22. June 2024

Your Essential Guide to eCommerce KPIs

Guide to eCommerce KPIs

What are Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and Why are They so Important?

Key Performance Indicators are metrics or measurable values that demonstrate how effective a company is in achieving its key objectives. KPIs are common among all digital marketing channels, however, depending on your goal and the channel itself, metrics vary. eCommerce KPIs, for example, allow you to understand how consumers are interacting with your products on online shopping channels.

As eCommerce is growing immensely, companies are investing heavily in eCommerce as a viable channel. For example, between 2022-2025, eCommerce revenue may have an annual growth rate of over 11%, achieving over 5 trillion US dollars by 2025. To calculate ROI and measure performance against your goals, it is essential to measure the right KPIs.

If you remember from our earlier Social Media KPIs article, it is possible to look at metrics for every stage of the online customer journey.

Why Match eCommerce KPIs to the Online Customer Journey?

Firstly, you can get valuable insights into common customer pain points and potential opportunities for improvement by tracking the customer journey online. Moreover, each KPI can help you quantify the volume of customers at a specific journey stage. Therefore, knowing conversion numbers in each KPI within the customer journey will assist you by:

  • Understanding how your users interact with e-commerce through each stage of the journey
  • Identifying stages that are bottlenecks or possibly slowing you down in the conversion process
Layers to the Customer Journey
Stages, steps and touchpoints in a Customer Journey

eCommerce KPIs in the Awareness Stage

Individuals in the awareness stage are just learning about your brand and its products/services. Thus, KPIs in this stage should disclose information where your visitors are coming from, how often they come to your online shop, and if they engage with your website’s content. eCommerce KPIs that can help you track these are as follows:

Traffic Sources
Identifying the main traffic sources can be done through various analytical tools, which will help identify how online shoppers find your platform. We can categorize traffic sources based on their nature, such as referral, direct, social media, etc. This will help you determine where to allocate your online marketing budget.

For example, if significant traffic comes from social, this means many shoppers find your brand on social media. Thereby, marketing efforts should be spent on social media channels to transfer them to your website.

Organic Traffic
This traffic source is a great indicator of your search performance. The metric illustrates how many visitors find your products organically from search engines (such as Google). Moreover, this KPI is commonly available on most analytics platforms.

Maintaining a good ratio of organic traffic can be done by ensuring that technical SEO practices are met, such as proper tagging, response time, etc. As well as discovery via search engines through SEO blog optimization by using relevant keywords.

SEO Keyword Ranking
Tools like MOZ or SEMrush, allow you to track keywords positions and search volumes over time. Higher ranking directly equals higher visibility. Thereby, tracking your branded and generic keywords can be a way to understand your company’s visibility.

Blogs, for example, are a great tool to drive traffic to an online shop. Thus, optimizing blog content with relevant keywords can positively affect SEO ranking. Position tracking allows you to keep tabs on how many keywords rank on Page 1 and how keyword positions change over time.

KPIs for Stage 2: Consideration

In the consideration stage, individuals engage with your brand and product/service offerings. Customers analyze and compare your brand to your competitors. This means that potential customers need access to relevant and engaging information. Therefore, the following eCommerce KPIs are important to consider:

Bounce Rate
This KPI displays the percentage of users who visit your platform and then leave without taking any action. A high bounce rate indicates UX issues, such as long page loading speed, contrast errors, and navigational issues. However, it can also be a sign of poor targeting, as visitors aren’t finding what they were looking for.

It is essential to understand why visitors leave your website in order to reduce your bounce rate. Asking yourself questions such as: Was the navigation easy? Were the offers accurate? In each answer, you will find insight on how to reduce your bounce rate.

Shopping Cart Abandonment Rate
Cart abandonment is used in eCommerce when visitors place items in their shopping bag or cart but leave the online shop without actually buying the product/service. Having a high cart abandonment rate negatively influences your online shop conversions. Key reasons why the rate can be high are as follows: unexpected shipping costs, mandatory account creation, payment security concerns, etc.

To reduce your cart abandonment rate, it is important to understand why the cart was abandoned. If, for example, one reason is the lack of information on the additional costs on the platform, it’s critical to be transparent. Thus, providing customers with information of all costs upfront, including shipping or any other types of fees. This reduces the likelihood that the shoppers are caught off guard with an overall price increase.

Click-Through-Rate (CTR)
Keeping track of your CTR is useful for understanding how well your shop is doing. When an individual adds products to their basket, it’s a sign that your offer is compelling and relevant. If your CTR is low, it indicates that your product is not attractive enough to convince them to add a product to their shopping basket.

CTR can be increased in a number of ways, including these:

  • Curate unique offerings where possible
  • Create compelling product descriptions
  • Include ratings & reviews
  • Create clear call-to-actions (CTAs)

Stage 3 Decision/Acquisition: Key eCommerce KPIs

Tracking online conversion is an essential part of any eCommerce business. Therefore, knowing what key KPIs are used can help you optimize strategies to convert site visitors into buyers. Listed below are 3 eCommerce KPIs that influence buyer decisions:

Conversion Rate
This metric highlights the percentage of your online shop visitors who take an action on your platform. The action could be anything from signing up for the newsletter to buying a product. This KPI is an effective way to tell you how successful you are, in encouraging visitors to take the desired action.

