When running an online store, it’s important to keep an eye on your performance to see how your business is doing. Ecommerce metrics are a big part of this.
Ecommerce metrics are quantifiable measurements that help you find out things like how much people tend to order at one time, how often your website visitors are making purchases, or even how much it costs to acquire a new customer.
There are a number of different ecommerce key performance indicators (KPIs) that help your ecommerce business get a bird’s-eye view of its success. We’re going to walk you through the top 20 metrics your ecommerce store needs to track, and how you can find them.
What are ecommerce metrics and KPIs?
Ecommerce metrics and KPIs are important data and analytics that help gauge overall business success. How many customers are you getting? How often are customers returning? Are people leaving items in their online cart?
You can find all of this out and more by keeping an eye on basic ecommerce KPIs. While every business might differ on which metrics are its biggest priority, there are 20 in total that every ecommerce brand needs to keep an eye on.
These business metrics help you gauge popular products, how often certain products are purchased, if there are any issues in the checkout process that are keeping new customers from converting, and so much more.
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20 important ecommerce metrics to track
- Sales conversion rate
- Average order value
- Customer lifetime value
- Customer acquisition costs
- Shopping cart abandonment rate
- Returning customer rate
- Bounce rate
- Net Promoter Score
- Click-through rate
- Store sessions by traffic source
- Store sessions by device type
- Store sessions by location
- Top products by units sold
- Month-end inventory snapshot
- Average inventory sold per day
- Refund and return rate
- Churn rate
After seeing the benefits of having a full grasp on your ecommerce metrics, you’ll probably wonder how you can find all of these magical numbers. Luckily for Shopify store owners, you have a comprehensive dashboard at your disposal featuring each of these important metrics.
Even if you’re not a Shopify store owner, your own ecommerce platform—or at the very least your Google Analytics—should be able to help you find them.
1. Sales conversion rate
While we’re not ranking these metrics in any particular order, it’s safe to say that your conversion rate is one of the most important metrics to pay attention to.
Your conversion rate (CVR) is the number of people who made a purchase out of the total number of people who accessed your website.
The formula looks like this:
CVR = (# of Purchases / # of Sessions) x 100
Multiplying by 100 at the end helps you find the actual percentage. But to make this even easier, you can see your online store conversion rate right inside your Shopify analytics dashboard.
Shopify also shows users their entire conversion funnel. Because sometimes people will start shopping and forget or decide not to make an actual purchase, the percentage of people who add a product to their cart will be larger than those who actually click Checkout.
And the percentage of people who reach checkout will be greater still than those who follow through with making the purchase.
Having the full scope of your sales funnel can help you figure out if your checkout process is causing issues. For example, if you have 25% of people adding products to their cart, but only 1% to 2% are converting, it could be due to a complex checkout process or even a bug or error that’s causing issues.
Your conversion rate should remain steady, or at least increase over time. If you’re seeing major drops, it could be a good time to investigate whether your website is still working properly.
2. Average order value
Your average order value (AOV) tells you the average amount customers are spending at one time on your online store.
To calculate, follow the formula:
AOV = Total Revenue / Total Number of Orders
Your AOV is a great metric to track because it can help you gauge revenue and make realistic goals for new customers.
For example, if your average order value is $45, and you’re looking to bring in $10,000 in sales that month, you know that you need to bring in at least 222 customers during that time period.
3. Customer lifetime value
Customer lifetime value (CLV or CLTV) is the total revenue your business could expect from a single customer throughout their lifetime (or at least the lifetime of their relationship with your business).
To calculate CLV, use the formula:
CLV = Average Value of a Purchase x # of Times the Customer Will Buy Each Year x Average Length of the Customer Relationship (in Years)
Say you run a candle shop. If the average number of $20 candles your customers tend to buy in a year is 15 and they shop at your business for 10 years, you’ll multiply 20 x 15 x 10 to get a CLV of $3,000.
This isn’t a metric shown in your Shopify dashboard because it takes some analysis on the shop owner’s part to figure out. However, it lets you know some pretty important information.
For instance, knowing how much a customer is worth to your business helps you determine how much you can comfortably spend on customer acquisition and still make a profit. It can also help you pinpoint which products are most valuable to your bottom line—i.e., which products with a premium price point are popular, and how you can readjust your strategy to get more people to buy them.
