Your "Must Know" Ecommerce Metrics

Web Analytics can be an amazing technology, but also a highly under-utilized one. Complex deployments and integrations frequently leave business users befuddled. Without dedicated staff to analyze, analytics packages more often than not collect dust.

This brief is focused on outlining the 7 most important web metrics to monitor within your eCommerce business and what to look for as it relates to your website’s performance.

Bounce rate

First on our list is the most important metric you will encounter: bounce rate. Think of bounce rate as a first impression. The definition of bounce rate is the percentage of users that leave your website after only viewing the initial page that was presented.

Bounce rate is so vital because it provides details into how you initially message your value proposition to the customer or prospect. It provides a cue to also help you identify performance issues with your site that may be causing the inflation the metric.

Bounce rates vary by industry, but eCommerce businesses should focus on getting the metric below 30%. Especially important within paid search campaigns, bounce rate will provide valuable cues into which product assortments and promotions at the category and sub-category levels of your taxonomy are doing well. This knowledge can be leveraged across the business in other categories and implemented via multi-variate testing deployments.

Email Capture Ratio

The next metric you want to track is your email capture ratio. As an online business, you probably sell some type of tangible product or service in which you monitor orders or completed information forms. Most businesses monitor their standard conversion rate, but few businesses frequently monitor their email capture rate and take a proactive approach to increasing.

With eCommerce conversion rates yet to eclipse an average of 3%, 97% of users who come to your store are leaving without buying something. Just because they are leaving however does not mean they are not interested in communicating on some level with your business. By gaining an initial step of trust through the capture of an email address, you are not only increasing the size of your house list for future marketing but you are also building a relationship with your customer and can win their business by providing them solutions to their lives.

Strive for a 7-10% email capture rate and place the sign up tool prominent in the header. Too many businesses bury their sign up tool and do not leverage rich applications that can use browser technologies such as ajax to expand a capture field over standard text in an overlay fashion.

Number of non-branded organic keywords

Make sure you look at number of monthly non-branded organic search keywords. When monitoring SEO performance, you need to first strip out the branded terms that correlate with your business. Thats traffic that you would have received without effective SEO. Then look to the number of remaining keywords that were utilized to make up the balance of the remaining natural search visits.

Why is this important? Because SEO is driven from the long tail. Sure, core SEO terms are nice but you need to capture the 4 and 5 word queries that make up the majority of Google queries each day. Long tail placements are achieved through proper site architecture and quality targeted content. Simply put, the more terms that people are using to find you, the better your site is doing in content development. Aim for a 5% to 10% increase each month within non-branded search keywords as you structure your SEO campaigns.

Shopping Cart to Checkout “Step 1″ Progression Rate

Our next metric directly correlates to the transactional process. Make sure you monitor your direct progression percentage from the shopping cart to checkout step 1. See how many of your users are bailing for price shopping and/or they see a promo code box on your site and they are going hunting for one. This type of behavior dramatically impacts your conversion rate and overall profits and steps should be taken to measure and reduce.

Consider adding the promo box at the end of the transaction for non-affiliate sessions in order to reduce leakage. Use a cookie from an affiliate or potentially a URL to trigger two versions of the cart page. By incorporating checkout abandonment tools that re-market via email, and aggressive banners both internally and externally to try and re-capture the lost transaction, eCommerce businesses can pull prospects back in the sales funnel.

Browser and Resolution Percentages

Dont forget about looking at Browser/Resolution percentages (types and sizes) when scaling your eCommerce business. Lace face it, when you sell online you are in the “looks professional…is professional” world and goo design can make even the smallest retailer seem large. If your build your site and it breaks in Safari (Mac’s browser), or the navigation breaks on Firefox 3.5 on a PC, you essentially shoot yourself in the foot.

Look at the varied browsers and resolutions that are being used to view your website. Conduct full cross-browser testing, on varied platforms, to fully notice any potential usability problems that arrive.

Average number of cross/up sells added per visit

If you are an eCommerce business, you already know that intelligent merchandising is a crucial key to success. A primary metric to help you understand performance within online merchandising is that of average cross/up sells added per visit.

This datapoint associates to your cross sell tools that integrate at the product and the cart level and measures the average number of cross-sells added to the cart per visit. The number will provide details into the effectiveness of your product recommendations and if the recommended products are actively engaging and persuading customers.

It is tough to provide a benchmark statistic for this metric since products can vary so greatly in terms of pricepoint. But look at your historical performance and consider automating this component through algorithmic third party solutions.