For example, if your conversion rate for certain products is low. You’ll need to ask yourself whether the product itself is attractive. If it is, then are users able to find it easily and understand its value clearly on the product’s page? Answers to these simple questions can guide you in making changes to increase the conversion rate.

Average Order Value (AOV)
Your AOV is the average price your customers are paying for products in their shopping basket when they check out. This metric is measured over time to understand Customer Lifetime Value and identify any upsell opportunities. It can also help you segment customers for future campaigns. Moreover, the AOV is important for eCommerce as it relates to the measurement of marketing efficiency.

If your AOV is low, having multiple strategies in place can increase your overall order value. Such as:

  • Creating a minimum basket order for “free shopping”
  • Offering bundled products / packages
  • Upselling or cross-selling complementary products/services

Checkout Abandonment
A KPI that measures the number of individuals who leave your shop without purchasing after beginning the checkout process. The difference to the shopping cart abandonment rate is that it focuses purely on the checkout. This is beneficial, as it can discover the root of the problem, whether it is the checkout steps in the shop or something else.

If the checkout abandonment rate is high, asking yourself questions about why this occurs is beneficial. The problem can be fixed once you determine the cause. For example, if the payment method is not clearly specified. Thus, having clear transparency about payment methods, costs, and progress indicators are some methods that can be used to reduce the rate.

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Key eCommerce KPIs for Stage 4: Retention/Service

Keeping customers is much more cost-effective than acquiring new ones! Some sources say the acquisition is 5-25 times more expensive than retaining an existing customer. Thus, this stage of the customer journey is very important. Following are the 3 most important eCommerce KPIs to track:

Customer Lifetime Value (CLV)
In this metric, you measure the amount of money you make from your customer over the course of their relationship with your shop. This KPI will help you understand your ROI and is useful for future strategic goals. Moreover, it allows you to understand how well your business retains its customer base.

If your CLV is low, it suggests you may have an inefficiently managed shop-to-consumer relationship. To increase your CLV, you can stay in touch with your customer base through email marketing, subscriptions, or by offering personalized upselling.

Churn Rate
This KPI tracks the turnover of your customers, it measures the number of users you’ve lost over a given period of time. Depending on which industry you are in, the churn rate varies. For example, you might win customers easily, but they don’t stay if they find better alternatives. Thus, the Churn rate provides insights that may alter your strategies to retain customer loyalty and provoke delight.

If your Churn Rate is high, it is important to effectively communicate with your existing customer base. For example, by offering incentives, asking for feedback, and providing efficient customer service.

Customer Retention Rate
Customer Retention Rate is the percentage of customers you maintain over a period of time. The higher the number, the better you’re serving your customer base. It’s important to subtract your new customers from your existing customer base. This metric focuses purely on the existing customer base.

If your retention rate is low, it shows a poor customer-brand relationship. You can increase your rate by communicating effectively and engaging your existing customers. For example, if you have an existing loyalty program, it makes sense to assess your program or reintroduce new measures to remain attractive to your user base.

Key Online Shop KPIs in the Customer Journey: Advocacy/Loyalty

Finally, the final part of the customer journey is Advocacy. This is where the customer is an active promoter of the brand. This part of the funnel allows your brand to become highly credible, as it creates positive word-of-mouth communication.

Net Promoter Score (NPS)
This KPI places individuals into 3 categories: detractors, passives, and promoters. NPS measures everything of your online business, from your product quality to your customer services. Having more promoters is beneficial, as they can provide your shop with positive word-of-mouth.

If your online shop has more detractors, it is essential to convert these into either passive or ideally into promoters. Including a feedback questionnaire, aids in understanding the NPS. The feedback can be used to train your staff and to understand the root causes of the analysis.

Subscription Rate
E-Mail marketing can be an important supporter of eCommerce.  Thus, a good way to generate advocacy is to give people the chance to sign up for your email marketing. This allows you an overview of how many of your visitors opt-in to your email list, which indicates how serious they are about your business.

The subscription rate can be impacted by sending emails that contain attractive content and compelling CTAs can trigger sales. When users forward any offers or referrals to their friends, you stand to gain credibility among new target segments.

Program Participation Rate
It is possible for you to use a loyalty program to determine loyalty and the potential for advocacy. An increase in your program participation indicates a greater ability to customize and make your loyal customers feel “special”.

However, if your rate is low, it is important to keep your customers loyal. This can be done by providing benefits to your customers with every purchase in the form of points or rewards. Further, members can be privy to exclusive offers on your platform. Including these “appreciations” creates customer satisfaction and thus positively impacts your program participation rate.


With increasing investments being poured into eCommerce, it is crucial to be able to measure the return. eCommerce plays a part in every stage of the customer journey and therefore measuring KPIs against each stage can help you. You can learn how eCommerce acts as a catalyst in each stage. Further, you can measure against your marketing goals to see how you are performing on this channel.

What To Do Next?

Unsure which eCommerce KPIs are relevant for you or want to improve your eCommerce Strategy? Talk to us: moin@watersky.digital