campaigns in driving a desired action from the target audience - generating a lead, a click, a sign up and so on.
- Online store sessions - The total number of sessions or visitors your online store has received in a defined period of time in which you were running a marketing or advertising campaign.
- Sales from marketing - The total number of sales that came during the same period from the online store traffic. This is also a clear indication of your marketing and advertising targeting.
- Orders from marketing - The total number of orders that you can attribute to a specific marketing or advertising campaign. While measuring sales gives you an idea of the revenue you have generated, orders tell you how many products you were able to get out of the door.
- Ad spend on marketing - The total amount you have spent on marketing and advertising campaigns. This is important to measure to be able to gauge the return on investment from the different strategies you’re trying.
Note: You can see a summary of your performance data on the Marketing page of your Shopify admin dashboard. This includes data from the last 30 days and shows a comparison to the previous 30 day period.
The next set of ecommerce metrics to look into are a deep dive into the traffic your online store receives from organic and paid marketing/ advertising campaigns.
- Online store traffic over time - This ecommerce metric is a comparison of all the sessions received on your store in a 30 day period, compared to previous 30 day periods.
- Online store conversion/ Conversion rate - The percentage of online sessions that resulted in your business getting an order/ sale. This ecommerce metric is also a good indicator of how much traffic your store is able to convert on average.
- Top traffic sources - If you’re running marketing and advertising campaigns on multiple channels, this metric will list down the sources that bring the most number of sessions to your store. This helps you prioritize resource allocation accordingly.
- Top sales sources - Similar to traffic sources, this ecommerce metric is a measure of which online sources used for marketing and advertising, are actually getting you orders/ sales.
- Top traffic locations - For those who are running broadly targeted campaigns, this ecommerce metric gives you an insight into the top locations from where consumers interact with your brand.
- Orders and Order value - Another good ecommerce metric to measure is the number of orders you receive for different sources and demographics, alongside the average order value. This will help you understand consumer purchase behavior and create sales strategies accordingly.
Note: You can see these ecommerce metrics in your Shopify dashboard by clicking on Marketing > Online store sessions.
ROI on marketing and advertising
Once you have the above KPIs (key performance indicators) or ecommerce metrics in hand, the next step is to measure the ROI (return on investment) per marketing strategy.
Remember, this is KEY to knowing whether a marketing or advertising campaign has been a success for you or not.
Marketing ROI is a way of measuring the return on investment on the amount you have spent on a particular marketing or advertising campaign.
For example, if you’re running a Facebook ad campaign, you take the sales growth in that duration and subtract it from the amount you spent on ads. Then you divide this number by the spend.
So if your sales grew by INR 10,000 and you spent INR 500 on the Facebook ad, your ROI is 1900%.
While the above ecommerce metrics are available in your Shopify admin dashboard, there are also other ways to measure the success of your website, and your marketing/ advertising campaigns.
If you’d like to create segmented KPIs for each of your marketing and advertising campaigns, explore these 67 ecommerce metrics for ecommerce. But we do recommend starting with ecommerce metrics that you understand completely, and are important to your growth at that stage - don’t make the process too overwhelming.
Which tools help you measure the success of your website?
There are a number of ecommerce analytics tools that you can use to measure the success of your website from marketing and advertising campaigns. Let’s take a look at some of them:
1. Shopify Analytics
If you’re a newbie, we recommend using the ecommerce metrics and reports available on your Shopify dashboard. Shopify Analytics gives you a simpler means to review your store’s recent activity, get insights into your visitors, store speed, conversions, order and so on. Even if you’re using third-party apps to run your campaigns, you can integrate them to your Shopify dashboard, to be able to track more ecommerce metrics.
Here are some resources to help you with the same:
2. Google Analytics
Another free ecommerce analytics tool that you can use to track the performance of your online store, marketing and advertising campaigns, is Google Analytics. It comes with even more in-depth insights on every aspect of your KPIs.
For example, if you’re looking at your traffic data, it gives you the ability to look into its demographics, interests, on-site behavior and so on. You can also set up custom reports for each marketing and advertising platform you’re making use of.
Here are some resources to help you with the same:
- A beginner’s guide to Google Analytics for ecommerce
- How to set up custom reports on Google Analytics
- Google Analytics segments and how to use them
- Free course on Google Analytics
- Free course on Google Shopping Analytics
3. Ecommerce analytics apps
If you’d like to avoid switching platforms between your Shopify store and Google Analytics, you can also leverage ecommerce analytics apps. These apps integrate seamlessly with your online store, and bring all the data in one place - be it your marketing or advertising campaigns.
Note: Remember, choose an ecommerce analytics app based on the one that offers a more easy-to-understand insights dashboard, and is able to cover the majority of the ecommerce metrics/ KPIs you want to measure.
Also keep in mind that any marketing app you use - be it for email marketing, WhatsApp, and so on, offer insights too. Install an analytics app only if the insights they offer are not enough or if you need a consolidated view.
4. Heatmap tools
Another ecommerce analytics tool we recommend using to optimize your conversion rate, is using a heatmap tool. The tool enables you to create visual depiction of how the traffic you’re driving to the site, interacts with you.
For example, you’re running an ad on Instagram. The traffic comes to your landing page, browses through the content on it - the tool highlights which part of that content they tend to spend more time on, and the next steps they take.
You can then use these insights to segment and tailor the shopping experience you offer to online shoppers coming from different channels/ platforms.
There are a number of ecommerce analytics tools that can help you generate heatmaps for your storefront. Explore them here.
5. Social media analytics
Another way to look into the performance of your online store is to use the insights offered by the social media platforms you’re making use of. Be it Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest or any other platform, each comes with its own analytics dashboard that you can leverage to understand your audience and how they choose to interact with your business.
For example, here’s what your Facebook page insights page looks like:
And here’s a glimpse at what Instagram analytics look like:
Here are some more resources to help understand social media analytics better:
Note: We do recommend using analytics tools mentioned above to be able to get deeper insights on your social media analytics. This especially holds true for measuring ecommerce metrics like the number of orders, average order value, conversion rate and so on.
Do you really need to measure ecommerce metrics?
Many businesses start their marketing and advertising campaigns right after setting up an online store.
But as the digital landscape grows and the need to be present where you consumers are, it’s important to measure how each platform contributes towards the growth of your business.
Imagine spending thousands on Facebook marketing, when you’re actually getting sales only from consumers who come through search ads or through Instagram.
Keeping track of your ecommerce metrics is a recommended business tip from experts and leading businesses, to be able to keep a hold on your expenses and your ecommerce marketing strategies focused on channels where your ideal customer really is.
So the short answer is YES.
And if you’re on Shopify, we make analytics simpler for you by bringing it all together on one dashboard.
Ready to explore Shopify as an ecommerce platform?