Real Estate Management Fees

The property investor has decided to hire a management company to take care of their many properties. They interview several before making a decision on the company they will hire. There are many things they will be comparing, among them the real estate management fee the company charges. The investor needs to determine whether they want to pay a monthly percentage or a flat fee for the managers services.

Investors should look at more than the monthly fee they will be paying. Sometimes for a higher percentage you will receive more services. The cheaper rate of some managers does not include the extra fees charged. Find out if the advertising is included in the normal fee. Will they be charging each time they show the property to a potential client? Are their leasing fees on top of the management fees? The investor should read each companies contract to determine what is included in their real estate management fee.

A real estate management fee is charged based on a percentage of income collected with a minimum monthly base fee. Fees will often vary by the type and size of the property. Fees can be a flat rate for a single family home or 6 percent of the rental income for larger properties. Larger properties typically command a lower percentage rate (ie, 2 percent) than a single family home that may be quoted up to10 percent. Fees are negotiated on a per property basis and depend on many factors including condition, location and size of the property, etc. Leasing and other auxiliary service fees are separate and in addition to the management fee.

The investor should ask what services cost extra. They should determine if evictions are an extra fee. The contract should state how and when the fee is collected. Will the investor be billed or is it deducted from your account? On a monthly or quarterly basis? Is there a cost to prep the units for rent? And what is the typical cleaning fee on vacancies?

A management company fulfills many services for the investor. The company takes care of the daily activities of renting the property, collecting rents, accounting and monthly statements, hire contractors for services such as cleaning, groundskeepers and maintenance work as well as supervise any work. The real estate management fee the investor pays provides them with peace of mind.

The investor has interviewed several companies and found the fees are close in range with a few exceptions. They decide to further investigate each companys contract and references. By comparing all the services and getting good referrals, the investor can make an informed choice.

Interviewing the management company to determine the real estate management fee that charge is the first step to hiring a reliable company. The final cost the investor will pay the management company is determined by many things as well as the monthly fee. How well the company communicates with the investor and tenants, how they handle problems, their attention to detail in the leasing process and their ability to maintain the property in good condition all determine the investors final costs on each property.

Hiring a good management company helps the investor rent his property faster and provide preventive maintenance before problems become major repairs and expenses. The investor should look at more than the initial monthly fees when determining how much it will actually cost them if they go with the cheapest company.

Travel Oahu – Experience Hawaii Like A Local

Every year millions of visitors from Japan, mainland USA and beyond land at
Honolulu International Airport ready to begin their vacation in paradise. Soon after
Landing, most visitors hop in a cab or bus sent from the hotel and begin the journey
Past downtown Honolulu and on to their reservation at a Waikiki hotel.

The allure of Waikiki is immediate. The packed streets, sounds of the beach, and
Exotic histories call to the traveler who soon hits the streets. Venturing out in
Waikiki can be quite exciting. The streets are filled with foreign languages, throngs
Of tourists are dressed in their beach best, and the beginning of surf history can be
Seen at the end of the street. Waikiki can be so exciting that many visitors never
Escape its imaginary borders. Approximately 6 million of these visitors miss the very
Sites that locals find so endearing, remaining within the two square miles of Waikiki.

For those travelers interested in seeing Oahu through its residents' eyes, please
Read on.

Magic Island Beach Park – This popular park is located just west of
Waikiki, across the street from the Ala Moana Shopping Center. The park includes
Two beaches, a three mile jogging path, tennis courts, and more. A walk around the
Park will expose the center of Hawaiian culture – the family. Large extended families
Gather around hibachis, spending the day together with a good food and plenty of
Sun. The beaches are significantly less crowded, so for a great day, grab a barbecue
And head down to the beach at Magic Island!

The Contemporary Museum Honolulu – This small museum is located
High on a ridge at Makiki Heights Drive. The drive up the ridge offers amazing vistas
That would otherwise be missed by most Oahu visitors. The relatively small museum
Offers changing exhibitions in its five galleries. After traversing the galleries, visitors
Can wander out onto the sculpture gardens. This is where the true glory of the
Museum is revealed. The 3.5 acres of sculpture and meditative gardens are open to
The public and offer some of the most amazing views of Honolulu.

Leong's Cafe – Many visitors look to a lu'au for more than entertainment;
They are after some great Hawaiian food. However, if you're interested in real local
Style Hawaiian food, you can not beat Leong's Cafe located at 2343 North King Street.
As a favorite for plate lunches, kalua pig, lu'au stew, lomi lomi, and more, locales
Have been visiting this cafe for over 50 years!

