Your product page is a gateway.
It’s a way for you to engage with your customers and encourage them to take the final plunge.
When done right, it’s also a great way to assess where your brand stands.
Stuff like conversion rate, click-through rate, and average order value all give you an overview of how likely it is that your business will succeed.
Most brands track these and don’t go much further.
But what about something deeper?
If you’ve been in the eCommerce game for a while, you’re likely looking to understand how you can continually improve every single aspect of your business.
These 7 unconventional product page metrics help you do just that.
7 Unconventional Metrics That May Make All the Difference
1. New Customer Growth Rate
The New Customer Growth Rate is the rate at which a company acquires and grows new customers.
Conventionally, it is the difference between the number of customers in one period and the number in the consequent period.
However, you can also take a narrower look at the way these new customers grow across the period (typically with revenue). This would simply tally the value at which they began and the value at which they ended during that period.
As with any statistic, it’s important to track the variability of results. While a compound analysis does help you infer larger trends in data, it is just as important to track analysis on a monthly basis.
This helps account for all those seasonal or periodic fluctuations that may creep in, eventually tweaking the overall statistical inference. You would also be able to better attribute causal relationships when you track growth rates more regularly.
Growth Rate v Absolute Change
As your brand grows and figures get higher, you may see a decline in your percentage figure. Fret not - this is absolutely normal. It occurs due to a discrepancy in percentages between smaller figures and bigger figures.
For example, 40 new customers to a base of 100 totals 40% but 40 new customers to a base of 400 add to only 10%. This can even happen on a month-on-month basis. Say, your starting point was 100 and you bring in 40 new customers every month. While the first month would see a growth rate of 40%, the second month would see a growth rate of only 28.57%.
In such a case, it’s more important to be mindful of the absolute value than the percentage. As your business grows into a larger base and the numbers eventually start to stabilize, you’d be able to track this more productively.
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Build Buyer Personas & strategically engage with them periodically
You’re likely building buyer personas already — you perhaps have four or five different personas that you are marketing to. But are you tracking how they’re each growing individually?
If not, you may want to start doing that. We all know that it’s important to have conversion strategies at each touchpoint in the customer journey BUT it’s just as crucial to tweak these to fit the right personas.
Here’s how you do that: Break down your audience into smaller chunks, personalize the sales and marketing experience for each one (wherever possible), and track returns from each buyer group.
This way, you can understand which persona is responding best to your action and is most likely to benefit the business’ goals, and which ones need more attention or need to be dropped entirely.
Be easily “Google-able”
The first thing a customer does when they’re trying to find something? “Google it”. For you to be found, you need to ensure you’re easy to locate on Google.
Whether that’s through paid ads, organic search, Maps, or even Google My Business, it’s important to ensure you’re available across the realm.
As Dan Laufer, CEO, RentLingo put it “If you're not easily searchable, it's hard for customers to find you.”
Pro Tip: Try and make a space for yourself on the Google Featured Snippet. This is a space Google uses to highlight the best content available for that particular search term.
Run re-engagement campaigns
The foundation of all businesses is their ability to attract new customers, however, the key difference between a successful business and a not-so-successful one is the right customers and the right strategies.
Re-engagement campaigns are a great way to bring new people into your community and engage with recently acquired ones to increase their value with the business
While some common ideas include coupons, promotions, giveaways, and cross-sell nudges, you may also want to look into strategies that take the users by surprise.
Stuff like gamification, as in this example below by Hello Fresh
Or brand narratives that strike a chord
Or even identifying gaps in your funnel.
Fun fact: You can set up great emails at every stage of the shopper’s journey with Engage.
2. Feature Usage
Your store can provide invaluable insight into what your customers want and how they use it.
Watching where your users click and pause on a page can tell you whether to invest in more resources, improve a certain screen, or even discard an old feature.
The key lies in tracking their Feature Usage.
Feature Usage simply is a range of metrics that looks into the use of certain features by your customers.
Much like heatmaps, this helps you understand the most popular features in your eCommerce store as well as the kind of traction they’re offering to your brand on the whole.
While there are several different use cases of Feature Usage, the most popular ones look into:
- Percentage of feature users against the overall number of users
- And the average number of uses per day
Understand what encourages users to engage with that feature
It’s as simple as this. When you’re tracking a response, the first thing you’d like to do is understand what causes that response. When you’re looking at Feature Usage, it would be helpful to understand what your customers are doing right before they use that feature.
What causes them to elicit such a response?
