Key analytics and UX improvements for ecommerce sites

Improve your site's conversion and retention rates with good UX practices and key analytics insights.

Catalin Zorzini
February 13, 2018
Inspiration

Content marketing and performance optimization share a core goal: conversions. For an ecommerce venture, that means the percentage of sales. It’s great when more people visit your site, but they need to do more than that for your business to be profitable. They need to convert. That is, perform the actions you want them to take.

The primary goals for your online business should be conversion and customer retention.

Key analytics for ecommerce sites

User experience is all about how customers feel when they’re on your site — can they quickly and easily do what they need to do, and do they enjoy that experience? Customer optimization (CO) strategies make browsing your site more interactive, efficient, and enjoyable. You can track and measure how well your company is doing by paying attention to key performance indicators (KPIs).

Let’s take a look.

Member activation rate

This measures the percentage of users who’ve made a purchase in the first 60 days of signing up. It shows how quickly you’re able to convert the casually interested into buyers — and on their way to becoming loyal customers.          

Early repeat rate

This is the percentage of new customers who make a second purchase within 60 days of their first. It’s an indication of the impact your brand has made on your customers. These buyers have the potential to become high-value customers.    

Orders per active customer

This is the average monthly order rate for active customers who’ve made more than two purchases while they were active members.

Checkout abandonment rate

This is a very important metric for ecommerce sites. It’s the rate at which your visitors decide not to buy something at the checkout stage. Things like a cumbersome payment process or expensive shipping and hidden fees can contribute to this.

The Baymard Institute says the average rate of cart abandonment is 68.53% — that’s significant! You could boost revenue by reducing your rates of checkout abandonment alone.

Customer Effort Score (CES)

The CES of your site needs to be low. Customer effort means visitors can’t easily find what they’re looking for on your site. The CES for your site should be low — improved UX can help with this!   

Time spent on site

The more time users spend on your site, the greater the chance they’ll buy your products. Again, to increase the time — but not effort — users spend on your site, improved UX goes a long way.

The best way to increase the time users spend on your site is to make your content more useful and engaging. For B2B websites, this means actionable, in-depth content. For B2C sites and ecommerce, this means simplifying UX and answering frequently asked questions.

Key analytics for mobile apps

Let’s look at the metrics involved when we’re dealing with apps.

Usage frequency

How much is your app being used? Frequent use is a good sign that your app is relevant and interesting. It’s helpful to know the demographics — what kind of users are accessing your app? For mobile, you can use Google Analytics for Mobile Apps to get demographic data.

App retention

You want people to keep coming back for more. Monitoring retention rates can tell you if your app continues to attract users over time. According to research, a majority of users stop using apps three months after install.

Retention and engagement heavily influence app store rankings. Which is why the UX and utility of your app are so important.  

Average Revenue per User (ARPU)

ARPU is a clear and objective measure of how your app is performing.

For marketers, it’s the single most important metric that guides marketing decisions. Knowing the ARPU makes it easier to set up paid marketing and media buying campaigns that result in a positive return on investment (ROI).

ARPU will also tell you how much revenue each user (or demographic) group is spending on your app. If it’s consistent or growing, it’s a good sign that your app and the stuff you’re selling through it is relevant to your users.

Revenue is great, but make sure that your ARPU keeps growing.

Load time

This one’s a no-brainer: your app should load quickly!

Slow, clunky load times gives a bad first impression and drive away users. Make sure your app is efficient and user-friendly from the get-go.    

Attract and keep customers with good UX

Now that we’ve covered which analytics are important to track, let’s take a look at the UX factors that can increase conversion and customer retention rates.

Clean and simple layouts

All the elements in the page need to be harmonic. Just take a look at the Webflow blog design as an example. Notice how menu and the social-sharing buttons stay put as you scroll? And the clean, inviting design?

Cluttered sites drive people away. Keep it simple and smooth. Avoid dense text blocks and too many images. There should be a pleasing and logical combination of text and visual elements.

Delightful design and formatting

There’s no point in having all the information in your landing page if it doesn’t grab anyone’s attention. Videos can help with your message, but useful headlines and captions are a foundational starting place. They’re attention-grabbing and quickly tell site visitors what they need to know.

Use the H1s, H2s, and body copy to say something unique about your product or service.

Educational landing pages

Educate your visitors about the benefits of your product or service. This is the single most important element that most marketers miss.

It’s not about the pros of your product — it’s about how the user will benefit from using it.

Smooth checkout

This one factor is key for ecommerce stores. We’ve seen entire ecommerce stores running on losses simply because they prolonged the checkout experience.

Consider these techniques:

  1. Implement a one-step checkout process: A one-step checkout is a great UX practice and it reduces cart abandonment rates drastically.
  2. Use multiple payment gateways: Setting up PayPal and calling it done might seem ideal, but PayPal alternatives are popping up daily. Don’t ignore them when you set up your payment platforms.
  3. Offer to save their payment method for future use: I’ve made the checkout process as fast as possible for every ecommerce store I visit. Simply having a checkbox to save a buyer’s card or payment method can go a long way.

How do you track conversions?

Have any other tips on UX or KPIs that you track to improve conversions? Share them in the comments below!

Catalin Zorzini

Catalin is a die-hard blogger — he runs Inspired MagEcommerce Platforms, and a few other blogs. He's also a huge magazine geek and a big fan of hot jazz and sour soup.

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