Ultimate Guide to eCommerce Metrics: 30+ KPIs Explained & Where to Find Them

Written by Jon on 20th May 2018

Ultimate Guide To Ecommerce Metrics: 30+ KPIs Explained & Where to Find Them

For all businesses, eCommerce or not, there is a lot of data available to us these days. We’ve so many tools to help us grow our websites, improve our sales, track employees holidays and so on and so on; that we often don’t know which data to take notice of, or worse, we spend time analysing our data and then never do anything with it.

One way of filtering through all the data is by using key performance indicators (KPIs). KPIs are metrics directly related to your business objectives and goals, and by measuring them you can keep track of how well you’re performing against each goal.

Before you can choose your KPIs, you need to have a good idea of your business goals, so it’s worth spending some time thinking about what you want to achieve.

You then need to decide which KPI is most relevant to your business and your goal. E.g. Goal: Increase Loyal Customers = KPI: # of Returning Users.

With such an abundance of data however, it can be difficult to decide which KPI to choose, how many to choose and how to measure it.

That’s why we’ve created this guide! We’ve trawled through some of the top eCommerce blogs and spoken to some top influencers to find all the KPIs you can choose. We’ve broken them into 4 categories, included an explanation of each one, and the tools or formulas you can use to find them.

Remember: you only need to start with 5 – 10 KPIs, so don’t think you have to measure all of them! Only choose the ones that are applicable and relevant to you.

    1. Sales
    2. Financial
    3. Marketing
    4. Customer Service

Sales KPIs

Average Order Value

Definition: The average dollar amount spent for each customer order. One of eCommerce’s darling KPIs, this metric gives you one of the best representation of how your revenue is doing.
How to work it out: Sum of Revenue Generated / Number of Orders Taken = Average Order Value
Segments: Traffic Sources, New vs Returning Users
Where to find it: Google Analytics (or if you sell on Amazon/Etsy/eBay as well as your own store, use the formula above to work out AOV across each and all platforms).

Shopping Cart Abandonment Rate

Definition: The rate of visitors who add items to their Online Shopping Cart but exit without completing purchase. This is an important metric to track as it gives you a key insight into how well your site is performing. It can lead you to identify errors or processes in your shopping cart that are currently acting as barriers to conversions.
How To Work it Out: 1 – (Transactions Completed – Transactions Initiated) = Cart Abandonment Rate
Segments: Customer Segments
Where To Find it: Google Analytics / Your Ecommerce Platform

Conversion Rate

Definition: Percentage of visitors who take a desired action. For eCommerce sites, this tends to be purchasing a product, but can also include things such as subscribing to a newsletter, creating an account etc.
How To Work it Out: While Google Analytics works out Conversion Rate as (Orders/Sessions)*100, it’s recommended to use the following formula (Orders/Users)*100
Segments: Traffic Sources, Locations, Devices
Where To Find it: Google Analytics > Conversions

New Customer Orders versus Returning Customer Orders

Definition: The number of orders from new customers compared to the number of orders from customers who have previously visited the site. The costs of acquiring new customers is much higher than keeping returning customers, and so tracking this KPI will show you how well your retention strategy is working.
Where To Find it: Your eCommerce Platform

Total Sales

Definition: The number of sales within a time period. While this is considered more of a vanity metric (there’s no valid actions to be taken from it), it can be useful to keep an eye on to give you a brief glance overview of how thing’s are going. Just don’t rely on this metric as an indicator of success though.
Segments: Hourly, Daily, Weekly, Monthly, Annual
Where To Find it: Google Analytics, Magento, Shopify, BigCommerce, Woo Commerce

Cost of Goods Sold

Definition: The direct costs attributable to the production of the goods sold by a company. This amount includes the cost of the materials used in creating the goods along with the direct labor costs used to produce the good. It excludes indirect expenses such as distribution costs and sales force costs. (From Investopedia)
How To Work it Out: Your sales revenue minus your cost of materials/direct costs.
Segments: Product, Product Group, Revenue Centre, Category
Where To Find it: Inventory Management Software i.e. Unleashed

