AARRR - Pirate Metrics for Better Ecommerce Performance

In this post, I am going to introduce you to Pirate metrics or in other words AARRR metrics, which is a useful tool for optimizing your conversion funnel.

I bet there are days when you take a look at your e-commerce data, and it literally  drives you up the wall, and that feeling, grrr….. I can relate to that feeling.

It can be hard to read and interpret the different insights and metrics, especially when it comes to your customers’ behavior. The answer to how to do it comes in the form of AARRR metrics.

  • Which one is the best performing channel?
  • What is the most effective way to motivate customers to take actions?
  • How can a user be turned into returning visitor?
  • Will my customers recommend my products or services to their friends?
  • All in all, how can you measure and optimize your funnel?

These questions are essential to ask, as the growth of your E-commerce store relies on your customers: the way they find your business, how much they purchase, how often they do so, and how satisfied they are with your service.

The bad news is you need data in order to grow your business from here, you need to case you do not want to hope and pray only for better business performance and growth.

Those who state they don’t measure and don’t make the right steps to improve their businesses („it’s just growing by itself”) are lying or are not in their right minds.

The good news is you don’t have to reinvent the wheel.

There is a model at your disposal which provides you a deeper understanding of your customers’ behavior.

Let me introduce you the AARRR model (a.k.a. Pirate Metrics) its something that will provide understanding and won’t give you the grrrr feeling.  In hand with  with Conversific AARRR metrics assists you systemize and optimize each step of your funnel.

All About AARRR Pirate Metrics

8 Min. Read

What Are AARRR Metrics

The AARRR metrics model was developed by Dave McClure. It comprise of these five essential metrics to map out the behavior of our customers and provide a deeper understanding of Customer Lifecycle.

It serves as a framework that makes it easier for you to make better data-driven decisions as it maps out the steps you aim to guide your customers through. Let’s take a closer look at every single one, but first lets look at a potential update to this model.


The acquisition is how you attract and acquire visitors.

It is the first meeting, and we all know well how much first impression matter. As it’s the entering step of your funnel, it has an impact on the whole process.

At this stage, the emphasis is laid on the quality of traffic and its source.


Nowadays the main traffic sources are search engines (Google, Bing), social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) and your Pay-Per-Click ads whether it’s Facebook Ads or Google AdWords.

No matter what is your main traffic source, make sure you understand the whole performance.

This can be a perfect starting point to know which marketing channel works best for your business, and which one you might think of dropping.

aarrr metrics marketing channels

Here are some metrics that can help you assess the acquisition stage:

Visitors By Marketing Channels

It’s important to know which traffic source has the best conversion rate.

To see which of your source provides the most visitors that convert and become customers is the key to ensure your marketing strategy is efficient.

Low Performing Product Pages

Although sometimes products are ‘good sellers’, when you look at the number of visitors to their product page, you would expect to see more purchases.

aarrr aqisition

These products are definitely in need of some improvement. Such questions can be asked at this stage as:

  • Is the product priced right?
  • Do you provide enough information in your product description?
  • Is the layout of your product page user-friendly with easy-to-find elements?
  • Are there enough photos with a high enough resolution?


The activation stage is when a visitor makes their first interaction with your online store. In other words, visitors like what they see and make the first step toward it.

The first step might be the act of signing up for your email list or newsletter, adding products to their shopping cart, browsing several products or category pages, and may even be starting the checkout process.

Make sure that your website is user-friendly and provides an exceptional user experience.

What is recommended at this stage is to provide enough call-to-action, so visitors subscribe to your email list.

Conversion rates of the funnel steps

aarrr metrics purchase funnel

When visitors take action on your website, it’s your job to guide them through a smooth checkout process.

By having a conversion funnel that can be measured, you can have powerful insights about each stage of the funnel and its conversion rate.

Not only that, but the data will also help you optimize your conversion rate, checkout process, and even product pages.

Hot Products

When you monitor your sales performance, you can see which products perform better compared to the previous period.

Many customers rely on side-by-side comparison when making their decision about purchases.

