E-Commerce Analysis: Why and How to Measure Micro-Conversions

We collect tons of data. Many silos are full of it – CRM, Google Analytics profiles, Facebook, Doubleclick & AdWords reports, YouTube channel data, email marketing system statistics, and many others. They can overwhelm any marketing team and puzzle people with a simple question: “That’s sweet, but what should I do next?”

We’d like to share some quick to-do ways to enhance your e-commerce analytics and make data-driven decisions by paying attention to micro-conversions.

Types of Micro-Conversions (with Examples)

Micro-conversions are often neglected when it comes to e-commerce data analysis, which can cause damage to your website’s performance. You should consider two main categories of micro-conversions. They are milestones for bigger goals like a checkout process and secondary useful actions that have a positive impact on business.

E-commerce milestones are also called process milestones and represent linear movement toward a primary macro-conversion. Typical actions for a conversion funnel may include:

  • • Navigation to a category or subcategory,
  • • Product page view,
  • • Add to cart,
  • • 1st and further steps in a checkout process, e.g. shipment & payment information.

The most popular e-commerce secondary micro-conversion is an email subscription to a newsletter with special offers. Other examples are:

  • • Navigation to a physical store,
  • • Search function on a website,
  • • Product comparison,
  • • Watching a video review,
  • • Product review posting,
  • • Social media sharing,
  • • Social media subscription,
  • • Email sign-up,
  • • Add to a wishlist,
  • • Live chat,
  • • Account creation,
  • • Job application for an HR department.

The aforementioned actions aren’t the primary goals of the website, but they indicate potential future macro-conversions and tend to build trust with your brand.

Defining the Goals’ Values

Valuing goals is often tricky and depends on a particular business strategy. For instance, you have an e-commerce website focused on building brand awareness. All the goals that increase the reach like email sign-up, account creation, social media sharing and subscription can be valued significantly higher than for a website with a short-term focus like sales.

The other way to think about this is to compare the accomplished secondary micro-conversions with the volume of sales. For example, the visitor watched a video review and purchased products for £100. If this spending is 30% higher than the average one, you can suppose that “watching a video review” goal can be valued at £30.

Typically, companies choose one of the following ROI metric approaches:

  1. 1. Efficiency: KPI’s are measured in the percent “loss” between each step in the performance funnel, as shown below:

Sales funnel

You can easily identify micro-conversions and then measure those that have the largest impact on your goal achievement.

  1. 2. Effectiveness: key activities are identified and watched out strategically. Then, different strategies are compared in order to identify the best one.

To select the most important micro-conversions, consider these points:

  • • Micro-conversions should lead to a macro-conversion.
  • • They should reinforce KPIs.
  • • They should grow leads.

Speaking of a newsletter sign-up, the easiest way to assign a monetary value is to simply divide the total revenue, generated from the email by the number of subscribers. However, this last-click approach won’t take into account associated conversions and other multi-channel interactions. Nonetheless, for small-size enterprises, it can provide a good basic understanding of the value driven through the email channel.

Check out infographics with more examples and expert opinions:

Micro-conversions-datavis (2)

Identifying Potential Bottlenecks

It’s a good strategy to measure the whole monetary impact of your e-commerce website taking into consideration direct sales and secondary micro-conversions. You can use them to:

  • • Evaluate your traffic quality.

The quality of traffic across different traffic sources may vary. It appears that visitors engaged through a Facebook game on your page have a different level of a purchasing intent as compared with those who visit their abandoned shopping carts after receiving a triggered email. So, you need to compare like with like and monitor dynamics of a monetary value, driven by a Facebook or email campaign. This is especially useful when you work with a marketing agency and need to evaluate their performance.

  • • Improve your website, app, Facebook page layout, and newsletter emails design.

A good strategy is to establish a calendar of experiments throughout various contact points that will help you verify the hypothesis you test. Usually, the best way is to put the most influential hypothesis first in the A/B testing queue. For instance, “add to cart” button’s size/color/captions, product page layouts, links/buttons in email newsletters, checkout funnel design, etc.).

  • • Set up KPIs and incentives for the team.

If you have an in-house team working on your Facebook channel, the monetary value of goals from this channel can be used to spur the efforts to the correct and measurable direction.

E-commerce businesses should pay attention to the numbers and invest some time and efforts in establishing a decent system of measurable KPIs. They should have a positive monetary impact on business or else you will steer without a dashboard. It isn’t a good idea, no matter what quantity and quality of fuel you’ve put into your car.

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