Following on from my previous blog post this part will tackle analysis in a little bit more detail – primarily focusing on evaluating the success of your digital marketing and its impact on sales.
How should I judge my digital spend for an ecommerce site?
A strong ecommerce site should get repeat business time and time again, but what if an expensive channel, like PPC, drives new visitors to the site, but doesn’t stack up well on single (and last) action ROI?
Surely, you should have some way to credit lifetime sales to the channel to continue to allow you to invest in it? Otherwise, a weak first purchase CPA might cause you to turn off a key source of overall sales for your business (e.g. PPC) which could diminish your overall growth potential.
This is where it gets juicy! As a data lover, the possibilities to update and reflect lifetime value back into the original converting traffic source excite me. Now in all honesty, not a lot of our clients do this, and most attempt to avoid it both for resource reasons, but also (I think) to ensure we’re working as hard as we can be to bring in new sales bang on CPA target (we can hardly blame them!). But surely, if the first conversion was from a paid channel like PPC, and all subsequent sales from that customer were direct (as is the case with my Asos.com addiction, [see previous post]), then had the company not invested in PPC in the first place, then possibly all my subsequent sales would also not have happened.
Whilst I don’t advocate apportioning the full revenue of all subsequent sales to the original source, it may be worth considering applying a depreciating % of the revenue for every subsequent sale (plus take into account time lag between orders).
The other challenge with judging performance is being able to track across devices. In research conducted by our third party tracking partner DC Storm, internet retail clients using their platform and tracking multiple device behaviour, discovered 20% of converting users had used more than one device.
They also found after their first month of testing this new solution that mobile research with desktop purchase had a similar volume of sales compared to desktop research with mobile purchase.
At the moment off-the-shelf solutions fail to allow cross device tracking, so a single user visiting the site from a desktop will be seen as a different user if they visit again via their mobile phone. This skews both new visit %s but also the attributing value of different channels and their influence on a sale.
The multi-device tracking solution is quite complex, and technically a little fiddly to implement. In a nutshell a unique user ID is set in the data layer of every login (so yes, somebody has to be logged in for you to be able track across devices) but then this user ID is linked to all devices that they use. Through the wizardry of DC Storm it is then possible to link up a user journey across devices to understand what devices and what channels led to a sale. This solution is still in its infancy but I am keen to get our clients involved and learn first-hand what extra data can do for our optimisation decisions.
So, this is just some food for thought when reviewing the success of your ecommerce site. With ecommerce there is a wealth of data, and I could go on for hours on what you should do with it. If you’d like to find out more about DC Storm, and how you could use it in your business then get in touch with us today.