4. Customer acquisition costs
Your customer acquisition costs (CAC) tell you how much it costs, on average, to get a new customer. This is another metric that you’re going to have to calculate yourself based on the marketing budget you allocate toward customer generation.
The formula for customer acquisition costs is:
CAC = Amount Spent on Marketing / # of New Customers
So if you spent $1,000 on a monthly ad campaign and brought in 100 new customers, your CAC would be $10 per customer.
Make sure you check in on this metric regularly to ensure it doesn’t exceed your CLV—or even get closer to it than you’re comfortable with.
If your CLV is $1,000 and you’re spending hundreds of dollars to bring just one new customer in the door, your CAC is really eating into your profits. When this is the case, you’ll need to reevaluate your customer acquisition strategy to see how you can maximize results while minimizing cost.
5. Shopping cart abandonment rate
No matter how high your conversion rate or how sought after your products are, there will be some consumers who simply don’t complete their purchase. This is called shopping cart abandonment—it’s when a customer adds a product to their online shopping cart but they don’t complete the entire checkout process, essentially abandoning those items.
This is an expected part of ecommerce, but you still want to keep an eye on your overall shopping cart abandonment rate, because it can let you know of potential problems with checkout.
To calculate your shopping cart abandonment rate, use this formula:
Shopping Cart Abandonment Rate = (# of Completed Purchases / # of Shopping Carts Created) x 100
Don’t be worried if you have a high shopping cart abandonment rate. However, if your rate falls between 95% and 100%, it’s time to start investigating for potential issues, as there could be errors in the checkout process keeping people from completing their purchases.
6. Returning customer rate
Your returning customer rate, also sometimes called repeat customer rate, is the number of customers who have made more than one purchase from your shop.
Anything above that means you should invest resources into expanding your customer base, and anything below means you might want to try some retargeting ads to get those past customers to come back.
While you can find this in your Shopify analytics dashboard, you can also use the following formula:
Returning Customer Rate = (# of Return Customers / Total # of Customers) x 100
Getting repeat purchases obviously means you’re doing a great job. So if you’re struggling to improve your returning customer rate, you might want to take a look at your overall customer experience to see if there’s anything you can revamp.
7. Bounce rate
Bounce rate is a metric that anyone with any kind of website needs to pay attention to, not just ecommerce sites. Your bounce rate tells you the number of people who landed on your website and then left it again without taking any action, whether that was clicking to another page, filling out a form, checking out a product, etc.
Your bounce rate can be found under in your website’s Google Analytics. In your GA4 dashboard, select Reports. Then choose a report you want to customize and add "Bounce rate" as a Metric. Click apply and you've got your bounce rate all set up.
To reduce bounce rate, make sure you have an easy-to-navigate website and an attractive design, and that people can tell what you sell immediately upon landing on your site.
Impressions show how many times an ad or piece of content is seen by viewers, regardless of whether it was clicked or not. It’s relevant to PPC campaigns, social media posts, and blog content. A high impression count indicates wide visibility, which is important for brand awareness, but it doesn’t guarantee interaction or sales.
If you run a PPC campaign for your online clothing store on Google and your ad appears 1,000 times on users’ screens, then you’ve got 1,000 impressions. You don’t know how many people saw your ad, or whether they clicked or bought it, but it indicates how much exposure your ad got.
In contrast to impressions, which can count multiple views by the same person, reach shows how many different people have seen your content.
Say on your business’s Instagram page you post a promotional video. In a few days, 1,200 unique users see your post. This is the reach of your post. Even if these users see your post multiple times, they are counted just once in the reach metric.
If you have a high reach, it means you are successfully distributing your content to a diverse audience, which is essential for attracting new customers.
An audience’s engagement measures how relevant and compelling your content is. It includes clicks, comments, likes, shares, and time spent on a page.
Imagine you launch a new product and post about it on TikTok. The post gets 200 likes, 50 comments, and 30 shares. Additionally, many users click on the link in the post to visit your website. All these actions count as engagement. In general, high engagement rates correlate with an effective content strategy and a strong connection with your audience.
