For your eCommerce business to operate as effectively as possible, the marketing and IT teams must work together to optimize your online presence. This is because each of these departments have the opportunity to lend their skills to each other.
IT has the capacity to quantify data and build the tools for marketing campaigns. The marketing team has the capacity to give feedback regarding what the customers want in a website, and how to reach them effectively.
Since they both collaborate to maximize your ROI, you should be giving your marketing and IT team the tools they need to do their job well.
Here are some of the key metrics that are relevant to both IT and marketing:
The conversion rate is probably the most important piece of information you can have in your eCommerce company. This tells you how many people actually purchased something on your site.
For your marketing team, this can be one of the key indicators of a successful campaign.
For the business as a whole, the conversion rate is the source of the profits you need to continue all of the operations of your business.
If your site has low conversion rates, it is clear that something needs to change. It may be that your marketing team needs to change their strategy, or that there is something beyond the marketing department that needs to change.
Perhaps the marketing team is generating a lot of site visits, yet those visitors are quickly leaving the site without purchasing anything. The IT team may then need to look at whether there is a component of the site that is not working, or a design feature that is frustrating to the user.
Both IT and marketing must work together to determine what exactly is causing these low conversion rates in order to quickly correct them.
Your IT team can also help reinforce the data that the marketing team collects from customers. The main way this can be done is with customer surveys.
These simple surveys can be very telling and will allow the company to get direct feedback regarding the effectiveness and overall customer opinion of their marketing campaigns. By quantifying the data in the surveys, you can gather the foundations of a plan for future campaigns.
For example, if the survey determines that customers are unsatisfied with a certain component of the business’ marketing, it can be changed or eliminated. Moreover, if customers are unaware of another component, then the business will realize that the channel or message needs to be changed.
By utilizing your IT team to create a program that can quantify customer feedback, you provide your marketing team information straight from their target audience. Marketing can then relay this information to the IT department in order to inform them of what their customers want in the website.
Time Spent on Site
The measure of the time spent on a site can be very informative for both the marketing and IT team. Marketing may have been responsible for creating interest in a site, but if a customer visits the site only to be confused or lost, the potential conversion has been compromised.
Since the time spent on a site to indicate performance measures is all relative to the type of industry, we need to focus on how it relates to eCommerce sites.
With eCommerce, transactions should be simple. Each page should display pertinent information in a way that is quick and easy to understand. Too much time spent on the site could lead to the customer reconsidering their purchase.
By studying how long a customer spends on each page of a site, as well as the overall site as a whole, the business can identify what is or isn’t working.
For example, if a large amount of customers are spending little time on a large amount of pages, it can be indicative of a confusing content layout. The customer is probably jumping from page to page in search of something they cannot find.
To rectify this, the business should look to ensure that the navigation reflects what the customers expect it to, and that the information necessary to purchasing is provided in the way they want it.
Alternatively, a short amount of time on a site, where a customer did not visit many pages, may be indicative of a customer being unimpressed or unhappy with what they have initially viewed.
By providing this kind of information to the marketing team, they will be able to hone in on outliers from the average time associated with site visits. They can then identify what IT aspects of the site may be the cause of such outliers in order to determine what needs to be corrected and how.
The marketing team knows their customer, while the IT team knows their site. The marketing plan and IT development must come together for this metric in order to meet at the intersection of what a customer wants in a site and how the site can be built to meet those needs.
A Customer's Journey Within Your Site
Knowing how a customer initially reached your site can be key indicator of how effective each channel or specific advertisement is. With this data, you can count the number of ads that were clicked on, where the customers found those ads, and if any of those clicks led to conversions.
When you know if something is effective or not, you can make better-informed decisions as to if something needs to be changed, or eliminated altogether.
For example, if you are paying for an ad to be displayed on a certain site, only to see little revenue result from this expense, you can remove that ad since it is not currently working for you.
Additionally, if you have a marketing campaign that is experiencing heavy user interaction, but little impact on the conversion rate on your site, you may need to check if your site is disconnected from the marketing campaign’s message.
If a message states that there is a sale happening on your site, you need to be sure that your site itself is reflecting that message, or the customers will be confused and abandon your site.
Moreover, if a large portion of your visitors are navigating to a certain page, you may want to consider making that page a featured link on your homepage. If some customers are searching for certain keywords in order to find something, it will be clear to you that the visibility for certain items is lacking.
Knowing how your customer navigates throughout your site can be a way to put yourself in their shoes in order to know what they want, and how to format your site to meet their needs.
Rates of New Customers and Returning Customers
The goal of growing your market share and increasing your message’s reach are not only marketing goals, but also overall goals for your business as they are a direct link to revenues.
The exact measurement of how many new customers are reaching your site is another way to determine the effectiveness of your marketing and IT decisions.
By using the aforementioned metric of tracking your customer’s journey to your site, you can determine how many of those visits are from new customers, and therefore, recognize the effectiveness of how your marketing team is relating your company to a new audience.
Conversely, by determining how many customers you are retaining, you can see how effective you are at converting customers’ repeat visits into actual sales. You can also identify who your most profitable customers are in order to direct targeted marketing messages at these customers.
Altogether, the customers are your revenue source, so you should make sure that you are effectively communicating with both new and returning customers.
Altogether, the marketing and IT teams should operate as a cohesive business unit in order to supplement each other’s strengths.
To be most effective as a business, you should utilize your IT team to provide tools to support the marketing team’s efforts.
You should also have a marketing team that can provide key performance metrics to enhance and inform the IT team’s decisions.
By creating a dynamic where IT and marketing collaborate, you can be sure that you maximize the effectiveness of both departments and your overall eCommerce business operations.