The holiday season is coming up fast. For your customers, this is the most wonderful time of the year, where they’re choosing presents for their friends and families. For you, on the other hand, this is the busiest and, hopefully, the most profitable, season.
You’ve probably started preparing your content, design, offers, and products for Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Green Monday, and Christmas holidays. However, this is not enough to maximize your sales. To get the most out of your online store during holidays, you should track your performance regularly and address any issues immediately.
Here are a few metrics every e-commerce business owner should track during holidays.
1. Website Uptime
Website uptime tells you how well your website performs. It informs you when your website underperforms due to increased volumes of traffic. This is the time of the year when the need for your products grows and, logically, your traffic will surge.
If your website is not capable of handling this increased traffic, your user experiences and sales will suffer. No one wants to waste time on a site that is constantly crashing. By monitoring this metric, you will be able to predict potential performance issues and fix them more efficiently. This is where you could use numerous website monitoring tools, including Observu, Uptime, WebGazer, Uptime Robot, and Sites 24×7.
2. Page Load Speed
Just like its mere name says, page load time tells you how much it takes for your website page to load. Some recent statistics show that most of your customers will ditch your website if it doesn’t load in 3 seconds, while the majority of them expect your site to load in less than 2 seconds. Moreover, a 1-second delay in page response can result in a 7% reduction in conversions.
Therefore, if your site loads slowly for only 15 minutes during high-traffic days like Black Friday or Green Monday, you could lose a notable amount of revenue.
Given that, it’s not surprising at all that minimizing your page load time should be your priority, especially during the holiday season. There are numerous tools that will help you measure your page load time, such as Pingdom Speed Test, Google PageSpeed Insights, WebPageTest, GTmetrix, etc. Most of these tools work in a pretty simple way – you type your URL into the search box and the software will tell you how well your page performs. Google PageSpeed Insights will also provide some additional tips on how to improve website speed.
3. Average Order Value
The average order value is the average amount of money your customers spend when buying on your site. This is an important metric that helps you understand your customers’ purchasing decisions.
However, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, during Black Friday or Cyber Monday, you will offer great discounts that may decrease your AOV significantly. Second, the AOV during the Christmas season also depends on devices your customers use. Justin Norwood, an IBM strategist, explains that online customers rarely purchase several items on their phones, compared to the purchases on their desktop computers, laptops, or tablets. Therefore, during Black Friday and Cyber Monday, where mobile phone purchases spike, your average order value may decrease.
Calculating your AOV is easy. Divide your total revenue by the number of orders. You can calculate your average order value monthly or even daily or weekly.
4. Shopping Cart Abandonment Rate
The shopping cart abandonment rate represents the percentage of your online shoppers who add a product from your site to the shopping cart, but abandon it before finalizing a purchase. According to the Baymard Institute study, the average shopping cart abandonment rate is 70%. Abandoned shopping carts tell you that something is wrong with your site. This is an indicator that you should check your website performance and prepare it for the upcoming holidays. Most importantly, the Christmas season is a great opportunity for you to retarget the customers that kicked the shopping cart, offer them amazing deals, and inspire them to complete the purchase.
Shopping cart abandonment rate is measured by dividing the total number of completed purchases by the number of shopping carts made. Multiply the number you get with 100 to see the result in percentages. If you’re using the enhanced ecommerce plugin for Google Analytics, you can monitor and measure your shopping cart abandonment directly from there. Go to Conversions > Ecommerce > Shopping Behavior and you will get a visualization of your sales funnel and the percentage of buyers that have completed or ditched their purchase at each stage of the sales funnel.
5. On-Site Keywords
When optimizing your site for the right keywords, your goal is to understand their search intent. Those customers that are using your search box and entering keywords already know what they want to buy. Therefore, you want to know what phrases they search for and whether these searches result in purchases. This way, you will target better keywords and make your products and content more accessible.
To track your website search phrases, you can use Google Analytics or any similar analytics tools. You can also use a digital marketing reporting tool to combine the features from several analytics tools you use to get better insights into your keywords.
6. Customer Lifetime Value
Customer lifetime value is the revenue a consumer brings to your online store during their lifetime. Understanding your customer lifetime value shows whether your marketing costs pay off, when compared to the revenue you gain.
Say your average order value is $60 and that your average customer makes purchases 10 times at that order value. Therefore, their lifetime value would be $60 x 10 = $600. Customer lifetime value can also be calculated directly from Google Analytics. All you need to do is hit Audience > Lifetime Value.
7. Total Revenue and Revenue by the Traffic Source
Simply put, total revenue is the sum of all completed purchases on your ecommerce site. Tracking your total revenue, particularly during the holidays, is important as it is the overall indicator of the performance and health of your business.
Now that you know your total revenue, why not segment it by the source of your traffic? This method is more accurate and granular, showing you which channels bring you the highest profits and which ones are not profitable enough. For example, you can go to Google Analytics > Traffic, where you can segment your revenue by organic traffic, email campaigns, referral traffic, etc. These insights will tell you a lot about customers’ purchasing habits. For example, you may notice that you’re getting lots of referrals from Instagram, but that your average order value from these channels is low. On the other hand, your email marketing campaigns may drive lower conversion rates, but have a high AOV.
8. Social Sentiment
By measuring social sentiment, you actually want to learn what your customers think about you. It can be positive, negative, or neutral. Tracking social sentiment is critical during the holiday season. This is when your customers’ expectations are high and any negative experiences may directly impact your engagement and conversion rates. With the help of this KPI, you can easily flag any negative experiences and address them immediately. Instead of ignoring negative feedback, consider it a chance to improve user experiences and turn a critic into a brand advocate during this hectic holiday season.
There are many social media monitoring tools, such as Mention, Social Mention, or Hootsuite that will let you track your brand and product mentions in real-time. Automating social listening is far easier than monitoring and measuring your mentions manually, as the latter option would result in less precise results.
Over to You
Meeting the expectations of your demanding customers during holidays is not easy. To know what marketing tactics work or don’t work for you, you should swim in data. For starters, avoid vanity metrics – those that make you feel good about your accomplishments and, yet, tell you nothing about your store’s performance. You need to focus on the right metrics that will provide valuable insights and guide you during the holiday season.