11. Net Promoter Score
Your Net Promoter Score (NPS) measures overall customer loyalty and customer satisfaction. This metric is calculated by surveying your customers at checkout and asking one simple question: “On a scale of 1–10, how likely are you to recommend us to a friend or family member?”
Those responses are then broken down into three categories:
- Promoters: Customers who gave a rating of 9–10
- Passives: Customers who gave a rating of 7–8
- Detractors: Customers who gave a rating of 6 or less
Obviously, the higher the score, the better. Then, to find your Net Promoter Score, use the following formula:
NPS = % of Promoters - % of Detractors
So if you have 80% promoters, 15% passives, and 5% detractors, you would calculate 80 - 5 to get a Net Promoter Score of 75.
A Net Promoter Score can range anywhere from -100 to 100, with a negative number occurring when there are more detractors than promoters. However, it’s not likely that any companies have ever had a score of 100. And, in fact, our sample score of 75 is still extremely high.
According to Inc., any score over 0 is considered “good,” scores of over 50 are considered “excellent,” and a score of more than 75 is considered “world class.”
So if you’re seeing an NPS of around 20 or so—don’t fret. You’re still doing great.
12. Click-through rate
Your click-through rate (CTR) is the rate at which someone clicks on an email campaign, ad, social media post, etc., and lands on your website.
To calculate click-through rate, use the following formula:
CTR = (# of Clicks / # of Views/Impressions) x 100
Your email marketing platform or ad platform should offer this up in your web analytics or reporting dashboard, making it easy to gauge the overall success of your digital marketing campaigns.
For Google ads, the ecommerce industry tends to see a CTR of 1.66% for search ads and 0.45% for display ads. However, for email campaigns, the CTR is more like 2.01%. (Also, ecommerce email open rates are around 15.68%.)
All in all, click-through rates are likely to be pretty low numbers. If you’re seeing a CTR of 2% or higher, you’re doing pretty well.
13. Store sessions by traffic source
Your online store sessions by traffic source report shows you the number of visitors you have coming to your website and how they accessed it.
The most common traffic sources are:
- Search: Website visitors who landed on your website after clicking from search results
- Direct: Website visitors who landed on your website after typing it directly into their URL bar
- Social: Website visitors who landed on your website after clicking from a social media platform
- Email: Website visitors who landed on your website after clicking from an email newsletter
Looking at these stats can help you gauge which marketing channels are the most popular for your business and which might need a bit of TLC. For example, you might want to ramp up your SEO strategy or build up your email list to increase email visits.
You can access this right inside your Shopify analytics dashboard.
14. Store sessions by device type
Similar to the above stat, this section of your Shopify analytics shows your store visitors based on the device they’re using to access your website. The devices will typically show up as mobile, desktop, or tablet.
If you have a lot of people accessing your website via mobile, you’ll want to pay attention to how well your mobile responsiveness works. Having an easily accessible mobile site can exponentially increase your mobile sales.
15. Store sessions by location
Again, this metric is also shown right on your Shopify analytics dashboard. This gives you the top locations of your customers, helping you to adjust your marketing and product offerings based on where your top customers are located.
16. Top products by units sold
Top products by units sold is also available on your Shopify analytics dashboard. This metric lets you know which of your products are the most popular so you can plan ahead and prepare for inventory or creating more products.
17. Month-end inventory snapshot
The month-end inventory snapshot shows the quantity of each product variant you had in stock at the end of each month. You can use this to get the total value of your Shopify inventory.
18. Average inventory sold per day
Another unique ecommerce metric in your Shopify dashboard, the average inventory sold per day shows the number of items sold each day by product variant.
19. Refund and return rate
The refund or return rate is a measure of how many products customers return or exchange.
A high refund and return rate can indicate a product is of bad quality, that customer expectations aren’t being met, or that the sales process isn’t working right. By monitoring this, you can find and fix these problems.
Say the online store you run sells electronics. You sell 1,000 units in a month, but you also get 100 returns, which is a 10% return rate. If this rate is unusually high compared to industry standards, it could be a sign of problems with your products, like quality issues or mismatches between product descriptions and the actual items.
20. Churn rate
Churn rate determines the success of a subscription service. It measures the percentage of customers that stop using your service over a period of time.
