E-commerce Link: Taming Web Analytics
Applying Metrics That Matter
Rather than focusing on metrics that are too broad or too narrow to be meaningful, focus on measurements that indicate behavior at key junctures on the path to purchase. Identify metrics that measure the level of engagement—the indicators that show when visitors become browsers and browsers become buyers. To illustrate, let me share some actionable indicators we took from our Web analytics data to compile the MarketLive Performance Index.
• “One-and-out” visitors. One-and-out indicates the number of visitors who hit one page and then leave the site without exploring or buying. One-and-out is an indicator of whether you’re meeting visitor expectations with regard to site and brand visibility and credibility. This is what I call the four-second rule—if they stay longer than four seconds, you’ve got them. You want to reduce your one-and-out rate.
Our findings show that 25 percent of one-and-out visitors hit the homepage, which is a good measure of whether your homepage has a healthy mix of offers and merchandise to appeal to a diverse range of customer interests. We found that sites with an average of eight different merchandising elements on the homepage had the lowest one-and-out rates and drove more than three times the conversions. We also found a correlation between one-and-out rates and visitor acquisition. The highest number of single page visits come from search engine traffic, so the search terms clearly need to match the customer expectation, which means pointing to specific product pages and using prominent merchandising and directive text.
• Cart Open Rate. Another common metric is the “cart open rate” or ratio of number of visitors to number of carts opened. If you’re only comparing the number of carts opened to completed orders, you’re missing the point. The cart open rate is the purest indicator of the power of your site’s content and merchandising.