May 24, 2018

If you hear people talking about KPI metrics, or more explicitly eCommerce KPI metrics, and didn’t want to be the one that raised your hand to ask what they were talking about, we have you covered.

Let’s begin with a couple of definitions to make sure we’re on the same page as we walk our way through a glossary of your store’s eCommerce KPI metrics.

Common Definitions to Know

  • eCommerce is defined as commerce conducted via the internet. This can be business to business, business to consumer, consumer to business, or consumer to consumer.
  • Key Performance Indicator (KPI): is a quantifiable measure of success/failure against a goal.
  • A Metric is defined as a system or standard of measure.

And keep in mind, you set your business goals. These KPI metrics help you measure performance against your chosen goals.

Definitions of KPI Metrics

1. Average Page Load Time – (6.06s)

The average amount of time, in seconds, it takes for your complete page to load in your website visitor’s browser.  This is important to your store because reducing the average page load time by 1.6 seconds would increase annual revenue growth by 10 percent.

2. Average Server Response Time – (1.04s)

The average amount of time, in seconds, it takes for your server to respond. Can be overlooked in favor of optimizing the page. However, if the server response is slow, a well optimized page will still load slow. Google recommends a server response of under 200ms.

3. Pages per Session – (5)

The average number of pages visited per session for each specific website visitor. This metric is significant because if visitors are leaving your website before visiting other pages, that works against your conversion goals. On the other end of the spectrum, if visitors are viewing loads of pages but not converting, that may mean your messaging is not clear enough for visitors to trust and buy.

4. Session Duration – (3m 24s)

The average amount of time each website visitor session lasts. The longer your visitors spend on your website, and in your store, the better. Unless we’re talking about your checkout pages, where too much time being spent works against conversion.

5. Bounce Rate – (38 percent)

The percentage of your website visitors who left without visiting a second page on your site. It’s significant, because if too many people are leaving your website without visiting additional pages, that will work against your store goals.

6. Mobile Page Views

The number of pages viewed using mobile devices. A higher percentage of mobile pageviews correlates with higher revenue growth per Wolfgang Digitals 2017 KPI Report.

7. Tablet Page Views

The number of pages viewed using tablets. Higher than average Tablet Pageviews also correlates with revenue growth per Wolfgang. But keep it in perspective, since the same report states that desktop users were 164 percent more likely to convert than mobile, while desktop visitors accounted for 61 percent of all online revenue.

8. Pinterest Traffic

The total amount of visitors from Pinterest for a chosen period of time. This is significant, because Wolfgang did not classify Pinterest as a social network; rather, it was classified as an “intent-driven research engine.” Wolfgang found that a higher proportion of Pinterest traffic correlated with a higher Average Order Value for their stores.

9. Instagram Traffic

The total amount of visitors from Instagram for a chosen period of time. This is significant because even though Instagram’s only clickable links are the single profile links, Instagram still had higher order values than Twitter, Pinterest, and Facebook.

10. Website Traffic

The total traffic to your website for a given period of time. Significant toward calculating other KPIs, as well as for tracking your website’s traffic trend over time.

11. Traffic Source

Below is a Google Analytics report answering the following question: “Which channel did a website visitor find your store through?”

  • Google Organic Traffic – (32 percent)
    Organic traffic from Google merely means someone found you by searching and clicking your link in the search results. On average, this is where most of the traffic comes from.
  • Google CPC Traffic – (23 percent)
    Total traffic to your website from paid (cost-per-click) Google advertisements. This is significant because Google CPC generates 25 percent of all revenue.
  • Direct Traffic – (21 percent)
    Where they came directly to your website, includes loyal and repeat customers. In Google Analytics, this also includes what is called “dark traffic.”
  • Traffic From Email – (1 percent)
    Total website visitors from links in emails. Important because stores who get more traffic from email average a higher average order value. And email still drives three times as much revenue as Facebook.
  • Facebook Organic Traffic – (2 percent)
    Facebook organic traffic accounts for visitors to your website that did not come from your paid advertisement via Facebook ads. Significant in evaluating your social marketing strategy efforts through your store’s Facebook page.
  • Facebook CPC Traffic – (2 percent)
    This is the traffic coming from your Facebook ad spend. The significance to your efforts will depend on the goal you set for your Facebook ad spend, but these visitors and seeing where they go after the landing page is also helpful.
  • Bing Organic Traffic – (1 percent)
    Organic traffic from Bing means someone found you by searching and clicking your link in the Bing search results. It’s significant if you can associate it with other metrics, specifically average order value and/or higher lifetime value.
  • Yahoo Organic Traffic
    Organic traffic from Yahoo means someone finds you by searching and clicking your link in the Yahoo search results. It’s also significant if you can associate it with other metrics, specifically average order value and higher lifetime value.

12. Email Opt-In Conversion Rate

Total number of email subscribers for a period of time divided by the total site visitors for the same period of time and then multiplied by 100 for the percentage. Significant in evaluating your email opt in messaging. Is it working to take strangers that visit your website and convert them into email subscribers?