Champion Malasadas – The local treat called Malasadas are so popular
That Fat Tuesday has been re-christened Malasada Day throughout the Hawaiian
Islands. One of the best and most famous bakeries is Champion Malasadas located
At 1926 South Beretania Street. These light portuguese hole-less donuts come with
And without filling and are absolutely worth the effort in getting them!

Honolulu Chinatown – A walk through the streets of Chinatown in like a
Walk into another time and place. Whatever you are looking for dim sum, fresh
Produce, handmade leis, or the new hip lounge, you are sure to find it in Chinatown.
The streets and shops are exotic, offering items not found in a typical american
Grocery. Guided walking tours are available for this historic district, but often the
Best way is to simply meander through the streets, stopping whenever your interest
Has been piqued.

If you are interested in seeing Oahu through a local's eyes, be sure to spend some
Time outside of Waikiki. Stop by some or all of the spots listed above and see some
Of what truly makes Hawaii special.

Experts Tips to Start An Internet Home Business

The start up costs for an internet home business are next to nothing compared to the offline world of business start ups.

In fact it is a lot more simple to start and grow a business on the internet.

Of course you need some knowledge to begin your internet home business enterprise. But you do not need a “Bacc” to do business on the web.

All you need is some computer knowledge and some internet marketing basis and a good dose of determination.

Here is some basic tips on how to start an Internet home business.

== 1.Write Your Business Goals ==

It is important to set goals and objectives and then take action to accomplish them. This will be your Business Plan.

Here Are Some questions you should ask yourself:

- Why do I want to start up an Internet Home Business?

- What product or service can I provide?

- Do I have the knowledge and expertise to provide this service?

- Do I know enough about the competition?

- Where will my customers come from?

Take the time to write down your questions and answers and thoroughly research your chosen market.

== 2. Choose A Product or Service To Sell ==

On the internet you can find houndreds of product or services to sell.

You can sell your own product by creating your own, or purchasing resale rights or being an affiliate with a good internet company.

Do not put your personal gains first. Make sure that the product will deliver what it promises. When you promote a product that leaves the buyer dissatisfied, you’ll only be ruining your business. So sell solutions and the money will come.

== 3. Business Domain Name ==

One important first step is to choose the best domain name you can. Keep it as short and simple as possible.

Think of domain name like “Google” or “Yahoo”. They are short and easy to remember.

I know that some people say to use keyword in youre domain name. But if you choose “Internet Business” there is a million of site with this term.

So are you going to use for example “AprofitableInternethomebusiness.com” it might be a nice name but it is too long and not simple.

== 4. Web Site ==

Having A good business website is essential to succeed with an internet home business.

Here is the thing you have to plan to build your website

A) Decide on the website design (color schemes, buttons, special effects etc). However, you may have a preference for a certain color or look. To help you choose a design, you may wish to check out other people’s websites or work with your web designer’s pre-set templates.

(B) The content. There are many items you may wish to include on your website. The most common ones include:

1 Products And Services

2. Contact Information

3. Pricing

4. Testimonials

5. Frequently Asked Questions

6. Resources & Articles

7. Refund Policy

8. Privacy Policy

9. About Us

10. Site Map

11. Useful Links

12. On-line store

== 5. Choose a Web Hosting Company ==

What is a Web hosting Company?

A Web host is a company that provides server space for your website. You can think of a web host as a commercial building. The web host provides space for your website just as a commercial building provides space for your shop or office.

What are some of the things you should look for when choosing a web host? The criteria for choosing a free web host and a commercial web hosting solution are slightly different though they do overlap.

A) Web Space

Does it have enough space for your needs? If you envisage that you will expand your site eventually, you might want to cater for future expansion. Most sites use less than 5MB of web space. Indeed, at one time, one of my other web sites, thefreecountry.com, used less than 5MB of space although it had about 150 pages on the site. Your needs will vary, depending on how many pictures your pages use, whenever you need sound files, video clips, etc.

B) Bandwidth allotment

Nowadays, many free web hosts pose a limit on the amount of traffic your website can use per day and per month. This means that if the pages (and graphic images) on your site is loaded by visitors beyond a certain number of times per day (or per month), the web host will disable your web site (or sometimes send you a bill).

It is difficult to recommend a specific minimum amount of bandwidth, since it depends on how you design your site, your target audience, and the number of visitors you’re able to attract to your site. In general, 100MB traffic per month is too little for anything other than your personal home page and 1-3GB traffic per month is usually adequate for a simple site just starting out. Your mileage, however, will vary.

