9 KPIs in your online store that you won't ignore

30 January 2015

While working with many e-commerce websites, both smaller ones and leaders in their industries, I noticed that everyone approaches their business a little differently. For some, the main determinant of success is traffic directed to the website, for others, the number of orders placed, the average size of the basket, and for others, the conversion rate. Below you will find a list of 9 KPIs that every e-commerce manager should pay attention to.

What are KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) anyway

Key performance indicators are statistics that should define the success of your business. Thanks to analytical solutions such as Google Analytics, we can measure dozens of data, some of which may be very useful to you. Appropriate analysis of the collected data allows you to optimize your business. At the very beginning, it is worth asking yourself: “What are the goals of my e-commerce website?” and “What will prove the success of my online store?”. Depending on our development strategy and the goals we set, key performance factors may be expressed in different ways. If your goal is to increase the brand recognition of your store, you should certainly pay attention to the amount of traffic on the website, the number of inquiries regarding your brand, the number of fans on Facebook or the number of newsletter subscriptions. If you want to increase sales, you should certainly be interested in the conversion rate, average basket size or the number of days that have passed since the user's first visit to your store until the purchase.

1) Conversion factor

If you run an online store, you have probably heard the term "Conversion rate". i.e. conversion rate. This indicator tells you what percentage of all people visiting your website made a purchase, i.e. became your customers. Increasing this indicator should be one of the main goals of every e-commerce manager. First, consider whether your online store does everything to encourage the user to make a purchase, whether buttons and banners encourage you to take action, e.g. by moving to the next purchase step in the basket. Is the arrangement of form fields in the purchasing process intuitive, is a potential customer discouraged from making a purchase if the purchasing process is too long, etc. At this point, you should consider conducting A/B tests on the website. Today, testing various solutions plays a huge role in understanding user behavior, and selecting the most optimal ones allows you to increase the conversion rate.

If you have properly configured tracking codes in Google Analytics, data on the conversion rate and other key elements in the online store can be found in the Conversions -> tab. E-commerce -> Overall

2) Average order value

This is another indicator that is directly related to the purchases made. As the name suggests, Average Order Value is the average order value, which is obtained by dividing total revenues by the number of transactions made in the store. Many people ignore this factor because they do not realize that it can be increased using various mechanisms, e.g.:

  • by introducing cross selling to the offer
  • increasing the size of the order from which the customer does not pay for shipping
  • by promoting related products

List of related products in the store

You can read more about increasing the average cart value in your online store on the blog PrestaShop

3) Time to buy

This is another indicator that is very often overlooked by online store owners. For many people, information about how many days have passed since the user's first visit to the website to making a purchase is not very valuable. However, this indicator allows us to understand how our customers behave, whether they make purchases immediately on their first visit or whether they need to think about the purchase a little longer. Much depends heredepending on the industry in which our website operates, so you must take this into account when analyzing this indicator. People more often need more time when purchasing, e.g., computers or other expensive products, and less time, e.g., when shopping in an online pharmacy.

4) Shopping cart abandonment rate

This is another indicator that should be of interest to everyone. Information about the number of people who add product(s) to their cart but do not ultimately make a purchase can be extremely valuable. Often, thanks to small changes in the shopping path, you will be able to reduce the percentage of abandoned carts and thus generate more transactions. You will find many studies on this factor on the Internet. The infographic below presents the most important elements that influence the number of cart abandonments. These include:

  1. Shipping costs too high
  2. Product price too high
  3. Unclear transport conditions (hidden costs)
  4. Too many complicated steps in the purchasing process
  5. Not enough options to pay for purchases
  6. No possibility to purchase as a guest (registration required)

Test and investigate why customers leave the purchasing process, thus preventing unnecessary losses. An interesting article on this topic also appeared on the blog Bluerank.

5) Number of visits to the website

There are many possibilities to gain traffic in an online store. Of course, it all depends on the marketing activities you conduct. However, regardless of whether people come to your website from your newsletter, natural search results, paid campaigns, social media or other sources, it is important to track them. Thanks to extensive analytical tools such as Google Analytics, you are able to check which source generates the highest sales. Which campaign generates the highest return on investment? Thanks to this, you will be able to allocate your advertising budgets appropriately and generate even greater profits. Website traffic is undoubtedly one of the most important KPIs that every online store owner should examine. The more traffic you generate in your store, the greater your chances of increasing the number of customers who will make purchases from you.

An additional advantage of a larger number of website visits isalso an increase in the recognition of your brand. A larger number of users familiarizing themselves with your brand is a chance for more recommendations, mentions or natural links.

Sources of visits to one of the e-commerce websites

What do you need to remember?

Traffic on the website, regardless of its source, should be monitored by you every day, week and month. For example, large drops in the number of natural visits may be a sign of a penalty imposed by Google, e.g. for unnatural links leading to the website. You can read more about this in one of my previous articlesHow to check does the site have a manual or algorithmic filter?“. Moreover, try to constantly increase the number of visits to your store. Set goals for yourself in the form of a specific number of visits you want to achieve, e.g. on a monthly, quarterly or yearly basis. Then manage your budget to achieve your goals.

6) Number of product page views

By analyzing the views of individual products in your online store, you will be able to determine which pages are most popular among users. By combining this information with sales data, you will be able to draw interesting conclusions. If a product sells very well in your store and the number of visits to the product page is not too high, you can start to expose it better, e.g. by moving it to the beginning of the category, turning on a dedicated banner campaign, etc. Additionally, information about , time spent on individual product pages, interest in the product, i.e. how often users visit a given page again. All this will help you present your products even better on category pages.

7) Bounce rate

Also called “Bounce rate” informs you about the percentage of visitsusers who visited a specific page on the website and completed their activities there, did not visit any other subpage. Bounce rate is often confused with exit rate. A high bounce rate may indicate that users visiting your store did not find what they were looking for.

A high bounce rate may also be caused by the phrases used by users to come to your website. If you sell sports shoes in your store for both women and men, and the website generates a lot of visits to general phrases such as footwear, shoes, men's shoes, women's shoes. You can be sure that many people are not interested in your products, which is why you will have a high bounce rate.

8) Exit pages

Information about the subpages on which users end their journey through your store may also be useful. Think about what might be the reason why users end their adventure with your website on a given subpage. Maybe the information you present is not very clear, it misleads the customer, or maybe the buttons with the purchase option are poorly displayed. Try to optimize these subpages and encourage your potential customers to continue shopping. You will find the necessary information in Google Analytics in theBehavior -> Site content -> Exit pages.

9) Conversion cost

This is another KPI that every e-commerce manager should keep in mind. Cost per conversion (CPC) is the cost you have to incur for a user visiting your website to make a purchase. When running sponsored link campaigns in Google Adwords, you will definitely come into contact with this indicator. Let's assume that the cost of one click in a sponsored links campaign is PLN 0.5 and a purchase is made on average once every 50 visits. Therefore, the conversion cost for such advertising is PLN 25. Now you have to think about how profitable it was for you to spend those PLN 25. Did your final profit exceed your costs? Thanks to the analysis of conversion costs for individual marketing campaigns, you will be able to make better and better decisions.


When running an e-commerce website, you must pay attention to many indicators that determine the success of your business. Of course, the above list could be much more extensive, I did not discuss KPIs related to e.g. social media or newsletters in the article. However, I hope that the above list of 9 key performance indicators will help you in your daily work on improving sales in your online store.

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