13. Shopping Cart Sessions

Total number of website visitors who began a cart session, by adding an item to your shopping cart. The total number of shopping cart sessions helps determine the shopping cart abandon rate. Also important as a trend over time with the question being, are there more or are there less cart sessions initiated month-to-month?

14. Shopping Cart Abandons

Total number of website visitors who began a cart session but did not move on from the shopping cart to the checkout page.  The average is right at seventy-percent of shopping cart sessions end in abandonment. Establishing the total number of abandoned carts allows you to track how many carts you’re able to reclaim via your cart abandonment efforts.

15. Shopping Cart Conversion Rate

The percentage of website visitors who began a shopping cart session and completed the checkout process. How many shopping cart sessions converted is extremely significant as a store owner. A low rate means you need to remove friction from your shopping cart conversion process.

16. Shopping Cart Abandonment Rate – (69.23 percent)

The percentage of shopping cart sessions that do not complete checkout. Found by taking the total number of completed purchases for the time period and dividing it by the total number of shopping cart sessions for the same period and then multiplying the number by 100 for the percentage. Managing this number is a quick path to more revenue each month.

17. Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC)

Helps you see how much it costs your store to acquire a new customer. Find your CAC by dividing your marketing spend by your total number of customers. It’s helpful at a macro level to manage your return on investment from your marketing spend.

18. Gross Profit Margin – (in the 30-40 percent range)

Is expressed as a percentage of your revenue that turns into profit. It being gross profit margin, it only subtracts your cost of goods sold from your total revenue and you then multiply that number by 100 for the percentage. Significant in managing your store’s profit margin.

19. Net Profit Margin

Start with total revenue, aka all the sales, fees, and other monies collected by your store and then subtract out the cost of goods sold, taxes, operating expenses, and interest paid and then multiply that amount by 100 to find your net profit margin. Significant in managing your store’s profit margin.

20. Percent Returning Customers

The percentage of returning customers is found by taking the number of returning customers (those buying for the second time or more), and then dividing it by the total customers. Take the product and multiply it by 100 to express it in a percentage. Selling more to current customers is cheaper than paying to acquire a brand new customer, right?

21. Revenue Growth

Is found by taking the current period’s revenue and subtracting the prior period’s revenue. Divide that number by the prior period’s revenue and then multiply by 100 for the percentage. At a macro level, this is significant to know which way your revenue total is moving. Up or down? And at what rate?

22. Revenue by Traffic Source

The total revenue for a specific source of website traffic over a chosen period of time. Helpful to determine your most profitable traffic sources as you allocate your marketing budget moving forward.

23. Revenue on Ad Spend

Total amount of revenue attributed to a specific ad spend/campaign. Significant as part of determining your return on investment from your ad spend.

24. Number of Transactions

The total number of transactions for a given period of time. This is helpful in determining other metrics, and is typically important to store owners that this number consistently trend in a positive direction.

25. Cost per Conversion

How much does it cost for each of your store’s conversions? Found by taking the total cost for the traffic and dividing it by the number of conversions. This is significant in helping you determine if your advertising spend is driving conversions to your product.

26. Cost per Click – (Adwords average is ~$2)

The total cost for each click of an advertisement, each of which delivers a website visitor. Significant because it’s one way to measure the return on investment into your store’s paid advertisements.

27. Customer Lifetime Value (LTV)

Calculating a customer’s lifetime value seeks to forecast the total revenue each customer will generate over the course of their customer lifespan with your store. The “simple” version of the calculation involves multiplying the annual revenue per customer by the customer relationship in years, then subtracting the customer cost of acquisition.15  (Find much more here. And here.)

28. Average Customer Lifespan

The number of days the average customer remains a customer of your store. Your business isn’t a short term proposition, so the longer the average customer lifespan, the better for your store.

29. Customer Retention Rate

The percentage of customers from a specific time period that return and purchase as compared to an earlier, equal time period. Significant because a high percentage of returning customers is an indicator of successful stores.

30. The Rate of Discount

Defines the interest rate used in discounted cash flow analysis to determine the present value of future cash flows.14  Significant in the more complicated formulas for customer lifetime value.

31. Gross Margin

Found by taking your store’s total sales revenue and subtracting the cost of goods sold. Then divide the product by revenue and multiply by 100 to get gross margin (expressed as a percentage). Significant in managing your store’s profitability, as the higher the percentage of gross margin, the more revenue that becomes profit for your store.

32. Average Gross Margin per Customer Lifespan

Found by finding the percentage of profit margin per customer from the total revenue per customer lifetime.  Plays a role in complicated customer lifetime value formulas.

33. Average Order Value – ($217.82)

The average value of your store’s orders is found by taking the total store sales and dividing it by the number of transactions. Significant to most store owners but keep in mind that the higher the average order value the lower your conversion rates, because pricey purchases take more clicks.