You may want to track an event flow to assess this question properly. An event flow tells a story of how your users are using a feature. It shows you how different groups of users take different paths in their journey through your pages.
When you have the answer to this question, you’ll be in a better position to determine how to get more users to engage with that feature and even whether you’d like to change something in that sequence of action.
Establish behavioral cohorts
Behavioral cohorts are segments of people who are performing certain actions you’d like to track i.e. Feature Usage.
These actions could be at any point of the user lifecycle and lay the groundwork for larger patterns spread across the entire customer base. The idea here is to identify these patterns and determine the nature of various users.
This helps you locate (and hence engage with) potential churners (users at risk of leaving your store) as well as high-value users (super engaged and loyal customers).
For both, you need to build tailored strategies that will adequately meet their intent and encourage them to continue engaging with the brand.
Confused? Check out 13 Time-Tested Strategies to Improve Customer Retention in eCommerce
Measure the effect on conversions
The main difference between a vanity metric and a successful one? Conversions. The bottom line.
It’s critical to assess whether Feature Usage has any effect on your conversions. For example, if customers are clicking on a particular category more, are they going in and buying products from that category?
You can do this by tracking conversions for specific actions.
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Use Push Notifications to target consumers at the right time
We’ve looked at how to target consumers when they’re browsing certain pages that are seen to elicit responses.
But this one looks at the time at which they’re most likely to use this feature — a certain point in the day, after a particular event, or even every two weeks.
The best way to do this? Through push notifications.
By automating these to appear at particular time points, you can let your customers know when it’s time to use the Feature (something that works as a reminder for them too).
Here’s a cool example you can refer to:
Want more? Check out 18 Push Notification Templates for eCommerce (& great Examples)
Place relative prompts at key touchpoints
Once you understand why customers engage regularly with the feature, you can start making those behaviors more repetitive.
One great way to do that is by placing built-in prompts that encourage feature adoption.
For example, Patagonia has placed this CSR nudge to pop up when users are browsing through their product pages. It’s likely that they saw users engage with CSR features more when looking for new apparel for themselves, and conjoined the two.
When used well, these can even enhance user experience and brand loyalty over time. In the example above, you’re more likely to buy from the brand because you know that they’re doing their bit with sustainable & eco-friendly practices (something that is a major issue in fashion).
3. Product Affinities
Product Affinity simply corroborates the compatibility of two or more products.
Simply put, they highlight the products people are very likely to purchase after viewing a specific product.
Why is this important?
- Offers a data-backed approach to upsell, cross-sell, and down-sell nudges
- Helps you identify which products would be best bundled together
- Offers insights into building Categories & Collections on the store
- Increases the average order value (when done right)
Here’s how you calculate that:
Understand the Market Basket Analysis
Market Basket Analysis is a predictive modeling technique.
It tries to understand how a product purchased together (a.k.a. a market basket) is likely to predict the purchase of another product.
Market Basket Analysis breaks down how a retailer can analyze customer shopping habits by examining the items customers purchase in one transaction.
Market Basket Analysis has allowed retailers to understand the common products that may not be seen on the surface, but are purchased together within a single transaction.
How to run Market Basket Analysis? Here’s a handy guide.
Understand how Product Affinity impacts the customer experience
Product affinity is about more than temporarily increasing sales of a complementary product during the purchase of another.
It's about reinforcing the customer experience in a way that these products are seen as a natural complement of one another: for eg, toothbrushes and toothpaste.
This relationship is especially useful when it comes to promotions:
For example, if you have breakfast cereal on sale, it's only natural that customers will pick up milk along with it (even if there's absolutely no discount on it).
It also goes a long way with marketing:
Say, you've got a customer looking at flowers or chocolates, sending an email with "gifts for her" could make all the difference during Valentine's Day.
It even helps with personalized product recommendations, such as in the example below by Thrive
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Save the best for the last - use a discounted upsell on the Order Confirmation page
For most customers, shopping brings excitement.
It’s not just about the purchase, it’s often about what comes after:
The lifestyle appeal of your product.
When you cater to it and tell them exactly what they need to do to make that post-purchase experience even better, they’re interested.
That’s exactly why upselling works so well.
In the example below, the customer is shopping for a sheet set. By making relevant recommendations (such as pillow covers or bedspreads), you can successfully elevate this post-purchase experience in their mind and even increase their AOV.
Name the bundle from your customer’s perspective
This is something we don’t always think about.
People like it when brands speak their lingo.
When you talk to your customers like you’re one of them, it’s easier for them to see the people behind the brand.