For instance, say your subscription-based meal kit delivery service starts out the year with 1,000 subscribers. By the end of it, 200 people cancel their subscription. Your churn rate would be 20% (200 cancellations out of 1,000 original subscribers).
With this ecommerce insight, you can assess customer retention and figure out why customers are leaving and how you can improve your service to keep them.
How often should I check my ecommerce metrics?
There’s no set time frame to check your ecommerce metrics. In most cases, it depends on the size of your business and the specific goals you have set. However, here’s a general guideline.
Tracking on a daily basis helps you spot issues and opportunities right away. You might see a sudden drop in traffic on your site because of tech problems, or you might see a spike in conversions because of a successful marketing campaign, for example. Seasonal events like Black Friday make it even more important to monitor your site daily.
In general, check metrics like website traffic, sales conversion rates, cart abandonment rates, and ad spend efficiency to get a good idea of your day-to-day operations.
In a weekly review, you can assess short-term trends and the effectiveness of recent marketing campaigns. For instance, if you notice a gradual increase in CAC, it could mean your ads are becoming less effective and you need to revise your strategy.
Common weekly metrics to track include:
- Customer acquisition costs (CAC)
- Average order value (AOV)
- Customer engagement (like email open rates and social media interactions)
- Product performance
Analyzing your business performance monthly allows you to see long-term trends and the overall health of your business. For example, tracking your revenue growth on a monthly basis can reveal whether your business is growing or falling short.
Popular monthly metrics to review include:
- Revenue growth
- Customer lifetime value (CLV)
- Inventory turnover
- Return on advertising spend (ROAS)
- Market share
Quarterly and annual reviews are more comprehensive evaluations. They involve taking a macro-view of the business and understanding how external factors like market trends and competition are affecting your business, then, setting or adjusting your strategy accordingly.
Importance of ecommerce metrics for your business
We’ve talked about how gauging your metrics can help get an idea of your business’s overall performance, but let’s get a bit more specific regarding the importance of ecommerce metrics.
There are three big reasons why you need to look at your business metrics at least once per month: It can help you track growth and performance, it can help you gauge inventory needs for the future, and it gives you an idea of your customer engagement.
First and foremost, looking at your ecommerce sales is an important part of understanding overall growth and performance. And this takes more than just looking at how many sales you made each day. You also need to look at trends and if the number is increasing.
Here’s an example of a Shopify analytics dashboard:
By looking at metrics like sales over time, total sales, store visits, and more, you’re able to gauge whether your business is growing.
If it is, keep doing what you’re doing. But if not, this lets you know that you might need to adjust your ecommerce marketing strategy, make sure your checkout process is user friendly, or update the design of your ecommerce site to improve the user experience.
Tracking your online store’s performance is key to understanding if something in your marketing or sales strategy simply isn’t working, allowing you to adjust and adapt for the future.
You also want to pay attention to shopping trends. When you pay attention to your metrics and which products people are buying, you can easily improve your overall sales forecasting at the same time.
Look at popular products, find out what you need to create/order more of, and get a good idea of buying trends. You’ll be able to figure out which months or seasons are slower than others, giving you more time to prepare sales promotions and campaigns for your slower seasons.
You can also get a better gauge of your business’s overall revenue and what to expect in upcoming months, so you’re more secure in ordering inventory or even making new hires in your business.
Understand website engagement
Your ecommerce analytics can help you further understand how people tend to interact with your online store. How often are customers converting? Which product pages are the most popular (and is that in line with products actually purchased)? How much overall website traffic are you seeing?
Paying attention to your Shopify and Google analytics for ecommerce can also help you figure out how people tend to navigate your site. This can help you pinpoint if your navigation and website flow makes sense, or if you need to make some changes to ensure the process is a bit more seamless.
Use analytics tools to track key ecommerce metrics
OK, sigh-of-relief time. You don’t need to keep tabs on every number under the sun to grow your store, and you now have the numbers to track that will help you build a plan and measure it.
As you grow more comfortable understanding your business through the lens of these metrics, you can take steps into more detailed, nuanced numbers when needed. If you have questions about your business that your core metrics can’t answer, you’ll be ready to add new information to your analysis, and we’ll be here for you when that time comes.