34. eCommerce Conversion Rate – (1.56 percent)

The total number of store transactions and divide it by the total visitors to your online store and then multiply that number by 100 for the percentage. This is significant because it shows on a macro level how successful your store is at turning visitors into customers.

35. Visits to Purchase

The average number of store visits required for a customer to purchase. If it takes too many visits for people to purchase, you will want to look for ways to remove friction from your checkout process. And be sure you have social proof as well as trust items throughout your checkout process.

36. New Customer on First Visit

The percentage of visitors who purchase on their first visit. Most shoppers will not buy on their first visit, so if you have an inordinate amount of first time customers, that is a good thing.

37. Unique Online Buyers

The total number of unique online buyers that visited your store over a given period of time. Helpful to drill down to the total unique buyers amid all your return buyers.

38. Average Cost per Order

Gives the average advertising cost per order. Find it by dividing the total investment into marketing by the store’s total number of orders. Helpful in evaluating your advertising dollars against the number of online orders your advertising is driving in your store.

39. Conversion by Traffic Source

Total number of conversions specific to a traffic source. Tracking conversions back through the traffic source they originated is always helpful for allocating future marketing budget for your store.

40. Conversion by Device Type

Total number of conversions specific to a device type. Knowing which device your shoppers use to convert is helpful for your marketing budget as well. For store owners, keep in mind that desktops still generate 61 of revenue versus smartphones and tablets.

41. Shipping Error Rate

Track the number of shipping errors. Found by dividing the total number of erroneously shipped orders by the total number of orders shipped. Significant because it helps you manage your shipping success rate, which influences customer happiness.

42. Product Views per Session

The average number of products a potential customer views during their session with your store. Too many product views per session can portend of confusing copy on your products page. Or lack of clarity on the specifics of how the shipping process plays out for your store.

43. Average Shopping Session Length

Measure the average amount of time a single person spends on your site that concludes with a checkout. If your average shopping sessions are too long that’s a reason to remove friction from your checkout process.

44. NPS – Net Promoter Score

Measures how likely someone is to recommend your store. Found by asking customers to rate their likeliness to recommend your store on a scale of one to ten. Significant because it helps you monitor how happy your customers are with your store. And anytime you’re talking about customer intent to share your store with others, you want to keep a close eye on.

45. Average Email Open Rate – (16.75 percent)

Percentage of emails sent that are opened. Significant because people have to open your emails to buy from you. And if your emails are not being opened, consider running some A/B tests on your email subject lines in order to learn which subject lines your audience opens more often.

46. Email Click Through Rate – (2.32 percent)

Percentage of emails where a link was clicked. The whole point of an email sent from your store is to have it opened and then to have them click on a link within the email. Making click-through rate important for anyone doing digital marketing.

47. Refund Rate

As an eCommerce store owner, you’re going to have some refunds. But if your refund rate is too high, there’s a problem with customer expectations on product pages and in your checkout process.

48. High Traffic Periods

You want to be aware of the period of time that your high traffic lasts. It’s different for every store. For instance, you may send an email to your email list each morning after which you have an hour of very high traffic. Much like staffing for a retail store, knowing your high traffic periods and verifying them via analytics each quarter for changes, helps you make sure your customers are cared for in the manner you expect.

49. Average Page Weight

Check the page weight of your most visited pages. Track the average page weight in the interest of better page load times for your store’s pages. Run the individual urls through and it will tell you how fast each page loaded as well as the weight of each page in kilobytes.

50. Daily Traffic – Total Visitors/Day

Keeping a handle on your store’s day-to-day foot traffic, helps you plan resources for concurrency of customer orders. For online stores, think of your hosting resources along the same lines of staffing your brick-and-mortar location.

51. Subscriber Growth Rate

Designed to determine how many new subscribers you’re attracting through the various ways people can connect with your brand. It’s significant to see how your message is resonating with your audience. Find this ratio by adding together the number of leads, registrations, and signups. Then multiply that total by your conversion rate for the same period of time to get your subscriber growth rate.

52. Value Per Visit

Find the value per visit metric by taking the total store revenue for a period of time and dividing it by the total visitors for the same period of time.  This is helpful to provide context when planning your marketing activities.

Want to read more about eCommerce KPI metrics?

Here are some resources to digest more resources on eCommerce KPIs.

  1. Wolfgang Digital’s 2017 eCommerce KPI benchmarks study
  3. Adstage post from 11-6-17
  4. Klipfolio eCommerce KPI Metrics
  5. Referralcandy eCommerce metrics
  6. Shopify eCommerce


Here’s the good news – you don’t have to keep an eye on all of these KPI metrics all the time.

Set your store goal, then choose the KPI metrics that help you measure your store’s performance against the goal. For those key performance indicators, setup a daily or weekly reporting so that you can regularly check in on how things are going.

What’s really exciting is that if you’re using our Managed WooCommerce Hosting product from Nexcess, you’ll have access to tons of data and KPI metrics via our partnership with

Chris Lema
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