Checkout Abandonment

Definition: Users who specifically abandoned a purchase at the checkout specifically. This is useful to have as well cart abandonment as it can identify any UX issues there might be at the checkout level.
How To Work it Out: 1 – (Checkouts Completed – Checkouts Initiated) = Checkout Abandonment
Segments: Your Customer Segments
Where To Find it: Analytical Platform i.e. Google Analytics

Product Affinity (also known as affinity analysis)

Definition: This metric looks at which products were frequently bought together by customers – think Amazon’s ‘Customers also bought’ section. By analysing this, you’ll be able to spot patterns in customer’s orders in order to accurately upsell to future customers purchasing one of those products.
How to Work it Out: This involves a bit of work, but is worth it. Look at your recent orders (make sure it’s a manageable and relevant time frame) and see if you can spot any patterns of people buying the same group of items.
Where To Find it: Your recent orders data.

Competitive Pricing

Definition: Keeping track of how your pricing compares to competitors, so that you can react accordingly.
How To Work it Out: Matthew Barby recently wrote a great post all about hacking competitive pricing analysis, and best of all, it’s automated!
Where To Find it: Your Competitor’s Websites.

Customer Acquisition Cost

Definition: How much you paid to acquire a new customer.
How To Work it Out: In its simplest form, it can be worked out by: Dividing the total costs associated with acquisition by total new customers, within a specific time period.
Segments: Traffic Sources, Your Customer Segments
Where To Find The Data: Google Analytics, Your Order Revenue.

Financial KPIs

Gross Revenue

Definition: The total amount customers spend on your store, including taxes and shipping costs.
How To Work it Out: Your total revenue with no costs removed
Where To Find it: Your account platform i.e. Xero, Quickbooks or your ecommerce platform

Gross Profit

Definition: The profit you make after taking into account the costs of making/selling your products. (Including costs such as material cost, equipment used, labor costs etc)
How To Work it Out: Gross Revenue – Cost of Goods = Gross Profit
Segments: Revenue Centre
Where To Find it: Your accounting platform i.e. Xero, Quickbooks

Operating Profit

Definition: The profit you make after your operating costs (also known as overhead costs)
How To Work it Out: Gross Profit – operating costs = Net Profit
Segments: Revenue Centre
Where To Find it: Your accounting platform i.e. Xero, Quickbooks

Net Profit

Definition: Often referred to as your bottom line, net profit is how much money you’ve made after taking into account the costs involved in producing your goods, running your business, and after interest and tax.
How To Work it Out: Operating Profit – Interest – Taxes = Net Profit
Segments: Revenue Centre
Where To Find it: Your accounting platform i.e. Xero, Quickbooks

Revenue

Definition: The income you actually receive, including discounts and deductions. Often simultaneously hailed as the best and worst KPI to measure, we’d keep this one as a metric. It’s not something actionable, but again, can be useful to keep an eye on at a glance. If anything this metric can be put to better use when segmented further.
Segments: Revenue per Channel, Per User
Where To Find it: Either via your ecommerce platform or your accounting software.

Revenue per Visitor

Definition: This metric shows the impact of conversion rates and average order value on your revenue performance. While looking at conversion rates is good KPI, an increase in conversions, particularly for eCommerce sites with a variety of different prices, does not always equal more revenue. While the number of conversions may increase, the amount they spend might be less. Likewise, an increased average order value does not always mean increased revenue if there’s been less orders.
How To Work it Out: Total Revenue / Total Unique Visitors  = Revenue Per Visitor
Segments: Online, Telephone/Mail Order, Offline
Where To Find it: Google Analytics (online only)

Marketing KPIs

New Visitors vs Returning Visitors

Definition: The number of users who have not previously visited your site, vs the number of users who have.
Segments: Traffic Sources, Conversions, Number of Sessions
Where To Find it: Google Analytics > Audience > Behaviour > New vs Returning

Average Page Views Per Visit

Definition: Also known as Pages / Session. How many times users viewed pages during their visit to your site. Bear in mind that multiple views of the same page are counted.
How To Work it Out: Page Views / Visits = Average Page Views per Visit
Segments: Traffic Sources, Converting Visitors
Where To Find it: Google Analytics > Audience > Overview

Average Time on Site

Definition: The average amount of time users spent on your site. Using this metric, alongside PageViews per Visit, will give you a good idea of how engaging your site is.
Segments: Traffic Sources
Where To Find it: Google Analytics > Audience > Overview (view it in the Acquisition Tables too).

