John Anderson
John Anderson 5 April 2019
Categories Ecommerce

10 Deceptive Metrics That Fool E-commerce Businesses

Online metrics matter, especially to e-commerce. But some metrics just don't make sense, here are 10 of the most deceptive metrics that fool e-commerce analytics reports.

To measure success in business is to measure revenue.

At the end of the day, whether the business is traditional or online, return of investment is all that matters. But the online world has its own set of rules be followed. Some of the metrics matter, especially when it's about e-commerce conversion metrics. To make things clear, here are the top 10 deceptive metrics that you don’t have to include for your e-commerce analysis report.

  1. Bounce Rate

In the digital world, bounce rate measures the percentage of people leaving the website or a single page.

Yes, the bounce rate of your website should be a concern but it’s not the most important e-commerce kpi metrics you should be looking at. Don’t obsess over this percentage because there’s really no standard rate you need to follow. There are so many factors that can affect your bounce rate that is why conducting a more thorough audit of the page is necessary before taking actionable steps.

  1. Average session duration

Photo courtesy of Negative Space by Pexels

Google Analytics Session Duration doesn’t track the total time of web visit, instead it measures the time spent between the initial page and the next pages a user goes to.

Google can’t measure the time a user spent looking at the last page of their visit to your site. This is why Average Session Duration is not a recommended metric as it has fluctuations depending on the pages viewed per session, the bounce rate, and the number of sessions.

  1. Direct traffic

This metric is for when people or users type directly into their browser and search for your website. But more than that, Direct Traffic is also the catch-all-metric used when Google Analytics doesn’t know or can’t pinpoint where the visit of a user came from.

This metric is a misconception because the traffic on your website can come from multiple sources that Analytics just can’t attribute to. Take a look at your previous e-commerce analysis report, you might have been belittling other platforms when in reality they might just have been attributed wrongly.

  1. Site speed

One of the most crucial Google Analytics metric that many marketers look at. Ever since Google’s mobile-first indexing came about and user experience has been the primary focus, site speed has been the talk of the town that all websites should follow.

But despite the emphasis and the constant push for websites to adhere to Google’s page speed optimization requirements, even Google Partners themselves don’t trust the built-in analytics!

Instead, it is recommended to use a more consistent page speed tool that can help you track your overall website. Optimizing website page speed into 2 seconds is impressive, considering that web performance is the first thing that users notice when it comes to websites.

  1. Social Page Likes

The greatest yet the most insignificant social media metric that many marketers follow. Let’s all get it straight, significant page likes don’t necessarily mean significant ROI.

Yes, having thousands of people that Like your Facebook page can be great when you post. But is it really helping you reach those conversions or even b2b e-commerce metrics?

Having a big audience can’t replace the power of a targeted audience who will really engage and even buy your products.

  1. Post Reach

Photo courtesy of Kaboom Pics on Pexels

This metric measures how many people or users have seen or reached your post. If you have a large following then it directly affects how many people your post reaches. This metric is important when talking about Awareness, but in the succeeding funnels of Engagement and Conversion it seems insignificant -- especially in considering e-commerce conversion metrics.

  1. View count

Just like Reach, view count is just as a deceptive e-commerce kpi metric as the former. Did you know to be considered 1 view on Facebook and Twitter, all you need is to watch the video in 3 seconds or more? In the case of Youtube, it takes 30 seconds for your view to be counted.

Sneaky, right? But then again, no matter how thousands of people view your videos, it’s all about the conversion. Views are important to capture awareness, but in an e-commerce website that just doesn’t cut it.

  1. Email open rate

Relying on email open rate alone isn’t enough. What makes a difference is the email response rate on the newsletters and surveys you’re sending out.

With open rates alone, you can neither confirm nor deny if the person you sent the email to has actually read your content or not. Leads are great, but interactive leads are better for e-commerce conversion metrics in the long run.

  1. Add to cart ratio

Photo courtesy of Negative Space on Pexels

This e-commerce kpi metric helps marketers understand how well products are performing on the site. When people ‘Add to Cart’ then yes, it’s a success! There are people who are willing to buy the product. But what about the ‘Check Out’ option? There are buyers who only ‘Add to Cart’ but then doesn’t follow through with buying.

More than add to cart, looking at the actual check out ratio is more essential to be seen in your e-commerce analysis report.

  1. Subscriber growth rate

Subscribers can be considered in more ways than one: there’s social media followers, e-newsletter subscribers, product subscribers, and Blog or RSS subscribers.

These subscribers are important because they are the ones receiving regular updates on your product, but like Page Likes these don’t mean much if they aren’t your target audience. You can check your subscribers one by one, or you can just check if they engage with your brand more.

And there you have it, 10 of the most deceptive metrics that analysts tend to overthink about in creating e-commerce analysis reports. While these things are important for SEO, they don’t give the value you need for your e-commerce site.

It’s easy to be fooled by the data presented, but what’s more important is to know the true value by looking into the real solid meaning of each metric.

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