When working in e-commerce, it’s essential that you can see exactly where and why things have improved or struggled in order to identify opportunities for growth or to implement cost reduction strategies. One of the most effective ways to do this is to have a dashboard that provides refreshable, up-to-date information, all pulling from each of your analytic tools without having to dive into countless tables of data to discover the issue or next opportunity..
With each of our clients we look to create a dashboard that gives real-time performance while allowing us to look at not only current results, but also long-term trends.
So today, I am going to focus on my ‘Top 5 MUST haves’ in your performance dashboard in order to make sure you’re not falling short.
1. Key Metric Comparisons to Overall performance.
Yes, this is an obvious one, however, by having these graphs in place you will be able to instantly see which metrics have changed and when they changed. This means you can identify which metric was the cause of your dip/increase in performance.
For example, should you see a drop in revenue and your site conversion rate correlates with the drop in performance you can identify that this was the clear issue. Once you know when the drop in performance occurred, you can then identify the possible causes…
“Are our products coming out of/into season?”
“Do our products sell more effectively on certain days of the week?”
“Were there any changes to the site when we saw the drop/rise?”
Once you can ask the question, you can then put in counter measures to help reduce or undo the impact any changes may have made.
The example below shows us the trends we are seeing as a result of seasonality as with increased interest the CVR rate naturally rises as we come into the summer season, while CPM is dropping as a result of increased engagement and higher CTRs across the account.
2. Demographic insights
This is something that Facebook used to generously provide in its simplicity, but unsurprisingly took away. Giving summarised data on Gender, Location, Platform, Device and Age-specific performance as examples.
These days, it can take a lot more diving into the account to understand exactly what your customer avatar is. Without understanding this data you could be targeting audiences that are less likely to convert, or even using messaging which is significantly less likely to relate to your audience.
Regardless, it is essential that you understand your consumer base, and having these graphs in place will only help you to do this without hours of unnecessary work.
As you can see from the below, you can quickly identify the necessity to heavily optimise the Mobile UX (User Experience) as well as making sure that we are tailoring ads more heavily towards the male audience. Simple things like this allow you to quickly identify areas for opportunity as well as reducing the amount of wasted marketing spend in the process.
3. Website Analytics
It’s not enough to understand exactly what your marketing efforts are producing.
Without understanding just how well your website is performing, you will not be able to understand the cause of specific campaigns failing. For example, if you’re sending traffic directly to a product page, you need to understand if that’s more effective than sending traffic to your home page. This will allow you to identify the best places for consumers to land on site, as well as if you need to improve the user experience.
This needs to cover everything from traffic levels to page performance and speed. If you can use this knowledge to increase your site conversion rate by even 0.5%, then your marketing efforts will inevitably increase in profitability without the need to change your ads.
As you can see from below, we have data on traffic levels, how much of our overall traffic is made up by these page visits and how many people are exiting the site from these stages. This will give you a clear view of how consumers are navigating your site, emphasising where your optimisation efforts should be focused. Anywhere with high traffic and a high exit rate should be heavily analysed to identify areas to improve, whether that’s page speed, lack of information or weak call to actions.
4. Top Performing Campaigns Across The Entire Marketing Ecosystem
Again, another obvious one… However, it’s easy to overlook just how well a certain campaign is doing, simply because of a multi-platform ecosystem. By collating this information in a presentable and comparable way, you’ll quickly be able to identify areas of opportunity to scale.
In many cases, different campaigns will perform differently across platforms, and it’s easy to avoid pushing budget into a campaign because your dominant Facebook campaign is producing weaker results than your Google ads, for example. Having comparable performance across platforms will allow you to more easily optimise and scale should your oversight be getting in the way of progress.
As you can see from the below image, by having comparable transaction levels and traffic volumes, you’re able to see just how much input your campaigns are having on your overall performance. This will allow you to focus your efforts on what’s working, decide whether the campaign is likely going to produce results on different platforms and also identify if you have a very dominant platform within your marketing ecosystem.
5. Yearly Comparisons
Again, a big part of this comes down to elements of seasonality, however, by being able to see where you are in the year and identifying periods where your sales are significantly up, gives you the opportunity to increase ad spends and look to truly maximise any profitability throughout the year.
By having this included in your dashboard you are able to predict when there will be an uptake in interest as well as identify if your performance is beginning to peak ahead of the previous year. With this knowledge, you can redistribute your yearly budget to increase revenue intake during certain periods of the year.
From the below graph, you can see that CPM was trending much higher during the start of the year, with it gradually coming closer to the CPM levels of last year by April. This tells you that we are likely to have less traffic coming to the site through our ads if we are spending the same so should likely look to adjust our strategy to get more people through to the site.
Likewise, when the CPMs are similar, we are likely able to push at the same level as the year prior, and providing other metrics are also similar, we can more easily predict the performance of the account during this period and adjust budgets accordingly.
Each metric is likely to trend differently, however, seasonal products give you a significant opportunity to scale and maximise results using these specific trends if you pay close enough attention.
So there you have it…
While there are a number of elements which will be extremely valuable to you on your dashboard, here are 5 that you just shouldn’t go without.
If you’re looking to build out your own dashboard and need a little guidance, or are even looking for someone to make sense of all the dashboard data, please feel free to get in touch via the contact us page and we’d be happy to help!