Running an online store means you need to know how well it is working at all times. Are people finding and visiting your store? When they do, do they stick around for long? Do they put anything into their virtual basket? If they do, do they then complete the purchase? These are all questions you should be able to answer. Here are four tips that will help you to effectively monitor your online store.
Use monitoring tools to capture data
If you had to try to capture all of the data you need yourself, you would probably fall short of the task. There’s no way for you to even collect some of it without software! Use tools such as Google Analytics to collect data and keep it all in easy-to-read charts and tables, so that you can analyse it with ease.
You can also use additional plugins on your site to monitor more in-depth results. You will want to track where customers are coming from and which search terms they use, how long they visit your site for, how many pages they visit and in what order, and where they linger the longest. You will then want to see statistics for your virtual basket, as well as how many orders are placed per day at what value. You need both the big picture and the little numbers in order to be able to carry out a complete analysis.
Compare with your competitors
You can use comparison tools to see where you stack up alongside your competitors. Sites like SimilarWeb allow you to look at data for other stores such as how many visitors they get per six-month period. This will give you some idea of whether your store is performing better or worse.
There are other tools to see the amount of traffic a site gets, and you can also use social media monitoring. How many followers do they have and how quickly are they growing? What kind of engagement do they get? How often is their hashtag used?
Listen on social
You should also be monitoring your own social media mentions, of course. Don’t just look for when your hashtag or tags are used, but also when your brand name is mentioned as text.
This can be done easily with social listening tools like TweetDeck or Mention. Make sure that you pay attention to what your customers are saying. Do they complain about being unable to navigate your mobile site, or not wanting to pay hidden shipping fees at checkout? If so, then you know what to fix.
Link metrics with goals
If you want to make the most use out of your metrics, you need to link them with actual goals that you have for your online store. For example, if your goal is to make a higher volume of sales, then you should be looking at:
- Incoming customer visits
- The pages your customers move between, particularly on shopping pages
- How many items are put into baskets after visits
- How many baskets are abandoned before completion
- How many orders you get per day, week, month, and so on
You should also be linking these metrics with the actions that you have taken to improve the rate of sales. This will allow you to physically see the effect of your actions and whether or not they are working.
Monitoring your statistics can really help you to progress further and build your online store’s success. If you don’t look at your metrics, however, you could end up wondering why you failed.