Top 18 E-commerce Metrics
You Should Check Regularly (Explained)

9 Min. Read

Not all metrics have equal value. If you don’t learn to focus, you’ll be drowning in an ocean of numbers. On the other hand, if you determine which metrics are the right one, you can simplify your life and still run your store with confidence.

How often should I check my metrics?

Having the right rhythm of checking data can be the difference between getting swamped and enjoying the ride.

Depending on the size of your business (and the available resources) the frequency of checking might be different:

Revenue:0-1M USD1-10 M USD10M+ USD
Topweeklydailydaily
Highmonthlyweeklydaily
Normalquarterlymonthlyweekly

For small stores, when you are alone, it could mean that you only check something regularly, while for larger stores with dedicated marketing staff, it can be recommended to check daily.

Now let’s dig into your top priority metrics first.

1) Total sales / revenue

  • Why it matters: This metric is the most important metric you can have before taking a look at your costs. A business not growing is a business dying.
  • How to calculate it: Your gross sales including shipping and taxes, minus returns and discounts.
    total-sales
  • Context: Always look at the long term trends (looking at trends). Compare your results with your goals, how well you are doing against them. Have a look at YoY (year-over-year) changes, how well you are doing against your last year’s performance. Compare data with the previous period, having a more in-depth look at more significant changes.
  • Priority: Top

2) Net sales/revenue

  • Why it matters: This metric matters because it gives a more accurate representation of goods sold without the shipping and taxes, which can distort reality.
  • How to calculate it: Total sales minus taxes and shipping.
    net-sales
  • Priority: Top

3) Conversion rate

  • Why it matters: This is one of the essential quality metrics of your online store, showing how effectively you can monetize your hard earned traffic.
  • How to calculate it: The conversion rate is the percentage of users who take the desired action. The archetypical example of conversion rate in e-commerce is the percentage of website visitors who buy something on the site. To calculate it, you take the number of times a goal is completed divided by the number of people who had the opportunity to achieve that goal.
    conversion-rate
  • Context: Compare your conversion rate to similar stores in your industry (benchmarks). Break down conversion rates by traffic channels, and focus on significant changes, because they can be a signal of deeper problems.
  • Priority: Top

4) Number of sessions/visitors

  • Why it matters: Significant changes in the number of visitors can be an early indicator of acquisition-related problems, and also sources of great extra revenue opportunities.
  • How to calculate it: Visits or sessions (as in Google Analytics) shows you the number of visitors who visit your site in a given period.

    Number of sessions/visitors

  • Context: Absolute numbers are less important than changes. Break down and analyze changes by traffic channels, sources, and campaigns to get a deeper understanding of the “why.”
  • Priority: Top

5) AOV (Average order value)

  • Why it matters: It is the last part of the revenue equation alongside with conversion rate and visitors. This metric helps you understand your customer’s spending habits and can help you to identify opportunities to upsell, downsell, and make tailored offers to them. 
  • How to calculate it: To find out your AOV, divide the sum of generated revenue by the total number of orders.
    avarege order value
  • Context: Break down and analyze changes by traffic channels, sources, and campaigns to get a deeper understanding of the “why.” Compare your AOV numbers with industry peers. You can also use apps like Ultimate Cart Drawer to improve the AOV in your Shopify store.
  • Priority: Top

6) Bounce rate

  • Why it matters: Bounce Rate refers to the percentage of people who leave your site immediately after arriving. It is the most important “raw” metric you can use to find and fix conversion related problems.
  • How to calculate it: To discover your bounce rate, divide the number of people who leave your site without taking a single click by the total number of visitors.
    bounce-rate
  • Context: Compare your bounce rate to similar stores in your industry (benchmarks). Break down bounce rates by landing pages, and focus on pages with the highest bounce rates.
  • Priority: High

7) Session value

  • Why it matters: Session value shows you how much a visitor is worth to you in revenue. It gives you a better understanding of your traffic sources.
  • How to calculate it: Divide your revenue with the number of visitors. Do this for each traffic channel.
    session-value
  • Context: Compare your session values among your traffic channels to see what quality of traffic each channel brings in.
  • Priority: High