Offering them an easy way to compare the best products in the same category, and providing recommendations for related products can help boost your sales.


As mentioned in the introduction, the revenue of e-commerce stores comes down to a customer placing an order.

At this stage, all your metrics would be measured by the average spending of your customers.

These metrics are the most important:

Customer Lifetime Value

Customer Lifetime Value measures the total amount of money a customer spends in a store during his or her relationship with it.

“It lets you know who’s in it for the long haul, and who’s not; who’s going to invest time, energy and money in your products and services for years to come, and who might just be fairweather.

That’s information you can use to decide how to allocate resources for marketing, customer retention, and other areas so that you get the best possible return on those resources.”  – Forbes, entrepreneur H.O. Maycotte. I believe he said it all.

Average Order Value

Average order value tracks the average amount spent each time a customer places an order. To calculate your store’s AOV, divide the total revenue by the number of orders. AOV should also be monitored as closely as any other business metrics — preferably daily or weekly. New campaigns, buying seasons, and any cosmetic alterations to a website are possible factors that may affect fluctuations in AOV.

avarage order value aarrr metrics

Your goal is to increase the average order value as well as the income of your shop. You should export the contact information of your customers with low AOV, and use this in a targeted marketing campaign to encourage larger purchases.

For instance, you can send these customers a coupon for free shipping with a higher value purchase. This ‘higher value’ should be determined to make free shipping profitable and to ensure it results in a higher than the average order value.

The point is to provide low AOV customers some motivation to spend more in your shop.

Net Profit

Net Profit is the actual amount of profit a business generates after all expenses. It tells you the profitability of your E-commerce business after taking all costs into account.

To increase Net Profit, businesses need to increase their revenue and decrease their expenses. You can lower expenses by improving the efficiency of production or making fewer purchases.

You can increase revenue by attracting new clients, raising prices or vice versa making sales.


The referral source is one of the most powerful strategies to boost your online store’s growth. Remember, your customers have friends and family, and I bet you want them to hear about your business as well.

But first, you have to build customers’ trust.

Happy customers love to share their great shopping experiences, but it is your task to make sure they leave your store delighted at the end of the buying process.

Your customers would love to exchange referrals if they’re getting something out of it, here you could start a word of mouth marketing campaign.

Here are your performance metrics:

Referral Rate

Your referral rate is the rate at which your users refer new friends to your site.

Net Promoter Score

This score reveals how many customers are willing to recommend a website to others. Usually, it comes in the form of a survey filled by your customers of course.

Calculating NPS starts with identifying three types of groups: Promoters, Passives, Detractors. Use a 0 to 10 points rating scale to measure the NPS. (0-not at all likely and 10- extremely likely).

Smart Data Optimization, it is the only thing that makes you be 100% sure you’re getting the right metrics that you should pay attention to in order to grow your business.

Hanging out with all of these metrics could be hard. But you don’t need an army of analysts to make good decisions. Allow me to introduce you a tool that is able to turn all of these complexes and difficulties to meaningful information that serves you the best.

I’m talking about Conversific, which is an e-Commerce intelligence platform that helps store owners, like You to unlock the hidden revenue in their data and boost your store’s performance by delivering actionable business insights.

Conversific provides:

  • All essential e-commerce based data in one dashboard
  • Comprehensive but easy-to-understand reports
  • Smart insights about products, categories, marketing channels, Facebook ads, and customers
  • Actionable tips

Beyond opportunities for increasing sales, you can also identify the bottlenecks where your business is losing money. Data-based optimization is the key to reducing your costs and growing your business.


You know that feeling when you have a clear overview of your customers’ journey, from the acquisition stage until you see them referring your website in their social circle?

If not, I’m sure you’ll know it soon?

Now you have a framework that helps you systemize the most important metrics that you should keep an eye on and a tool at your disposal to make your data simple and visible.

With these in your pocket, you can spare time and effort, you will see a higher growing tendency.

Welcome on Board, Captain! AARRR!


The author

Marketing and Profit Analytics for Shopify and WooCommerce Stores

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