Marketers have a tough time. We’re always expected to prove the value of our work, campaigns and product launches and show that we’ve contributed to ROI. The most common statistic of measuring our success has typically been the conversion rate.
This is great for large retailers like Amazon and Asos, as their website traffic and conversions are in the tens of thousands per day. However, for other retailers who don’t get the same level of traffic to their website, proving the success of a campaign through conversion rates can often be difficult.
When you run a campaign that is very targeted and therefore hits only a small percentage of visitors on your site (even though they might be a highly important segment for you) you may need to wait for months upon months before you get any statistically significant results that you can trust.
In the age of everything real-time and instant, who has that kind of time?! Do I really need to wait for statistical significance, I hear you ask. The answer is yes! This corrects for any abnormalities that might have occurred during your campaign so you can be 100% sure that results have not been skewed, and you can expect to get the same result if you re-run the test in the future.
So, marketing managers of ecommerce companies that have lower traffic numbers need to find other ways to prove the success of their campaigns. The secret is setting goals that are higher up in the funnel, where you inherently have more traffic and will get more meaningful results, much faster.
The 3 metrics you should be tracking
We’ve come up with three metrics that we strongly feel every marketing manager of an ecommerce business should be measuring. Read on to find out what they are and why you need to incorporate them in your KPIs.
1. Add to basket rate
The add to basket rate is a great upper funnel metric on how well your site is performing. It allows you to quickly and easily identify if key areas of your website need improvement.
Let's say your visitors are adding items to their basket or creating wishlists; this is a strong signal that they're interested in your product. If the add to basket rate is high and the conversion rate is low, we can infer that people don't checkout because of prohibitive costs, expensive or unclear delivery costs and times, or even an unclear checkout process.
In this situation, you'd want to focus your efforts on improving the checkout process, improving basket and delivery messaging, and maybe even offering free delivery to help tip valuable visitors over the edge.
L.K.Bennett saw an 11% increase in conversions from non-purchasing returning visitors by serving a 'free delivery' message layer when visitors had items in their basket and were about to abandon.
If, on the other hand, the add to basket rate is low we can be pretty sure that the problem is not your checkout process – it's a symptom of an issue higher up in the funnel which needs your attention. Perhaps visitors do not understand your product due to insufficient or unclear messaging, or maybe your website does not look trustworthy or safe to transact from.
In this case, you'd need to focus your testing and personalisation strategy on product and category pages to encourage people to take that next step and add to their basket.
2. Email sign-ups
Email is a key indicator of interest. If a visitor signs up to your newsletter they are by default interested in your content and offers. Conversion rates from email tend to be a lot higher across companies and industries for that reason, as visitors are already engaging with the content you’re sending them.
Tactics such as campaign mirroring can play a big role in increasing sales. If you run an email campaign offering 20% off your latest shoe range, you need to mirror this offer on your website when people click through. Now I know what you're thinking, I either have to create a whole new landing page or get my developer to code this into the homepage, both of which cost money and time. Well I have good news, you can do this in under 5 minutes without getting any developers involved! Don't believe me? Here's a quick video on how to create an in-page layer on your homepage that mirrors your email campaign. Now you have no excuse.
By understanding the link between email sign-ups and conversions for your company you can focus efforts on encouraging visitors to sign up to your database. One of our clients, Farfetch, is encouraging email sign-ups of new visitors via an engaging layer on their homepage. This action might not immediately move the conversion needle, but there will be a conversion impact at a future point when the emails are driven to the user based on their engagement with previous content.
3. Content engagement
When viewed by visitors, there are certain pages and page categories on your website that indicate a high intent to purchase. For example, if a visitor is looking at the size guide, this shows engagement with your product – you know that they are interested in buying if they’re wondering what size would fit them the best.
The same applies for pages containing delivery and returns information. Wouldn’t it be great if you could help guide people to view those pages, to help them engage with the right content so they could be more inclined to check out?
Understanding the visitor journey or flow on your website helps you see where your visitors struggle, what content they engage with, and where they easily pass through the next step in the funnel. Serving message layers is a great way of encouraging users to go through your ideal flow.
Farfetch uncovered that engaging with the FAQs content on their website increased conversion rates. They served a message layer to users after their tenth pageview inviting them to read more in Farfetch’s FAQ page, andincreased conversions by over 17%!
Setting content engagement as a goal is great for testing copy and creative as well. Let’s say you’re running a promotion on your website, and you create a slider on your homepage promoting it. You want to track how many visitors go to the promotion page category, which is your goal (you know that you have a pretty high conversion rate from this page category). The results allow you to understand if your creative is good enough to push people through to the promotion category, and you can tweak it accordingly until you get a positive uplift in your test.
And because we feel so strongly about being able to measure these metrics, we’ve launched the ability to set additional goals, such as the ones above, in the Qubit platform. You can now specify up to five additional goals that you want to track. If you want to learn more, why not check out our Goal's FAQ page.