Retail-Commerce KPI Metrics That Merchants Need to Track
Retailers are constantly challenged to attract and retain profitable customers. Today’s business environment has evolved quickly for merchants, as consumers demand a much richer buying experience with convenience, personalization, and choice driving their expectations. Retail commerce companies must stay ahead of their competition and customers’ demands. Hence, managing customer-facing and back-office operations requires strict attention to detail to boost sales, contain costs, improve customer loyalty, and grow profits. In this guide, we discuss retail-commerce KPI metrics that merchants need to track.
Albert Einstein once said, “Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.” Yet, it is critical to measure company performance to manage it. Having clear, measurable metrics on which to gauge the health of a retail business is as fundamental as taking sales orders and paying vendors.
Whether a digital native whose business started as an online retailer or a traditional brick-and-mortar establishment that needs to support omnichannel sales, managing operational efficiencies is paramount to success. However, leaders often struggle to understand the information due to inaccurate data, a lack of strategic vision, missing benchmarks, and focusing on the wrong indicators. Further, departmental metrics do not always align with corporate goals, and decision-makers experience “paralysis by analysis” with too many metrics.
This guide explains the importance of tracking key performance indicators, diverse metric types, and common mistakes eCommerce vendors make. Discover the most important metrics to monitor for continuous improvement and align goals for actionable metrics to drive growth and efficiency throughout the organization.
How Metrics Improve Retail & eCommerce Operations
Metrics are everywhere in most organizations, from accounting to sales and stock to customer satisfaction. Monitoring results helps merchants increase sales, reduce costs, improve service levels, fend off competitors, and foster brand awareness. Organizations that diligently track corporate KPIs outperform their peers and adapt better to changing business conditions. They are also more likely to be best-in-class performers in their market sectors.
Getting omnichannel orders correct and optimizing inventory are critical for merchants. Retailers need to capture efficiency benchmarks related to purchasing, stocking, and order fulfillment activities. These metrics enable visibility into improvements or problems before impacting profits and customer satisfaction. Once established, monitor efficiency changes over time.
The battle for customers is fierce. Metrics enable companies to gauge consumer loyalty, lifetime customer value, conversion rates, and market share for strategic business decisions. Understand your weaknesses, capitalize on market opportunities, and fortify your strengths to fend off competitors.
Selling organizations must establish corporate goals that drive alignment with metrics throughout the organization. There should only be a few corporate KPIs for executives to focus on, cascading all supporting metrics through the relevant departments to ensure the alignment of priorities. With the proper hierarchy of aligned KPIs, it is easier to troubleshoot and correct shortfalls in results.
There are only a few ways to increase profits and profitability—sell more, reduce costs, or increase prices. Metrics help retailers improve sales volumes, inventory turns, and average transaction value. They also identify waste and inefficiencies that increase costs. Monitoring the correct information also allows leaders to optimize pricing based on value, demand, and competition.
Key performance indicators are often used to predict and negate risk associated with inventory obsolescence, customer churn, and employee turnover. Establish KPIs to monitor risk proactively.
Metrics are essential for strategic planning. KPIs assist managers in areas such as capital investments, online marketing spend, new market expansion, and new product launches.
There are many additional benefits to establishing metrics. These include improved employee satisfaction, higher product affinity, lower inventory carrying costs, as well as higher buyer satisfaction and retention.
Measuring performance only works if you have accurate, complete, and timely data. Unfortunately, merchants often focus too much on lagging indicators rather than proactively monitoring leading indicators before problems erupt. Finally, too many companies focus on internal issues without comparing themselves against industry peers.