Online retailers, perhaps more than any other business model, should review key performance indicators on a regular basis to mine for changes in visitor interests and identify emerging sales opportunities.
The key performance indicators that I recommend for online retailers are a relatively straightforward bunch; it's all about conversion and value. While you may be tempted to build out a complex report that provides every type of information possible, fight that temptation. Remember, most people aren't going to read a long, complex report full of numbers [Hack #91] . By focusing your efforts on the truly key indicators and providing a report similar to Figure 7-8, you will dramatically increase the readership and use of this report (and you cannot act upon something you don't even read, right?).
One important thing to keep in mind when you're thinking about KPIs for online retail is seasonality. Sometimes a big decrease in key indicators means nothing more than the holidays are over and everyone is enjoying their toys. As with any web measurement report, always consider the following in as much context as is available, including time of year and other external factors.
The following key performance indicators should be considered core to the regular reporting for any online retailer. Each assumes a constant period of time, e.g., the previous day or the previous week, unless ...