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Top 5 important metrics companies should analyze

Metrics help companies understand what elements need improvement.

The majority of companies understand the importance of business analytics. These numbers give businesses an idea of just how well their techniques are working with current and potential customers. Yet, just because marketers know these metrics are useful doesn't mean they utilize them to their best ability. With so many different examples of analytics today, it can be difficult for organizations to know which ones to start with. Let's take a look at five metrics companies can benefit from analyzing regularly:

1. Traffic sources
Online companies are right to be curious about where their leads come from. It's important to pull traffic from a number of places, so this metric will show businesses just how well their specific outreach methods work, according to Hubspot. There are three primary sources for visitors to an online store:

  1. Referrals: People that visit because the site was mentioned elsewhere.
  2. Direct: People who typed the URL into their browser.
  3. Search: People who visit a site from a search query.

By increasing social media and SEO efforts, ecommerce retailers could see the number of traffic sources grow. Customers may, as a result, come across the site in more than one place and frequent the store more often.

Ecommerce retailers should track the traffic sources to their site.Ecommerce retailers should track the traffic sources to their site.

2. Bounce rate
Everyone's done it: Visited a website only to become disinterested and immediately click away to another option. Businesses need to take a closer look at their bounce rate to see what is turning potential clients away. Organizations should make it their goal to reduce this figure over time. The problem is: where do merchants start? Entrepreneurs should analyze their ecommerce site for points of frustration for consumers, according to Kissmetrics. Are the pages optimized for mobile? Is the landing page visually pleasing and interesting? Do pages take a long time to load? All of these elements play a part in how long a customer will remain on a website. Dedicating time to fixing these aspects will make potential consumers more likely to surf through a company's offerings and increase their satisfaction with the overall experience.

3. Unsubscribe
Online retailers frequently offer their customers an email newsletter or other promotions. Consumers can sign up for these deals when they make a purchase or when they first visit a website. The goal for businesses is to keep clients engaged with this information for as long as possible and to convert leads into paying customers. This isn't an easy feat, however, and people sometimes decide to unsubscribe from the correspondence.

Ecommerce organizations should analyze their unsubscribe rates to see what they can do to improve this outreach technique. One way to get valuable feedback from customers is to ask why they're leaving when they click the link to unsubscribe. By giving consumers a number of specific options to choose from, businesses can determine what they need to do to improve. When unsubscribe rates are high, companies have to act fast, according to Lander. Ideally, the figure should stay below 1 percent. Anything higher than that points to a disconnected audience.

"The checkout process should be as easy as possible for customers."

4. Shopping cart abandonment
Sometimes, customers will add items to their online queue and never complete a purchase. Shopping cart abandonment is another metric to which businesses should pay close attention While a high bounce rate may be due to a boring page appearance or lack of optimization, forgoing one's cart is usually a result of a difficult or confusing payment process. Since turning a browser into an actual paying client is of the utmost importance to online retailers, it's crucial for these organizations to ensure their checkout procedure is efficient to complete.

Ecommerce companies should make the payment portion as easy as possible for consumers. This means giving people multiple payment options, not requiring a login and minimizing the number of add-ons, all while reducing the amount of time it takes to complete the process itself, according to Shopify. Allowing consumers to quickly and simply make purchases will make them more likely to return in the future and refer the business to their peers. A smart way to entice people who've abandoned their shopping carts to return and finalize the sale is to offer a special promotion or discount. This gift should be straightforward and appeal to the customer's interests.

5. Conversion rate
After all this talk of other metrics, it's easy to see why conversion rate also makes this list. At the end of the day, online retailers want to turn visitors into happy, returning and paying customers. There are several different types of conversion – sale, new subscriber to email list, social share, and more – but the through line is the ability of these actions to increase a business's profitability, according to Torque magazine. Online organizations need to keep an eye on this metric very regularly, as even a 1 percent increase can have a huge impact. Improving this analytic takes constant tweaking on ecommerce companies' part. Updating their websites to make the entire process easier for potential customer will make more people willing to actually bite the bullet and make a purchase.

Business analytics are crucial to improving profits for online retailers. Although many companies may know these metrics are important, it can be overwhelming to know where to start. Beginning with simple, but informative figures – traffic sources, bounce rate, unsubscribe, shopping cart abandonment and conversion rate – will paint a clear picture for ecommerce businesses. Frequently measuring these important areas will give organizations an idea of how they can improve their site to increase customer purchases and enhance overall satisfaction.

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