Running an eCommerce store is an incredibly challenging venture. You must monitor sales, oversee the latest marketing efforts, and make sure your team has the tools they need to perform at peak levels.
In order to effectively accomplish all of these various tasks, you must become an expert at eCommerce bookkeeping.
Put simply, eCommerce bookkeeping refers to the process of tracking various financial metrics that impact the success of your business. Without a strong understanding of these indicators, effectively managing your online store will be nearly impossible.
With that in mind, the experts at Visory have created this helpful guide. Our team specialises in online bookkeeping services that help eCommerce sites track essential data.
Below, we’ll outline the ten key eCommerce financial metrics that you should be tracking.
How to Measure eCommerce Success
If you have been searching for a way to quantify your eCommerce success, online bookkeeping is the answer. It is important to thoroughly track relevant data about your business’ performance and sales. Each category of data is known as a key performance indicator (KPI).
With modern software, you can collect information on just about any metric imaginable. However, not all eCommerce financial metrics give accurate insights into your business. If you pay too much attention to the wrong KPIs, then you will have an incomplete picture of your store’s overall health.
Many eCommerce stores opt to use third-party eCommerce bookkeeping services. These firms specialise in monitoring KPIs and compiling relevant data for your business. They can provide you with regular reports on your business performance. You can then use this information to detect trends, refine your business model, and generate more revenue.
How often should you check your eCommerce financial metrics?
This depends on a few factors.
For instance, if you have just switched to a new page theme, then you should check your metrics each week. This is because a new theme can drastically impact the way consumers interact with your content. Your new theme may lead to changes in traffic volume or cart abandonment rates.
More established eCommerce stores may only need to check eCommerce financial metrics bi-weekly or monthly. There is no one-size-fits-all answer. The best solution will depend on your business’ current health and growth projections.
Now that we have covered online bookkeeping services and how often you should check your KPIs, let’s dive into the list. Our top ten eCommerce financial metrics include:
Our first pick is pretty straightforward. Every business owner actively tracks their overall revenue (even those who are not very interested in analysing data).
However, revenue gives a very narrow view of an eCommerce store’s performance. Having high top-line revenue is great. But it is a useless statistic unless it’s paired with other eCommerce financial metrics.
Profit gives a much better picture of your eCommerce store’s health and performance. If your revenue is rising, but your total income is not, it is likely because you are leaking money in another category. This inconsistency may be due to unusually high operating expenses or disproportionate acquisition costs.
When you’re calculating profits, make sure to account for all expenses. We suggest monitoring profits weekly, especially when your business is young. That way, you can continually look for ways to reduce expenses and improve profitability.
3. Average Order Value (AOV)
Average order value is one of the best eCommerce financial metrics for gauging customer loyalty and interest in your products. The AOV refers to how much the average customer is purchasing each time they checkout.
Driving up your AOV is a simple, but effective alternative to generating new site traffic. There are several great ways to boost AOV, such as:
- Rewards programs
- Selling bundled items
- Upselling with add-ons at checkout
- Mix-and-match deals
If you find that your AOV is low, using the techniques above can incentivise consumers to buy your products in larger quantities.
4. Customer Lifetime Value (CLV)
Most of the eCommerce financial metrics on our list are great for just about any business. However, this next one is most suitable for established online stores with a strong customer base.
CLV refers to the total amount that a consumer spends at your store throughout their entire “lifecycle.” The CLV will vary greatly, depending on what industry you are in.
eCommerce stores that sell consumables and health products may have customer lifecycles of five years or more. On the other hand, a business that sells specialty automotive parts may have extremely short customer lifecycles.
5. eCommerce Conversion Rate (CVR)
Ever wondered how many visitors to your site are actually making a purchase? If so, then you need to be tracking your eCommerce conversion rate (CVR).