Site traffic

Definition: The overall traffic you receive to your website
Segments: Traffic Sources
Where To Find it: Google Analytics > Audience Overview

Traffic Source

Definition: The various sources that provide traffic to your website i.e. organic, paid, email
How To Work it Out: This information is provided within Google Analytics or your analytical platform.
Segments: Organic, Paid, Email, Referral, Social
Where To Find it: Google Analytics > Acquisition > All Traffic > Source/Medium

Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest Engagement

Definition: Tracking your followers is one of the big vanity metrics, instead you should focus on engagement rates. This includes how many times your posts were clicked on, liked, shared, commented on and so on.
Where To Find it: Twitter Analytics, Facebook Insights, Pinterest Analytics

Cost Per Acquisition (PPC)

Definition: We’ve mentioned the Customer Acquistion Cost previously, and Cost Per Acquisition is pretty much the same thing, but if you’re running any kind of PPC campaign, you should make sure to keep an eye on your Cost Per Acquisition for PPC.
How To Work it Out: Cost/ PPC Conversions = Cost Per Acquisition
Segments: Campaigns, Ad Groups, Keywords (any way you can break down your ppc campaign!)
Where To Find it: Google Adwords

Email Open Rates

Definition: How many times your emails are being opened.
Segments: Campaigns, Email Lists
Where To Find it: Whichever Email Marketing System you’re using (Mailchimp, Constant Contact etc)

Email Click Rates

Definition: How many times links in your emails were clicked.
Segments: Campaigns, Email Lists
Where To Find it: Whichever Email Marketing System you’re using (Mailchimp, Constant Contact etc)

Email Conversion Rates

Definition: The number of conversions that happened after clicking through from your email.
Segments: Campaigns,
Where To Find it: Google Analytics

Customer Service KPIs

Task Completion Rate

Definition: The task completion rate simply shows how many people manage to use your  successfully.
How To Work it Out: This metric is measured using a survey simply asking ‘were you able to complete what you came here to do?’ This may include asking users if they were able to find what they were looking for.
Where To Find it: Use a tool such as HotJar.

Net Promoter Score (NPS)

Definition: The Net Promoter score asks users how willing they are to recommend your business to others.
How To Work it Out: Using a survey, you ask users to rate from 0 to 10 how likely they’d be to recommend your company. Users are then classified into 3 groups: Detractors (score of 6 or less), Passives (7 or 8), and Promoters (9 or 10).
% of Promoters – % of Detractors = NPS
Where To Find it: Use any survey tool!

Customer service email count

Definition: How many customer service emails you as a business receive within a set time period.
How To Work it Out: This can be calculated within your customer support platform, it could also be done using your email platform (how easy this would be is another question!)
Segments: Department, Support Agent
Where To Find it: Within your customer support platform i.e. Zendesk, Freshdesk

Customer service phone call count

Definition: The number of telephone calls made to the business within a set time period
How To Work it Out: This will depend on your system and how it logs calls, it is generally recorded by how many calls are answered by a customer service agent.
Segments: Department, Support Agent
Where To Find it: Within your customer support platform i.e. Zendesk, Freshdesk

Customer service chat count

Definition: How many ‘conversations’ are instigated by either party within a set time period.
How To Work it Out: This information should be provided
Segments: Department, Support Agent
Where To Find it: Within your customer support platform i.e. Zendesk, Freshdesk

Average resolution time

Definition: The amount of time on average it takes to resolve a customer query
How To Work it Out: This will depend on the platform you are using and if it logs customer request time, a platform such as ZenDesk or FreshDesk will be able to provide this information for you.
Segments: Department, Support Agent
Where To Find it: Within your customer support platform i.e. Zendesk, Freshdesk

Want to know what the experts consider the most important? Check out our blog post.


Also published on Medium.