5 Analytic Key Performance Indiactors

Let’s talk about analytics.  If you own an e-commerce store, you want to know what to track.  So, let’s talk about the key perfomance indicators you’ll want to watch.  Remember, if your focus is a specific geographic region, you’ll want to track both for that region and overall with particular emphasis on your target region.

1. Sessions

Sessions or visitors if your analytics program uses visitors instead.  This is the top of the line metric, and will give you an idea of how many people are ‘coming to your store’ each day.  It’s always good to move this number up, especially if you are sorting by your target market already.

2. New Users %

Here’s one that most people don’t think of.  As a rule of thumb, you want to get around 50% new users coming to your site on a regular basis.  Any fewer and it means you aren’t generating enough new leads to sustain and grow your business.  Any fewer and your site is not ‘sticky’ enough. Of course, new sites will find their New User % really high, but you do want people to come back and you need to move those returning customers % up.

3. E-Commerce Conversion Rate

Industry average is 2%.  Frankly, I’ve never been in an industry where I’ve managed to get 2%.  Now, this might mean I’m just really bad at it – but it can also be an artefact of the industries I work in.  Realise that an overall benchmark like 2% can only give you the roughest of numbers to begin with.  You should however be able to hit between 1- 2% for the most part.

Most importantly, what you do want to do is adjust your site and site design to push your e-commerce conversion rate up.  Whatever you do, you want it to go up – not down.

4. Average Order Value

With this, sessions and e-commerce conversion rate you can work out what your revenue is.  More importantly, you know what your average order amount is and what you need to do adjust the value up.  In general, you want your average order value to go up (unless you figure out a way to increase volume transactions instead).  If this number goes down though, then your product mix needs fixing.

5.  Average Pages Viewed

Lastly, average pages viewed shows how engaging your site is.  Bounce rate will tell you if a customer will stay pass the first page, but it’s average pages viewed that tells you how far they have gone in the site.  The deeper they go into your site, the more likely they are to buy from you and/or add more products to their shopping cart.

I find this number better than time on site because if you improve your site’s speed (performance); you’ll find that the time on site will drop but average pages viewed should stay the same (or more likely, go up).



One of the most interesting articles I read a while ago discussed how a website owner liked to use two analytic programs on their site.  The two discussed was Google Analytics and Pikwik.


The reasoning was really simple – analytic programs have a tendency to update and change the way they track data without informing you.  As such, it’s often useful to keep track of the data using 2 different programs so that a drastic change can be tracked backwards based on previous data.  Or put another way – you can tell if it’s your site or just the software.

There’s another subtler reason buried there too of course – Analytic programs track the same information differently.  It can often be useful to have 2 programs track your data separately if you understand how the programs track / categorise that information extract more knowledge.

Sometimes, the reasoning can be even easier – sometimes, one software just presents the data better.  I definitely enjoy the presentation by Pikwik where it automatically tracks sales by categories for us, something Google Analytics doesn’t do without a lot more work.