And a crucial part of that is naming your bundles. Exciting names get people excited about the product — and excited people are more likely to make exciting purchases.
As you can see in this example below, you’re already interested in what they’re offering just by the way they’ve named their bundles.
4. Micro to Macro Conversion Rate
Micro conversions are small, incremental steps that users take to complete a larger conversion action such as becoming a lead or customer in return for some kind of incentive.
Macro conversions, on the other hand, are the big picture goals that they're meant to achieve. They are the end goal a visitor is trying to achieve using micro-conversions within your website.
While different in their elementary core, they both have a very close, very tightly knit relationship.
Micro conversions generally involve the first step - the preliminary engagement a visitor participates in when conversing with your brand for the first time.
This could be downloading an eBook, signing up for newsletters, etc.
Often, with regular interaction as well as brand credibility, these turn into Macro conversions ie direct sales as well as actions leading towards higher brand affinity.
When tracked in relation to one another, the Micro to Macro Conversion Rate helps us understand which micro conversions are most important to the bottom line.
Hey, have you seen this? 11 brilliant ways to get More micro-conversions (Updated 2022)
Optimize Micro Conversions that offer the best returns
When something is performing well, the natural next step is to optimize it.
When it comes to micro-conversions, it would be useful to optimize those that have been seen to affect the bottom line at a greater level.
Those that get more sales, simply put.
When used well, micro conversions are a great way to creatively apply psychology in a measurable manner.
For example, if you notice that your newsletter sign-ups are performing well, you may want to put a strong CTA right next to it.
Additionally, you may want to identify which content topics are bringing the most attention in a particular period. If it’s white apparel in the month of May, having a Labor Day sale would be a great idea to build on it.
If you see some customers visiting your website at several different instances but not completing a purchase, having a pop-up like Ashford may help.
These small touches to your website have the power to boost your overall conversion rate considerably.
Watch Session Recordings
Tracking Micro to Macro conversions is great.
But you’d also like to understand WHY they’re not moving.
In such a case, Session Recordings go a long way.
They’re an excellent strategy to understand why customers aren’t moving past the Micro Conversion and why that particular tactic is not bringing in enough revenue.
They will also help you understand what it is that’s causing users to drop off.
How do you watch session recordings? By connecting an external API to your registered customer database.
You can also create specific filters to track user behavior for one particular user or even groups of users.
Keep reading: Data beyond Heatmaps — that top eCommerce brands track
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Place relevant CTAs across touchpoints in the customer journey
By noticing how Micro Conversions are building into something greater, you can also understand their role in various parts of the customer journey.
Using customer analytics to chart these out, you can consider these as strategic touchpoints and not isolated campaigns. Building these together would help you eventually lead to the final conversion.
However, you can also use the best-performing touchpoints to prompt a conversion. For example, if you notice blogs are giving you good results, having a call-to-action or a banner would help increase conversions.
Understand what causes friction & minimize it
One of the greatest strengths of this approach is being able to identify the friction points.
Friction points are those points in the user journey that cause them to drop off.
For example, if the category hyperlink is unresponsive.
Look at it this way: each page on your website has a series of micro-conversions. They’re either smaller & less direct (survey sign-up) or larger and consequential (how-to video).
When you reduce the friction in these points, you can actually ease the customer’s journey and even speed it up.
5. Time Lag
Now, this is more of a tool than a metric, but it is still a great way to understand user behavior and store performance.
Because it helps you visualize a customer’s conversion pathway and how long it takes from their very first interaction for them to convert.
Simply put, “The Time Lag report shows how many conversions resulted from conversion paths that were 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, or 12+ days long. This can give you insight into the length of your online sales cycle.”
How do you use this?
- It’ll help you understand the conversion pathway
- Highlights the different channel interactions that occur along the way
- Gives you a better sense of the true duration of your online sales cycle
- Offers insights into key touchpoints that can improve your conversion
Understand conversion pathways
In Google Analytics, conversion pathways show you how users find your website, how they navigate it, and finally what causes them to convert.
Conversion pathways can be a powerful way of understanding what on your website causes users to convert.
The basic idea is pretty straightforward – you want your users to go through as few steps as possible in order to complete the desired action.
If a path is short, it means that you have done an effective job of gaining their attention and guiding them down the funnel.
Conversion pathways are typically most useful for measuring user actions. For example, lead generation, eCommerce purchases, or newsletter signups are all valid conversion pathways on Google Analytics.