8) Cart abandonment rate

  • Why it matters: Cart abandonment rate is the percentage of users who’ve added items to their cart but leave your site before completing the checkout. Knowing this metric can uncover new opportunities where you can improve onsite messaging or improve email retargeting campaigns to help your visitors achieve their purchases.
  • How to calculate it: To find out your cart abandonment rate, you need to take the number of orders and divide it with the total number of visitors who’ve put something to their cart.
    cart-abandonment rate
  • Context: Compare your cart abandonment rate to similar stores in your industry (benchmarks). Break down your cart abandonment rate by your funnel steps to get better insights where your store is losing money.
  • Priority: High

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9) COGS (Cost of goods sold)

  • Why it matters: This metric represents the total of the costs directly attributable to producing/buying things that can be sold. This metric is important because it shows how effectively a company makes the products they sell.
  • How to calculate it: The formula for calculating COGS is usually the following: COGS = Beginning Inventory + Purchases during the Period – Ending Inventory. Thow to calculate cogsPriority: High

10) Gross profit

  • Why it matters: Revenue can often be misleading, especially with wide-ranging profit margins among products, and with intensive use of discounts or coupons. Gross profit can show a more realistic view of your performance.
  • How to calculate is: Gross profit is the difference between net revenue and cost of goods sold.gross-profit
  • Priority: High

11) Gross margin

  • Why it matters: It gives you a relative number of your store’s actual profitability. Your goal should be to either increase or keep it steady long term.
  • How to calculate is: Gross margin is gross profit divided by net revenue. It’s the total percentage of sales revenue that the company keeps after product costs.gross-margin
  • Priority: High

12) CPA (Cost per acquisition)

  • Why it matters: This metric is the cost of convincing a potential customer to buy a product or service. This metric is fundamental because it directly measures the revenue impact of marketing efforts.
  • How to calculate it: To find out the cost per acquisition, you must divide all costs spent on acquiring more customers (marketing expenses) by the number of customers acquired in the period the money was spent.
    how to calculate CPA
  • Context: Compare your session values among your traffic channels to see what quality of traffic each channel brings in, and which one is generating more profit.
  • Priority: High

13) Net profit  

  • Why it matters: It is the total margin you will have left when all order related costs are taken into account. It shows you clearly which parts of your business are genuinely generating your profits.
  • How to calculate it: Gross profit + Shipping fees – Shipping costs – Transaction fees – Handling fees – Customer Acquisition Costsnet profit
  • Priority: Normal

14) ROAS (Return on advertising spend)

  • Why it matters: Return On Advertising Spend or ROAS measures the efficacy of your digital advertising campaign. This real metric lets you know what’s working in your campaigns and how you can fix it.
  • How to calculate it: To calculate ROAS, You take the revenue generated from a channel/campaign and divide it by the cost of the channel/campaign; the number that you get from that calculation is the ROAS.Return on ad spending 
  • Priority: Normal

15) Repeat purchase rate

  • Why it matters: Repeat purchase rate is the proportion of customers in a period that has shopped more than once. It helps you to understand the tendency of your customers to return after their first purchase, and therefore, your ability to inspire loyalty. It’s important to know this because it is one of the more evident indicators of product/market fit and can help you create an inventory that is desirable for years to come.
  • How to calculate it: To calculate the repeat purchase rate, you take the purchases from repeat customers divided by all purchases on the site for a given date range.Repeat purchase rate
  • Priority: Normal

16) CLTV (Customer lifetime value)

  • Why it matters: Customer lifetime value is a metric that indicates the total revenue a business can reasonably expect from a single customer account.
  • How to calculate it: Calculating this can be a little tricky as there are some moving pieces involved. Here’s a handy guide for you to dig into later.Customer lifetime value
  • Priority: Normal

17) Average Days Between Orders

  • Why it matters: The average days between orders is a metric that shows you the frequency of orders from customers. It’s important to know this because it can help you to identify opportunities to upsell, downsell, and make tailored offers to your customers.
  • How to calculate it:  It is typically calculated within 30/60/90/180/360 days from the first order.Average Days Between Orders
  • Priority: Normal

18) Page Load Time

  • Why it matters: Page load time is the time it takes to download and display the entire content of a web page in the browser window (measured in seconds). This metric is directly related to user engagement, which in turn plays a huge role in your bottom line.
  • How to calculate it: Google Analytics provides a necessary estimation of your page load times. You can use tools like GMetrix and Usability to get more reliable page load times and improve user engagement.Page Load Time
  • Priority: Normal

Make sure to bookmark this article so you can always get back to these crucial metrics.

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