Online business is incredibly complex. In a digital age that has ecommerce sales slowly taking over retail, just about every brand needs an online presence to maximize their potential. This is especially true for ecommerce websites that don’t have the luxury of a physical location – simply a web address in a sea of billions of addresses!
Whether you’re a new online business owner or just want to ensure you’re doing everything right, focusing on the right aspects of online sales can help you to make your business work in the long term. Below are the two most important metrics to focus on at the base of your business to give yourself the best chance at success.
You can’t make profit without sales, and you can’t make sales without customers!
Separated into two main categories – returning and unique visitors – your total web traffic tells you how popular your online store is. A higher total web traffic means that your business is getting exposure, allowing you the opportunity to turn visitors into customers with your website.
Unique visitors is the preferred metric of the two, as new customers means more people are being introduced to your website, causing you to grow your brand. These are most likely coming from your marketing strategy, and are a great way to measure if your current marketing campaign is working.
Returning visitors are also useful, as returning customers are worth more over their lifetime because you don’t need to pay for the acquisition of their subsequent orders . It also means you have brand loyalty, which will allow you to be successful even once your unique visitors slow from an existing campaign winding down.
To make sure where your visitors are coming from, you should implement Google Analytics onto your website. Here you’ll be able to see the referral links that people are clicking to get to your site, which will tell you where your marketing dollars should go.
Once you’ve spent all that money on marketing, you still need to close the deal. No matter how much traffic you have, if you don’t get them to complete the purchase, you’re not going to make money. You could even lose money on each customer if you’re not converting well.
Conversion rate is the ratio of buyers to visitors on your site. If you have 100 unique visitors and 5 make a purchase, that’s a 5% conversion rate – and not too bad! However, that may be too much to expect for some websites.
If your website isn’t responsive, your checkout is complicated, or your site is overall hard to use, you’re not going to gain the trust of your customers – trust that gets them to enter their payment info at checkout.
To improve your conversion rate, consider implementing conversion rate optimization (CRO) strategies on your site. These include shortening your checkout form to only necessary information, creating effective calls to action, ensuring your website is fast and response, and providing live support to answer questions.