KPIs for Ecommerce Cheat Sheet
Learn more about the 12 most common key performance indicators (KPIs) for ecommerce and which ones to track to help you reach your business goals.
5 Steps To Developing an Ecommerce Strategy
If you’re ready to start making your first moves, here are some points to keep in mind while developing your approach.
1. Identify Your Unique Ecommerce Marketing Goals
Establishing explicit, foundational goals for your ecommerce marketing campaign will not only help your team formulate their initial ideas but will also help you determine key performance indicators (KPIs) and other means of guiding your campaign.
Naturally, goals will vary from company to company based on industry, size, and other factors. When starting out, consider aiming for improvements in metrics like website visits, conversions, and clickthrough rates. You can also aim to reduce elements such as your churn rate, instances of cart abandonment, and other signs of a negative customer experience.
At the end of the year, review your progress, and create new goals based both on what worked — and what didn’t — for each of your campaigns.
2. Develop a Concrete Understanding of Your Unique Audience
Providing value for your audience is an essential element of any effective ecommerce marketing strategy. As you likely realize, it’s much easier to cater to a group of well-known friends than a room full of strangers.
As such, it’s time to conduct some market research.
Some questions to help you develop an understanding of your audience can include:
- What problems are your customers facing?
- How are your competitors addressing those problems, and where have they fallen short?
- What are the different kinds of general personalities that comprise your customer base (i.e., buyer personas as outlined by Hubspot)?
- Are there ways to not only meet general customer expectations but exceed them?
You don’t necessarily need a comprehensive market research report from a third-party vendor, either — even familiarizing yourself with typical complaints in online reviews and other comments can provide some actionable insights as you develop your strategy.
Outlets like Dollar Shave Club and Warby Parker are great examples of brands that took the time to understand their customers’ pain points, ultimately revolutionizing the way otherwise ordinary products are bought and sold online, as highlighted by The New York Times.
3. Determine Your Marketing Activation Channels
With an educated, data-backed understanding of both your customers and campaign goals, you’re ready to consider which channels to tackle first in your ecommerce marketing strategy.
Again, the best decisions for your specific brand will likely depend on a variety of factors — your target audience is a major one, but other details, like your company’s size, industry, and location, are also important elements to consider.
You’ll also need to have a grasp of each channel’s audience to ensure the greatest potential reach for your messaging.
For example, marketing products geared toward the elderly on TikTok — a social channel whose audience skews younger — will likely result in a very low return on investment (ROI). A toy company’s campaign targeting kindergarteners would also probably falter on a channel like LinkedIn.
A good rule of thumb? Find out where your target audience likes to hang out — and start fitting in.
4. Outline Your Ecommerce Marketing Campaigns
After doing your homework and brainstorming effective campaigns by channel, identify which of your team’s top ideas seem the most likely to deliver a high ROI, and start breaking down each campaign into a step-by-step action plan.
For example, an action plan for a content marketing campaign might include items like:
- Setting up a blog on your website;
- Formulating post ideas; and
- Identifying ways to promote the content to your would-be customers.
Once you have all the nuts and bolts committed to paper, you can assign roles, develop a work schedule, and start to manage the day-to-day operations of your campaigns.
You’ll probably have a lot of ideas when you start. (Nothing wrong with that!) However, resist the urge to undertake all of your campaign ideas at once. It’s better to focus on three or four solid ideas than chase every new idea.
5. Develop an Assessment and Optimization Plan — And Adjust Where Necessary
In conjunction with your action plan, develop a separate set of timetables related to your articulated goals and benchmark KPIs. For example, if your team is operating on a one-year campaign, consider developing quarterly or even monthly goals that will help ensure you’re on the right track throughout the process.
This approach allows you to identify negative trends before they become too entrenched and empowers your team to proactively adjust campaigns where necessary. While careful planning often provides an excellent starting point, a willingness to be flexible can be just as important. If you see certain approaches working better than others, embrace them.
The Same Marketing Rules Still Apply
While marketing has certainly changed after centuries of economic and technological development, all of the basic underlying principles are still there: Understand your customers and their problems, figure out how to fix them, and meet them (where they’re comfortable) so they know you’re available.
Whatever form the digital shelf or other online spaces may take, there’s a reason that a basic approach has stood the test of time — it works.