Like most eCommerce stores, you probably get a lot of passive traffic. We are referring to the customers that “browse” your site for 30 minutes to an hour, only to leave empty-handed. That is okay because some of these consumers will likely return and make a purchase at a later date.
Still, it is important that your business has a healthy CVR if you want to remain profitable. We consider a CVR of about 5% to be a healthy start.
If your CVR is below this baseline, then it is time to make some improvements. Even a small rise to your CVR can translate to a huge increase in profits.
For example, let’s say that your site earns 500 visitors per day. A CVR of 3% means that only 15 people are making a purchase. By increasing your CVR to 5%, your business will facilitate 25 purchases per day. If each client is spending $100, that is a revenue increase of $1,000 daily!
6. Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC)
Many new entrepreneurs tend to overlook a few vital eCommerce financial metrics. CACis definitely one of them. CAC is a pretty simple KPI at face value. Low CAC is great for profits.
Your CAC should be much lower than your revenue. Let’s say you are spending $20 AUD to acquire each customer. If the average consumer is buying $100 worth of goods, then your CAC ratio is good. However, a CAC that is nearly even with or higher than a consumer’s average purchase amount, could put your business in trouble!
7. Return Rate
In addition to watching your CAC, you need to track your return rate. If you are processing lots of exchanges, chargebacks, and refunds every month, your profits will suffer. Processing returns are a real pain for your service staff to deal with, too!
Refund rates vary greatly by business type. When you first begin tracking eCommerce financial metrics, look for comparable stats within your same industry. If you sell apparel and your top competitors have a refund rate of 5%, try to keep your numbers below that level. If your rate is higher, you also need to look at the reasons why. Is it quality, change of mind, wrong product?’
8. Cart Abandonment Rate
Modern eCommerce software allows business owners to track cart abandonment rates. This occurs when consumers put items in their online cart and leave your store without completing their purchase.
While a high cart abandonment rate may be a bit concerning, it also presents an opportunity. If consumers are loading their carts up with your products, they have a high interest in making a purchase. You may just need to give them a little extra incentive to follow through.
We recommend implementing an automated email campaign. This strategy will target consumers that abandon their carts. You can send them encouraging messages that will prompt them to complete their purchase.
If you really want to sweeten the deal, include a digital coupon or shipping discount.
9. Gross Margin
If you plan to scale your business, then gross margin is one of the most important eCommerce financial metrics to track.
Gross margin is the profit that you are left with after factoring in the cost of goods sold. Unlike some other metrics, gross margin accounts for the cost of acquiring inventory.
By examining gross margin, you can determine whether your current level of growth is sustainable. Make sure that you have strong margins before you attempt to scale your business. Otherwise, you may find that you do not have the funds needed to keep inventory in your warehouse.
10. Traffic Volume
Traffic volume is a broad KPI that refers to how many visitors your site receives. You can break this stat down into smaller metrics, such as bounce rate, time spent on site, and average page views. Each of these KPIs can help you understand exactly when consumers are leaving your website.
For instance, bounce rate refers to the number of users that navigate to your site and leave before viewing additional pages of content. A high bounce rate may be a sign that your site is not visually appealing enough. It may also indicate that page load times are slow, which quickly discourages potential customers.
Increasing your site’s traffic volume is an essential part of growing your eCommerce store. You can drive more traffic by leveraging various marketing efforts, including paid ads and search engine optimization (SEO) practices.
That rounds out our list of the top ten eCommerce financial metrics that you should be tracking.
Now that you know which data to monitor, it is time to put these numbers to use. Leveraging these KPIs can reveal how well your business is really performing. You will be able to identify what you are doing well and which areas need to be improved upon.
If you are still unsure how to begin tracking your eCommerce financial metrics, contact the team at Visory. We offer our clients exceptional online bookkeeping services at affordable prices.
Our team will provide you with detailed reports on the health of your online store and regularly check your key metrics. This means that you will have more time to focus on other important tasks, like scaling your business. Supercharge your financial back office with Visory!