By tracking these patterns and standards of behavior, you can eventually optimize the process to a point where every touchpoint has a relevant conversion strategy.
This may even help reduce the overall time it takes for customers to get to the final step.
Understand Time Lag as a function of your online sales cycle
The online sales cycle is an important aspect of any eCommerce business.
The online sales cycle consists of four stages: awareness, consideration, purchase, and loyalty.
For any eCommerce business, the online sales cycle is a crucial part of the business.
However, it is not all seamless. Sometimes, customers drop off. Sometimes, they take too long on a particular stage.
That's where Time Lag comes in. With an insight into the duration customers tend to take from the first interaction to eventual conversion, you can make necessary adjustments at touchpoints where they seem to drop off.
In such a regard, it's important to think of the Time Lag as a natural function of the online sales cycle.
As long as you can bring the customer to convert, you’re doing alright. Bring them to do so even faster, and you’re GOLD.
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Handle objections early
In many cases where the Time Lag is larger, customers are searching around your website but keep running into dead ends.
This stops them from getting the information they need and hence completing the purchase OR they're not getting an adequate response to their concern.
When not addressed properly, this often causes customers to entirely drop off and not return.
That's why it's important to handle objections early.
When you look into customer concerns towards the start of the sales cycle, you can smoothen their transition from a prospect to a buyer.
Some ways you can do that are:
- Enabling easier decision-making
- Showcasing social proof at important points
- Addressing privacy concerns and de-risking purchases
Want more? Check out 10 scientific hacks to overcome customer objections in eCommerce
Set up well-timed remarketing campaigns
While many advertisers build their retargeting campaigns just once — when setting them up — you’re limiting yourself if you only do that.
Because customers go through several phases during their online sales lifecycle.
If they’re continually being targeted with the same tactic, they’re less likely to care about coming back.
It’s important to continually optimize your remarketing campaigns to hit different groups of customers at the lifecycle stage they’re in.
For the best results, you’d like to update your marketing database on a 7 - 14 day basis, continually removing customers who have crossed that particular stage.
As your customers’ journeys progress so should your messaging.
Looking for ways to improve your product page? Check out this detailed product page guide containing examples, best practices, templates, and more.
6. Content Compliance
When customers search for product and category-related information, 82% of the time they’re met with eCommerce content.
And a majority of these pages have excellent content - content that Google likes.
Having quality content on your website is GREAT. Having content that complements Google? Even better.
Because of a little thing called Content Compliance.
Content Compliance simply refers to the practice of complying your content with the Google algorithm.
Three reasons why Content Compliance is so important:
- Helps Google quickly skim through your content to highlight the best stuff
- Helps you maximize conversions through digital retailers
- Ensures all digital channels are in sync
PLUS, 35% of customer journeys begin on Google. So, you know Content Compliance will pay off.
Keep track of the Merchant Center guidelines (especially for ads)
The goal of the Merchant Center is to help you manage your presence and visibility in local search results on Google.
If you follow their guidelines and comply with their requirements, Google will help make it easier for your customers to find you.
Here’s what they look like:
- You need to use an official language (Google has a list for your reference)
- You can only promote products that are available for direct purchase
- You need to collect user data responsibly and be upfront about return & refund
- You need to claim your URL and have your website meet specific requirements
You can continue reading about this on the Google Onboarding Guide here.
Especially since the revised Google AdWords policy, more and more advertisers have had to be mindful of these guidelines.
Always pays off if you’re well prepared!
Ensure your data meets the product data specifications
Product data specifications are a set of guidelines Google prescribes to all brands that are using its platform.
This is for ads, free listings, as well as Buy on Google.
Google uses this data to ensure it’s matched to the right queries.
- Product SKU
- Verified domain name
- Links to the images used
- Distinguished title for each product
- Accurate description of the products, without promotional copy
PLUS, Google has a fixed process you can follow. You can read more about it here.
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Optimize content to fit the different content angles in Google
The most popular content placements on Google are:
- Google Search
- Google Images
- Google Lens
- Google Shopping
- Google My Business
- Google Maps
Each one has its own set of regulations and optimizing your content to fit these is the best way to ensure maximum reach.
Want to know how? Google has shared a detailed list of specifications here.
Develop content that matches different customers’ needs
We all know that each customer has a unique online shopping journey within which they have different requirements. When these requirements are met, they eventually convert.
That’s exactly what Google likes to ensure as well: that shoppers have the right content each step of the way.
In fact, having more of such content will also encourage Google to show your brand across several touch points.
