ECommerce sales goals can be tricky to set and meet, particularly if you’re a B2B business with only a few years of online sales history. To ensure you set realistic and achievable eCommerce goals for 2019, here are some tips for getting started and measuring success throughout the new year.
Tip #1: Understand your eCommerce roadblocks from 2018
Review what did not go well operationally in 2018. Were online orders and ERP detached from one another? Did fulfillment lag behind promised delivery windows? Did some supply chain partners fail to deliver to your warehouse on time? Interviewing front-line managers will quickly reveal the most obvious areas for operational improvement in 2019.
Tip #2: Establish a performance baseline
To set eCommerce goals for the new year, examine your online sales, costs, advertising, and other trend data from the past two years to get a reliable picture of where your business is today.
Tip #3: Create a spreadsheet of key metrics to track for 2019
Rather than focusing exclusively on revenue and customer count, track several metrics to paint a broader picture of the business, addressing areas like overall profitability, customer loyalty, and channel trends. To keep it simple and usable, track no more than 15 key metrics, with a scorecard for both 2018 and 2019. That way, you can start measuring performance as early as the end of Q1 2019.
The following metrics have proven effective:
Percent of customers ordering online. Given your eCommerce focus, you likely realize that building long-term customer loyalty is far easier done online, and this year you want more of your customers to interact with you online and trust you enough to order through your eCommerce store.
Combination of conversion rate, average order size, and revenue. Over time, your conversion rate should climb, particularly as you become more adept at running online ad campaigns and pushing existing offline customers to your eCommerce site. By viewing ‘conversion rate’ in the context of ‘average order size’ and ‘online revenue,’ you’ll determine if something is going wrong online – or if it’s going great. For example, if conversions are up but order sizes are shrinking, perhaps you’re cannibalizing traditional sales with online promotions.
Revenue by channel. While you have just one eCommerce site, you need to know what drives your customers there. Are they customers you already had who are responding to an email? Are they people who viewed an ad and clicked through to your site? Maybe you have built up enough content on your site to attract new buyers via organic searches on Google. Whatever it is, you must know which method is bringing them to you so you can either improve that method or stop wasting time and effort in ineffective channels.
Conversion rate by device type. How well do you know your buyers’ daily work lives? To understand how your eCommerce site can ‘speak to them,’ keep track of which device types most often visit your site and which ones convert to sales. Most organizations can obtain a quick picture and optimize by device type within a few months by measuring results for desktop, mobile/smartphone, and tablet conversion rates. Track fulfillment time. Many businesses see a spike in eCommerce sales followed by a steep drop-off as they venture into the early days of eCommerce, often because of poor front-end/back-end alignment between eCommerce and ERP systems. If your fulfillment times lag, it’s time to integrate your eCommerce and ERP better.
We wish you great eCommerce success in 2019 and are ready to answer questions you have regarding eCommerce best practices.