There are several frameworks available to analyse such success. One such framework relies on applying the existing “ DeLone & McLean Information Systems Success Model” and adapting it to the world of eCommerce. Another model “Paraspar’s Measurement of eCommerce Success” provides us with ten tips for not only post analysis of success but also very useful in applying strategies for becoming successful and also maintaining it. They suggest the importance of the Website in terms of being the customer interface for your company. The following are the ten “tips” provided for implementing an eCommerce Strategy:
Define Success. Firstly it is very important to establish early goals and to define what success would mean if the strategy were to be successful. It is suggested here to set targets and quantifiable metrics that will be an early predictor as the success of your strategy. For example the number and profit from online sales, email sales queries, the number of online customer registrations etc.
Capture the data you need and make analysis routine. A website can be a useful resource in terms of the ability to gather information about customer habits preferences and sales. It should be analysed periodically with the intention of providing the best online retail environment possible for customers.
Know your unique visits. From the early days of eCommerce it became apparent to analysts that the number of hits on a website was a poor reflection of the new customer turnover. Therefore incentives to register on a website and other strategies with similar result will give the ability to analyse the number of new and potential customer.
Watch your conversion rates. Analysis of your conversion rates will determine how effective you are at turning users into customers. Quantifying this ratio will give you the ability to see how effective your website is in terms of it’s ability to sell and indeed allow to compare it with industry analysis ratios to compare where you are positioned against your competitors.
Grow your average order value. The higher the average order value the better your company will be in terms of their ability on the website to cross-sell and up-sell. Make sure customers are given opportunities to add to their purchases by creating value-added service offerings etc.
Know how people get to your site. Users can arrive at your website from an uncountable number of sources, they can directly enter your URL if they are familiar to it, they can enter criteria into a search engine and be redirected to your website or they can be redirected from partner websites etc… An appreciation of where your users come from will give you key insight into how efficient your marketing strategies are and also give you the opportunities to partner yourself with a site that has a lot of users.
Abandon Rates and Funnels. It is also important to analyse customers will leave your website and why when they have items in the shopping basket do they decide to leave. Of course some will only be browsing but there are several steps when purchasing on an eCommerce site and analysis of what stage most customers will drop out or leave the site at will give the company a guide as to the possible weakness of their website.
eMail Measurement. If engaging in an email campaign it is essential to gauge it’s effectiveness t, this can be achieve by sampling as well as analysing every factor possible from the click-thru rate of mails to the unsubscribe-me requests.
Action your insight. Having the above metrics at hand is a powerful tool for improving your eCommerce Website and offerings but only if a company is prepared to act on them. It should be intended that for each metric analysed a part of your website would be changed or improved to increase the metric for the next periodical analysis.
Avoid “paralysis by analysis”. With the implementation of software it is easy to get vast information and data of your website however it is essential to remain focused and be goal driven rather that information driven.
The above guidelines are both concise and effective enough to be useful. In my opinion retail outlets are not using the information available by tracking it on their websites and bottom line they are not listening to their customers. Success is measured by customer interaction so it is important to be interactive, responsive, adaptable which with an effective business environment will make you profitable.