Here’s a list of content you can look into building today:
- Company story
- Special offers
- Product reviews
- Product catalog
- Live streams
- Educational opportunities
- Customer service touchpoints
It would also be helpful for you to dive into the categories and understand the exact regulations Google holds for each one.
7. Net Promoter Score
Net Promoter Score (NPS) is a performance metric that suggests how likely people who interact with your brand are to recommend it to friends and colleagues.
NPS measures the sentiment of the customers and how likely they are to refer the brand to their peers.
It is generally used as a survey.
It is a popular way of measuring customer loyalty to a particular brand or product.
The easiest way to explain the metric is by thinking of it this way: if your customers were asked: “On a scale from 0 – 10, how likely is it that you would recommend us to someone else?”, you would categorise them into 3 groups:
- NPS Detractors
NPS Detractors are those that do not hold your brand in very high regard and would likely never recommend your brand to another person.
- NPS Passives
NPS Passives are those that have a more-or-less neutral standing with your brand and would recommend your brand if needed and not if it required them going out of their way.
- NPS Promoters
NPS Promoters are those that strongly support your brand and would be most likely to recommend it to their peers. Chances are they’re already talking about your brand and how happy they are with it.
The true NPS Score is the value of %Promoters - %Detractors.
This score can further be viewed on a scale of -100 to +100.
This can further be broken down industry wise.
As you can see, brands towards the top of this list have a considerably higher NPS score than those on the bottom. It may be worthwhile to understand why this is so.
Keep track of how your NPS is progressing
Tracking your Net Promoter Score is an activity that you should keep coming back to periodically.
Every time you determine your NPS score, it’s likely that you would also be receiving feedback on how to improve this score. By incorporating this feedback into action, you can strike a greater chord with your audience.
So, just like you would care for a customer, you want to make sure your Net Promoter score is trending in the correct direction.
By periodically checking in and analyzing your NPS, you can determine whether or not there are any opportunities to improve your business.
Over time, you will also find trends in the scores that can help inform how you move forward with your business — whether it be product improvements, sales strategy, or customer service.
Perform Root Cause Analysis
It isn’t enough to simply understand what your score is. It’s also crucial to understand why it is the way it is.
How do you do that? By getting to the root cause.
Conducting a Root Cause Analysis offers an analytical approach to improving your Net Promoter Score.
By digging deeper, you’ll be able to assess whether it is a category or specific use case that’s causing detractors to be unhappy or whether there’s a larger systemic error.
You’ll also be able to understand why Promoters are so content and how you can reinforce more of such behavior.
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Close the Loop
The crucial next step to performing an NPS survey is to act on the findings and react to your customers.
At its very rudimentary core, what the NPS score does is that it tells you where you stand on being recommended by your customers. What it doesn’t do is tell you is how to improve that score, what to do with your customers after the survey, and how to keep your customers engaged.
That step’s on you.
By planning personal interviews, group discussions, and even additional surveys, you can assess the true determinants of your score, the top things customers liked, the top areas that need improvement, the departments that brought dis/satisfaction, etc.
Additionally, you can use this step to give your customers a freebie, coupon code, or another incentive to thank them for their time. Who knows? You may even end up bagging a sale or two.
We love what Mention did to close the loop. First, they sent NPS surveys with a unique traceable link through which they tracked unique customer responses.
Upon that, they built custom emails for each of the three categories. To the promoters they sent a discounted upgrade, to the passives they sent a free demo for their product. With the detractors, they simply sent a thank you email and asked them how they can improve.
The result? They reduced churn rate by half.
Dissect the feedback from Detractors
The best way to deal with your problems? Head on.
Remember: negative feedback is a great BOON — as long as you use it well.
Here’s proof from a fellow eCommerce business owner:
Like Mention did above, the first thing you need to do here is thank detractors for being honest. Honest feedback (even if it’s negative) goes a long way in helping you improve.
Then, ask them for ways in which you can improve as a brand. Across this feedback, try and identify themes. See what areas detractors actually enjoyed and where they really had concerns. It may be helpful to run a text and sentiment analysis here.
You can also correspond this feedback with your larger organizational goals and KPIs.
Finally, thank the detractors for their time and offer them an incentive for indulging in this step.
Especially when it comes to your product page, metrics give you a chance to understand what’s happening in an analytical format.
Sometimes, it’s important to get to the very depth of that. These 7 unconventional metrics help you do just that.
We would recommend that you continue reading about those that interest you and serve your needs. The more you know, the better.