eCommerce Basics for New Online Store Owners

by Brant Wilson

on January 15, 2014

in Business/Freelance

When you first set up an online store, you may be happy just to have all of the work to get the store up and running done. Maybe you think the work on your site is finished, and now it’s time to shift to fulfilling orders and taking care of customer issues. It’s not that simple. When your store is brand new, it’s not time to stop working on your site. In a way, you’re just getting started.

Analytics are Important

Once your store is up and running, you can start figuring out how your site really needs to be set up. Until people actually start interacting with your site, there’s no way to tell how all of the pieces are working or what can be improved. You can use good eCommerce principles to get started, and that will certainly give you better results than having no idea what a good eCommerce site needs to look like or how it needs to work. But what you really need in order to make your site as profitable as it can be are eCommerce analytics.
Online analytics are simply data about what people do on your site. You can track where visitors come in to your site from, what pages they visit, what links they click on, and more. Studying this data will show you what people are actually doing when they visit your brand-new store site, and it can reveal where you are losing potential sales.

Key Analytics to Track

When you first set up eCommerce analytics, you may not be sure what you are looking for. There are many different kinds of data and analyses you can learn about to help tune your site for best performance. To start with, look at how many new visitors you are bringing in to your site every day. Gaining new customers is vital to your growth. Advertise your site on social media networks and by using online ads, and then track where visitors come from. This will help you see which ads are the most effective so you can focus your advertising efforts there.
Another important set of metrics are those which have to do with site engagement. You need to know how long people are staying on your site and what they do when they visit. The more people browse your site, the bigger the chance they will buy something and make larger orders. HYPERLINK “http://searchengineland.com/key-metrics-for-success-with-a-local-business-website-171734″ The important metrics to look at here are average visit duration, pages viewed per visit, and bounce rate.
Also use your eCommerce analytics to discover the primary landing and exit pages in your site. You want to know the pages that people are looking at first, because you can tweak these pages to encourage visitors to explore more deeply. You can also figure out what people are searching for online when they find your site, which is beneficial for advertising efforts. On the other side, you need to know what pages people leave your site from, especially if they are pages in your checkout process. You want to keep people on your site the whole way through the checkout process in order to make sales. If customers are leaving early or if they are never even making it to your shopping cart, you need to figure out how to entice them to make sales and direct them to the checkout process.
When you start getting real data on how visitors interact with your site, the really interesting part of site-building begins. Until you have real visitor data, you can’t be sure what changes will be the most helpful in your site. When you start changing in response to real data, you will see the results in improved sales and better profits.

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About Brant Wilson

Brant Wilson is a staff writer for the DesignMag network. Brant enjoys all things design and development, dogs, and candy. Brant is passionate about training freelancers. Learn how how you can earn $125+ per hour freelancing. Start learning for free now! Connect with Brant on google+