Last week I discussed some examples of Key Performance Indicators for content based websites. This week, I'm going to look at some examples of key performance indicators for e-commerce based sites.

E-commerce is a growing force in the world economy and the Internet has become a major source of business for products, services, and information for many people worldwide. As users become more comfortable with purchasing online, you can expect that e-commerce sites will continue to improve and that online competition will continue to increase. As a result, measuring the proper key performance indicators for an e-commerce based site becomes even more important.

Content Based vs. Lead Generation vs. e-Commerce vs. Service and Support

We've established that your site is an e-commerce based site and that you provide products and/or services online. You also use your site to promote offline business. So what metrics or KPIs should you measure?

Depending on whether you provide products or offer services, your key performance indicators for your online campaign may vary. Regardless, here are some metrics that you will want to consider:

  • Conversion Rate: the likelihood of successfully driving a visitor to purchase. You will need to track online purchase vs. offline as a result of visiting the site.
  • Cost Per Visitor: the cost of each site visitor to your business.
  • Average Order Value/Size: changes in the overall audience makeup and the affect on the online revenue patterns
  • Percent New Visitors: the number of potential new customers landing on your site each month. Are these visitors qualified? What stage of the buying funnel are they in?
  • Ratio of New to Returning Visitors: the ratio of new to previously acquired visitors as well as a measure of customer loyalty and repeat online business.
  • Page "Stickiness": the likelihood of successfully retaining a visitor who arrives at a key landing page
  • Customer Life Time Value: the likelihood that satisfied customers will tell their friends resulting in an increase in online/offline sales. This is more intangible and may be difficult to track.
  • Add/View Items in Cart: as well as cart abandonment
  • Effect on offline sales
    • Unique toll-free numbers
    • Store locator
    • Order printout
  • Conversion Path Analysis: how are users converting on the site?
  • New Account Signups: how much time and money are these new account signups spending on your site?

These are only a few examples of key performance indicators that owner's of e-commerce sites should consider tracking. Of course KPIs will vary with the strategic intent and needs of the site owner; as well, they will vary depending on the product and services that you provide. For example, you may have a travel related site, and as a result you would be tracking number of trips booked, contact us form completions, brochure printouts etc.

Remember that key performance indicators must reflect your business or organization's goals, must be measurable, and must be a key factor for the success of your company or organization.

Next week, I will look at example of Key Performance Indicators for lead generation sites.

But maybe now would be a good time to ask yourself, "Is it time that you revisit the KPIs that you are monitoring for your site?"

Discuss this article in the Small Business Ideas forum.


September 12, 2006





Search Marketing Strategist. Search Engine Positioning by Searchengineposition. Enquiro Full Service Search Engine Marketing








Search Engine Guide > Jody Nimetz > Key Performance Indicators for e-Commerce Based Sites