In web analytics for eCommerce, we tend to discuss marketing and capabilities within the context of the tools that we use on daily basis and forget the bigger picture. Other than measuring the click-stream data, a lot of the web analytics tools are capable of integrating external data into the web analytics application.
In this post, I would like to talk about some of the key operational metrics that web analyst and eCommerce managers should look at when assessing the success of your eCommerce business that ships physical goods.
In web analytics, we focus a lot on marketing, traffic source attributions, conversion rates, etc. These are typical funnel metrics.
It is vital to also think about your customers’ experience beyond the website or even after they completed the transaction.
In eCommerce, there are a lot of things happening even after customers completed purchasing. Orders have to be processed, transactions will need to be settled, products need to be wrapped, shipped, confirm delivery, subtract inventory, process returns, etc.
All of these required actions or processes correlate to customer satisfaction.
Sure, you can improve your traffic by 200%, and increase conversion rate by 300%, but if your customers aren’t receiving the products within promised timeframe, then they will not become a repeat buyer or even advocate your service.
Here are some of the metrics you will need to take into consideration as you think about scaling your e-commerce business.
Shipped to Order
For a given time range of data, it is the percentage of shipped orders per total orders. If one of the weeks in previous months show less than 100%, then maybe something is wrong with the fulfillments or the orders aren’t getting processed.
Duration between Orders to Delivery
If your slowest shipment option in your eCommerce service is 5 to 7days, you definitely don’t want to see seven plus days for this metric. Your customers do expect to have their product delivered on time.
Number of return orders and percentage of returns
So you have increased your conversion rate and successfully optimized the campaigns to drive higher revenue, but you didn’t realize that more products are getting returned due to whatever reason. You should be getting back the data on returned products, if not talk to your services that help you fulfill the orders or delivery service. Make sure to gauge this key data.
Percentage of in-stock per order
Maybe your site is selling hot out items quickly, but the orders surpassed a number of units available in inventory. You want to know what percentage of orders are actually available for delivery. If it’s below 100%, you might want to double check which products are short on inventory, and for the reason inventory is short. Skyrocketing number of orders within a particular item? Then maybe that is a great problem to have. Make sure to know your numbers.
Remember, that one of the key desired outcomes of websites is to “increase customer satisfaction and increase loyalty”. Make sure to close the loop in your supply chain/logistics/fulfillments by taking action upon these key metrics.
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