E-commerce metrics to track this Black Friday

E-commerce metrics to track this Black Friday

Every retailer waits anxiously for the holiday season. It is the most lucrative time of the year, and revenue from this period can mean closing the Q4 with everything on the green. On such busy days, one can focus too much on the number of sales (which is completely understandable) and forget other metrics that should also be considered during BFCM.

Some metrics to be tracked are pretty obvious, like the number of sales we've just mentioned. However, paying attention solely to them may put other important figures in the backseat during this hectic period. Keeping track of different numbers, not only revenue, could change your whole marketing strategy for the holiday season and throughout the year.

What to track this Black Friday:

1. Revenue: This is indisputably the most important metric to consider. How much money are you bringing in during this Black Friday? Before the holiday season, it is crucial to set realistic expectations about sales to achieve a clear goal. According to McKinsey, one must be "cautiously optimistic" with the current cost of living crisis. Knowing the economic trends will also help to determine if it is necessary to hire temporary workers or how extensive the inventory should be.

2. Average Order Value: What is the average order value of your orders during BFCM, and how does it compare to previous years? Once the orders start flowing, it is time to calculate the average order value. This metric will help you understand what kind of products are selling well and at what price point. In 2022, having these numbers at hand may be helpful in tweaking your marketing efforts. Research indicates customers intend to spend less this year. Thus, what worked in the past may go poorly in the current climate. If the average order value is a bit on the lower side, it may be a good idea to promote products in that price range. Either way, this data can help you adjust your pricing and product mix accordingly.

3. Conversion Rate: What percentage of visitors to your store are converting into customers? Where are they clicking? As mentioned above, they might be looking for specific products or the price tag. Are they adding items to their cart and going only some way through checkout? It is normal to see an increase in cart abandonment rates (CAR), as consumers will ad 40-50 per cent more products to their cart throughout BFCM, leading to a 7% increase in CAR. That is ok - they are literally shopping around and deciding what actually to buy. But there lies an opportunity; they are interested, and now it is time to convert. Is there anything you can do? Push notifications with reminders of what shoppers have left behind or offering a time-bound discount code might be an effective solution.

4. Traffic Sources: Where is your traffic coming from? Keeping track of that will help you understand which marketing channels are bringing you the most traffic and customers. If you see that a particular channel is getting you a lot of traffic but not converting well, you should rethink your strategy for that. On the other hand, it can happen that another traffic source is bringing shoppers that are actually spending on your store. You can save money and time switching channels to leverage marketing efforts. Instead of paying for ads, for example, maybe most of the traffic will come from organic social media, like Instagram lives. Focus on the channel that converts.

5. Top-Selling Products: The best-selling products list will help you understand which items are in high demand. This information can be used to adjust your product mix accordingly. If you see that a particular product is being well received, you may want to increase its production or inventory. Also, creating a collection of best-sellers and creating FOMO by saying they are going fast will do wonders. Do you have time to order more from the manufacturer or produce it yourself? Would it lead to shipping delays to customers? All this should be considered.

6. Customer Satisfaction: How happy are your customers with their purchases? You may think it would make sense to check this metric only after the holiday season. However, as the shopping period extends for over a month, there is an opportunity to improve customer service and keep an eye on the ball to see how your customers are feeling. Remember: acquiring a customer costs 6-7 times more than retaining one. You want repeat purchases, so you must meet the client's expectations.

There are a few ways that you can track customer satisfaction during Black Friday. One of them is to send out post-purchase surveys to your customers. Monitoring social media channels is vital to know how things are going in real-time. Users may be praising your products or brand - that's a golden opportunity to use this as your own content (UGC, or user-generated content). Tracking social sentiment also gives you a chance to respond to queries or negative comments promptly. You can also keep an eye on review sites such as Yelp or Google Reviews.

7. Social Media Engagement: It feels like we're discussing the same topic as the above. But it goes beyond tracking social sentiment. According to Channel Advisor, in 2022, almost half of 18- to 25-year-old consumers have discovered products on social media, and 37% of 26 to 35-year-olds also did the same. Thus, having a solid social media presence is vital if your target audience also uses these channels. During BFCM, people will be scrolling through their phones to find the best deals, and the visuals on Instagram, for example, can be enticing, and a simple swipe-up can lead customers to your app or mobile store. What's important to add is that customers may not buy from your store now, but being brand aware means they will have your store on the back of their minds when considering a purchase. 

Making the most of Black Friday with e-commerce analytics

1. First and foremost, Black Friday is an excellent opportunity to boost your e-commerce sales. Offering discounts and promotions can attract new customers, increase order value, and multiply app downloads.

2. Black Friday is also a golden moment to collect valuable customer data. By tracking key metrics such as traffic sources, conversion rate, and average order value, you can gain insights into what's working and what's not.

3. The holiday season works wonders to build your brand awareness. By promoting your brand on social media and other channels, you can reach new audiences and attract more customers in the long run.

Four tips to help you with e-commerce analytics during the holiday season

1. Plan ahead and set up your tracking in advance. This way, you can ensure that you're collecting data about all the essential metrics, as well as the ones mentioned earlier.

2. Use e-commerce analytics to segment your customers and understand their behaviour. This way, you can target them more effectively with future promotions.

3. Analyse your data and look for trends. You will be able to understand if the inflation worries are affecting your target audience, being able to create new marketing campaigns with that in mind.

4. Collecting data is great, but make sure to act on your insights and make changes to your strategy if necessary.

Using data beyond BFCM

Black Friday is a fantastic opportunity to improve your e-commerce business by offering discounts and promotions, and collecting valuable customer data. However, the real key to success lies in using this data effectively to segment your customers and understand their behaviour. This way, you can create targeted marketing campaigns that will be effective not only during Black Friday but throughout the year.