The Five Things You Must Consider Before Creating an eCommerce Website: Your Goals

July 28, 2016

Setting goals and measuring success (or lack thereof) is a crucial part of any business. This practice helps business owners understand what is going well, what areas could use improvements, and encourages growth and innovation within any company. While you may be experienced in setting goals within a brick and mortar setting, there are countless tools and analytics for tracking eCommerce website objectives that make gaining insights easy but forming understandings complicated.

Minneapolis Digital Marketing AgencyA business without goals is like a ship without a map. It might be able to survive for a while but it won’t take long to realize it’s in grave trouble. Before launching into an building an eCommerce site, it’s important to understand what you hope to achieve with it and determine what success looks like. Not only will these goals help you gauge how well your website is performing, they also play an important role in the eCommerce website design process. To get started, let’s take a look at the difference between goals, strategies, and tactics for an eCommerce site.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row height=”auto”][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Goals, Strategies, Tactics, and KPIs Oh My!

 eCommerce online stores present their own challenges and opportunities when it comes to developing goals, strategies, tactics, and KPIs. Remember that in order to be successful no matter what the platform, every goal should be backed by a strategy that includes realistic tactics that are monitored by KPIs. Goals should always be set before determining strategy and strategies defined before laying out tactics. What is a goal? A goal is a measurable and realistic target.

Examples in eCommerce:

  1. Increase sales by 25% in 12 months
  2. Sell 750 units over the previous quarter
  3. Achieve an average of 1,000 unique monthly visitors within a year of launching

*Notice how each of these goals have a specific metric to be achieved in a set amount of time. What is a strategy? A strategy is an idea or plan on how to achieve your business goals.

Examples in eCommerce:

  1. Add more products or SKUs to your offerings online
  2. Get existing customers to purchase more products at a time
  3. Attract new web traffic from related sites

*Notice how these are not specifics, just ideas. What is a tactic? A tactic is a specific action that will support the larger strategic idea.

Examples in eCommerce:

  1. Offer 5 new color and additional sizing options for t-shirt line
  2. Offer free shipping when transaction is over $50
  3. Invest in a PPC campaign to draw in new web traffic

*Note: Multiple tactics can support a single strategy. What are KPIs? Key performance indicators (KPIs) are metrics that provide insights into how a website is performing in regards to achieving a goal.

Examples in eCommerce:

  1. Daily page views for each of the new products
  2. Conversion rates on products over $50
  3. Daily unique visitors acquired through paid traffic

Google Analytics Will Increase Your Profits – No Really!

If you’re not using Analytics on your website, what is wrong with you?! If you’re not using Analytics on your eCommerce website, stop reading this and call us now! Google Analytics is the app that provides the valuable insights into the actions of your sites visitors. These insights provide the basis for forming eCommerce goals, strategies, and tactics. Without Analytics, you are shooting in the dark. With Analytics, you can make informed decisions about your business and measure their results in real time.

Tracking Goals in Analytics

The majority of eCommerce websites do not use Google Analytics to its full potential. One of the application’s most powerful and underutilized eCommerce tools is the ability to set and track goals on any KPI.

Goals = Profits

Using goals, businesses can track nearly any action on their site and learn which visitors are most likely to make purchases. At its core, the goal tool provides valuable insights into how to more efficiently use marketing dollars and is vital for any eCommerce store’s Analytics reporting.

Setting Goals and Dreaming Realistically

Twin Cities Mobile Marketing, Mobile App DevelopmentIf You’re New to eCommerce…

If you are just getting started with an eCommerce platform, it may be hard to understand what to expect when setting goals. Do it anyway. Think about your current sales numbers, consider how you will market the new website, and ask yourself if your target market are technologically savvy and eager to purchase online. Working through exercises like these will help you put a number and timeframe to your eCommerce expectations.

 If You’re an eCommerce Pro…

If you’ve been using an eCommerce store for a while, you probably have a good idea on where your KPIs are at and likely have many goals in place. However, take this opportunity to consider how this new eCommerce web design will affect your sales then refine those goals. Is it user-friendlier? Does it make completing a purchase easier and more efficient? Are visitors likely to spend more time on the new site? Thinking through questions like these will help you reassess your eCommerce goals.

It’s Not All Just About Purchases

As a business owner, it’s easy to become hyper-focused on sales numbers in Analytics. Don’t let this be you. In addition to sales, page views and visitors, there are countless other conversions to track that will provide insights on how your online store is performing. Some other metrics to consider tracking include:

  • Leads
  • Trial signups
  • Account creations
  • Newsletter signups
  • Whitepaper downloads

What Are You Waiting For? Get Started!

Know what you want your site to achieve before bringing it to an eCommerce web design and development team. If you’re still unsure about what your specific eCommerce goals should look like, Brandography’s digital marketing team is ready to help! Let’s walk through the goal setting process and set the foundation for building a profitable and successful eCommerce website for your company. Contact our Minneapolis digital marketing agency today!

Stay tuned for our next post in this series: The Five Things You Must Consider Before Creating an eCommerce Website: Your Digital Brand
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