The money is in the numbers. Finding success with your e-commerce store is all about looking at WooCommerce data points and making informed decisions.
Out of the box, WooCommerce doesn’t help a lot with data. There are some basic reporting tools, but it’s hard to get all the data you need in one convenient spot.
That’s why we created iThemes Sales Accelerator. More than a WooCommerce reporting plugin, iThemes Sales Accelerator also includes an iPhone app so you can get sales data on the go. With Sales Accelerator, you have the data at your fingertips, and that means you can make better decisions. And make more money.
But what data should you be looking at? In this post, we explore some of the most important WooCommerce data points to follow:
One of the most important stats for any site is traffic. How many people are you bringing to your site?
Traffic provides an important baseline figure. But it’s also key not to get too hung up on traffic. Website traffic can be fickle. All the traffic in the world won’t help you if you’re not converting any of those visitors into customers.
Be sure to keep your traffic in perspective. Today’s spike (or drop) might be temporary. Look to the long term. Is your traffic steady, rising, or falling over the year?
Google Analytics is the gold standard for traffic data. You can also use a number of WordPress plugins to check traffic data from the WordPress dashboard.
2. Conversion Rate
We mentioned converting visitors into customers—this is also known as your conversion rate. It tells you how many people are buying. If 100 people visit your site and 5 people buy something, that’s a conversion rate of 5%.
To figure out your conversion rate you need to take your total visitors and divide by your total sales.Conversion rate is important because it tells you how effective your store is.
If your conversion rate is really low, you need to focus on completing those sales before you worry about traffic. You might need to improve your product descriptions and photos, look at your checkout process, or see if there are other issues that are turning customers away from making a purchase.
If your conversion rate is high, then your store is working well and you can make more money with more traffic. You can invest in boosting traffic through advertising or other means, and you should see a comparable boost in sales.
The conversion rate is something you need to calculate yourself. It can be a finicky number, especially since it’s based on traffic. A spike in traffic can tank your conversion rate, so you need to take it in stride.
3. Top Products
What’s the hot item in your store? You need to know what’s selling well, both so you can keep it in stock and maximize those sales.
Don’t waste your time trying to move products that don’t sell. Take a look at what people are buying, and push those products. Maybe you highlight them on your homepage or feature them in emails or social media.
There also might be an obvious up-sell to go along with your top products. It might be focusing on a higher profit version of the top product, suggesting something a customer might need to go along with your top product (such as HDMI cables with a new TV), or offering some kind of value-add bundle.
You can learn more about up-sells in our free ebook, 5 Ways to Make More Money With WooCommerce.
4. Top Product Categories
Don’t just pay attention to your most popular products. Look at the broader category. More than a specific product, top product categories will tell you why people are coming to your store.
With this knowledge in hand, you can make smarter choices about how to expand your offerings. Focus on the categories that are selling best. You might also adjust your marketing and advertising to focus specifically on this category.
5. Average Order Value
How much are customers spending on each order? This is a nuanced data point—it’s not something we immediately think about. But it can have big repercussions.
For example, it may seem great if your total sales are really high. But if your average order value is really low, that means you have to make a ton of sales to make any money. Your margins are low, and that can make it hard to invest in improvements.
You’ve got customers buying things, so that’s good. By simply increasing your average order value, you can make each of those customers more profitable. That can often be easier than finding new customers.
There are a number of things you can do to increase your average order value:
- Focus any discounts or coupons you offer on encouraging customers to spend more. For example, $5 off if they spend more than $30.
- Try some up-sells or cross-sells to focus on higher-margin products or sell some complimentary items your customers will need anyway.
- You can also offer a cross-sell when customers check out. Just like the impulse purchases at the register of a brick and mortar store, e-commerce shops can also push popular impulse purchases at checkout to increase the average order value.
- Free shipping is a good way to grease the wheels. But setting a minimum purchase price where free shipping kicks in can be a good way to push customers to spend more.
6. Returning vs. New Customers
Another important WooCommerce metric is comparing returning and new customers. Depending on what you sell, the number of repeat customers can be vital. It’s always cheaper and easier to get a sale from a returning customer than a new customer.
You want to pay attention to this metric because too few returning customers can be a red flag. This obviously depends on what you sell. If you sell caskets and tombstones, you might not have many repeat customers. But in general, you want customers to come back—and if they don’t, you might have a problem.
If you’re not getting enough repeat customers, you need to look into customer retention:
- Are your customers satisfied? If you’re getting poor reviews you might need to improve some of your processes.
- Is there a loyalty program or discount that might help lure those customers back?
- How do you stack up against the competition? You’ll need to look at price and service to determine if you’re losing those customers to other stores.
If you’re getting a lot of returning customers and few new customers, this can also be a problem. It might mean you need to focus more on advertising to bring in the new customers (or it could mean your current efforts are ineffective). You could also offer incentives to your returning customers when they refer their friends.
7. Time Frame
Looking at sales by time frame can give you a good idea of when sales happen and when they don’t. Look at hours of the day, days of the week, and even weeks and months out of the year for sales trends.
- Knowing you have a summer slump and a Christmas rush can help you better plan your budget and inventory.
- Big sales days may be the perfect time to send your email newsletter.
- Or send your email newsletter on slower days to try boosting sales those days.
- Popular times of day might be good times to post new products.
- Or, conversely, look for the slow times to do site maintenance and updates. (Yes, it’s probably the middle of the night, but if you’re selling to a global market, middle of the night where?)
8. Top Countries
Your store can have a global reach. If you’re not paying attention to the worldwide audience, you might be missing out. Take a look at which countries you’re doing good business in and focus on those countries.
You might shift some advertising or marketing attention to a new country. Maybe you need to consider adding multilingual product descriptions.
It might simply be a reminder that your store serves a much wider audience and you need to communicate accordingly. It’s awfully easy to shift into a U.S.-centric voice that ignores the rest of the world.
9. Best Customers
Knowing your customers is a vital part of increasing your profitability. Figure out who your best customers are. Get any demographic data you can so you’re able to more finely target that type of customer.
You might consider reaching out to your very best customers. Offer a discount for a chance to pick their brain. Figure out what’s driving their fandom so you can generate even more fans.
10. Shopping Cart Abandonment Rate
Perhaps the nerdiest data point you should follow is the shopping cart abandonment rate. This might feel like it’s getting into the weeds of ecommerce—but it’s actually a huge issue.
Lots of people load up their e-commerce shopping cart but then never complete their purchase. How many? An average of 37 different studies on cart abandonment rate put it at 69%! That means only a third of shoppers who put something in their cart actually go through with the purchase.
A number of factors can contribute to shopping cart abandonment, but far and away the number one cause (61%) is extra costs (shipping, taxes, etc.) that are too high. If you’re struggling to lower your shopping cart abandonment rate, one of the quickest solutions might be to offer free shipping.
Follow Your WooCommerce Data Points with iThemes Sales Accelerator
Many of these WooCommerce data points are available through the WooCommerce reports plugin, iThemes Sales Accelerator. With iThemes Sales Accelerator, you can get data on your WooCommerce shop, start making informed decisions and make more money.