C) Reliability and speed of access

This is extremely important. A site that is frequently down will lose a lot of visitors. If someone finds your site on the search engine, and he tries to access it but find that it is down, he’ll simply go down the list to find another site. Slow access is also very frustrating for visitors (and for you too, when you upload your site).

How do you know if a host is reliable or fast? If you can not get feedback from anyone, one way is to try it out yourself over a period of time, both during peak as well as non-peak hours. After all, it is free, so you can always experiment with it.

== 6. Shopping Cart ==

No e-commerce website is complete without a secure shopping cart. There are many shopping cart options. Many e-commerce business owners make the mistake of using Pay Pal to accept payments, which immediately tells visitors that their company is very small and not professional.

A good alternative to Pay Pal is a remotely rented shopping cart. Remote shopping carts take the burden of maintaining security and credit card numbers off your shoulder and places the responsibility on another company. Remote shopping carts can usually be configured to look similar to your website.

In fact, your customers may not realize that they have left your website to place an order. The remote shopping cart provider will give you the HTML to add to your website. When your potential customer clicks on the Buy button, he or she is taken to the remote shopping cart to enter the personal information and payment details.

Depending on your choice of a shopping cart, you may or may not need a merchant account to process transactions. Some shopping cart services allow you to use their merchant accounts for a slightly higher fee.

== 7. How To Promote Your Business Website ==

Write An Article: Write an article promoting your site or product. Write an article on a hot topic many people would like more information on and submit it to various e-zines. How do you find out what’s hot? Visit a few of the message boards and see what questions are raised often.
Search Engines: Thousand of search engines exist on the Internet. But, you should only be concerned with the top eight or ten. You should manually submit to the top eight: Alta Vista, Excite, Yahoo, Hotbot, Lycos, Northern Light, Infoseek, Webcrawler, and use one of the FREE automatic submission services like * SubmitPlus * to handle the smaller search engines.

Directories: List your site here too. Directories organize sites into categories. Good examples of Directories: Yahoo, Magellan.

Ezine Listings: If you have an e-zine to promote along with your site. Why not list it with one of the many e-zine services on the Internet. E-zine Library is a good one to start with.

Free Classifieds: You will have to submit to a ton of FREE classifieds to get any significant traffic. Why? You are competing with thousands of other Ads. Remember to work on your Ad copy and make it attention grabbing. Go to one of the popular search engines, type in Free Classifieds, and surf to the top 20 classified sites for beginners.

Often, these sites will lead you to several other Free Classified Sites. In response you’ll get a stack of e-mail thanking you for listing your site while barking their promo. Best to get one of those free email accounts. Hot mail is a good one. So is Yahoo mail.

FFA Pages. Free For All’s are worth a try. Be prepared for a avalanche of e-mails from FFA web site owners. If your title is attention grabbing you will get a few clicks. Good Attention grabbing headlines, FREE, Limited Time, Limited Offer, Proven, Secrets, and many more if you brainstorm. Check out the sales literature delivered to you by regular mail. Check and see what headlines grab your attention. And why? Incorporate them into your Online Ads.

Tell Friends And Family: If your friends, family, acquaintances, have an Internet Connection, e-mail them telling them about your new website, and ask them to visit often. Offer a FREE incentive if they tell a few friends to surf over. Perhaps, a FREE Ad in your e-zine.

Leave Business Cards or Flyers: Leave these promo pieces with small businesses in your community. All relevant contact information; Email address, URL, telephone number, should be included. Offer a freebie to anyone who visits your site. A free e-book, report.

== 8. IN CONCLUSION ==

Think of your first six months primarily as a training period. Do not expect large earnings until after you’ve educated yourself.

Even the most dynamic, highest-earning entrepreneurs in the industry took MONTHS to begin seeing an income of any real significance with their internet home business.

Do not be a negative thinker and do not let the negative attitudes of others (even if they’re family members, friends, or peers) influence you.

All the great men and women in history had to welcome the naysayers who said it could not be done – and then went out and did it. Think for yourself!

As long as you think positive and focused on your internet home business target you’re on the right way to a rich life, which is directed by you and it will lead you to tremendous success and personnal satisfaction.

Copyright © Michel Richer, The Internet Home Business Specialist

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PERMISSIONS TO REPUBLISH: This business article may be republished in its own free of charge, electronically or in print, provided it appears with the included copyright and author’s resource box with live website link.

Courtesy of: http://hombyz.com : For All Your Internet Home Business Needs