32 Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for Ecommerce

32 Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for Ecommerce


Performance should inform business decisions and KPIs should drive actions. 

Key performance indicators (KPIs) are like milestones on the road to online retail success. Monitoring them will help ecommerce entrepreneurs identify progress toward sales, marketing, and customer service goals. 

A performance indicator is simply a quantifiable measurement or data point used to gauge performance relative to some goal. As an example, it may be a goal for some online retailers to increase site traffic 50 % in the next year. Relative to this goal, a performance indicator might be the number of unique visitors the site receives daily or which traffic sources send visitors (pay-per-click advertising, search engine optimization, brand or display advertising, or a YouTube video).

For some goals there could be many performance indicators — often too many — so often people narrow it down to just two or three impactful data points known as key performance indicators. KPIs are those measurements that most accurately and succinctly show whether or not a business in progressing toward its goal.

Setting Goals and Identifiying KPIs

Setting Goals and Identifiying KPIs

Selecting KPIs begins with clearly stating goals and understanding what areas of business impact those goals. Of course, KPIs can and should differ for each of an online retailer's goals, whether those are related to boosting sales, streamlining marketing, or improving customer service.

Here are a few examples of goals and associated KPIs:

  • GOAL 1 — Boost sales 10% in the next quarter. KPIs include daily sales, conversion rate, site traffic.
  • GOAL 2 — Increase conversion rate 2% in the next year. KPIs include conversion rate, shopping cart abandonment rate, associated shipping rate trends, competitive price trends.
  • GOAL 3 — Grow site traffic 20 percent in the next year. KPIs include site traffic, traffic sources, promotional click-through rates, social shares, bounce rates.
  • GOAL 4 — Reduce customer service calls by half in the next 6 months. KPIs include service call classification, identify of page visited immediately before the call, event that lead to the call.

It should be easy to see that there are many performance indicators, and the value of those indicators is directly tied to the goal progress measured. Monitoring which page someone visited before initiating a customer service call makes sense as a KPI for GOAL 4 since it could help identify areas of confusion that when corrected would reduce customer service calls, but that same performance indicator would be almost useless for GOAL 3. 

With the idea that KPIs should differ based on the goal being measured, it's possible to consider a set of common performance indicators for ecommerce. Here are 32 common ecommerce key performance indicators. Just remember that the performance indicators listed below is in no way exhaustive. 

32 Key Performance Indicators

Sales Key Performance Indicators:

  • Hourly, daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annual sales
  • Average order size (sometimes called average market basket)
  • Average margin
  • Conversion rate
  • Shopping cart abandonment rate
  • New customer orders versus returning customer sales
  • Cost of goods sold
  • Total available market relative to a retailer's share of market
  • Product affinity (which products are purchased together)
  • Product relationship (which products are viewed consecutively)
  • Inventory levels
  • Competitive pricing

Marketing Key Performance Indicators: 

  • Site traffic
  • Unique visitors versus returning visitors
  • Time on site
  • Page views per visit
  • Traffic source
  • Day part monitoring (when site visitors come)
  • Newsletter subscribers
  • Texting subscribers
  • Chat sessions initiated
  • Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest followers or fans
  • Pay-per-click traffic volume
  • Blog traffic
  • Number and quality of product reviews
  • Brand or display advertising click-through rates
  • Affiliate performance rates

Customer Service Key Performance Indicators:

  • Customer service email count
  • Customer service phone call count
  • Customer service chat count
  • Average resolution time
  • Concern classification

Once you have set goals and selected KPIs, monitoring those indicators should become an everyday exercise. And most importantly: Performance should inform business decisions, and you should use KPIs to drive actions.


  • Wes Coughlin
    Wes Coughlin
    February 21 2013, 12:26PM

    You mention " monitoring those indicators should become an everyday exercise."

    Is there any online software to help quickly monitor these figures? A combo of google analytics, Sumall, Mailchimp, and social on a one page dashboard would be cool.

  • Wendy Guerin
    Wendy Guerin
    February 21 2013, 01:50PM

    Wes – check out Cyfe for the dashboard.

  • Lars Groth-Rasmussen
    Lars Groth-Rasmussen
    February 21 2013, 03:00PM

    You can also try out Qlikview, they have a full free version http://www.qlikview.com/us/explore/experience/free-download and if you combine it with a Salesforce.com developer version http://developer.force.com/ you would get a fantastic overview. Do Shopify consider collaborating with companies like these in the future??

  • Julie Henderson
    Julie Henderson
    February 21 2013, 03:15PM

    Nice list of KPIs. I like the idea of defining a goal first then choosing the appropriate metrics that work toward hitting that goal.

  • Annie Hawkins
    Annie Hawkins
    February 21 2013, 05:08PM

    Hi Wes, good question! You should check out Domo. They care about making it easy to see all the data you care about in one beautiful dashboard. They also have a solution for retailers: http://www.domo.com/solutions/retail

  • Jason Greenberg
    Jason Greenberg
    February 25 2013, 01:42PM

    Hi Wes, you should take a look at Social Annex their analytics include demographics, Social ROI, audience likes and interest, and more that update daily; http://bit.ly/VccB1t. Their services also include tools that will help boost and track all of the KPI’s listed above.
    Thanks for the post Mark!

  • Kris
    February 26 2013, 12:20AM

    Wes there is geckoboard :)

  • Website Design Company
    Website Design Company
    February 27 2013, 05:07AM

    This blog is very informative..thanks for sharing your views

  • Gooddens
    March 01 2013, 12:57PM

    this is nice list of kpi to check the peormance of shopping sites.

  • Suana William
    Suana William
    March 08 2013, 06:31AM

    KPIs are bread and butter of successful e-commerce consultancy for sure. This article explains really well how to go about choosing and setting up your own set of KPIs to track. I especially like the part about finding your own baseline.

  • Dave Huss
    Dave Huss
    March 11 2013, 02:30PM

    Nice list of KPIs, and yes it is important to track them on a regular basis for sure.

    One KPI that you didn’t mention that I use often (especially when doing paid traffic like Adwords) is profit per visitor.

    Profit Per Visitor = Average Order Value * Average Margin * Conversion Rate

    That KPI makes it really easy to project if buying traffic through Adwords or other sources would be profitable because you can directly compare it to cost-per-clicks.

    You sell widgets with average order value of $200
    Your average margin is 50%
    Your conversion rate is 1%

    $200 * 0.5 * 0.01 = $1.00 Profit Per Visitor

    That means you could pay up to $1.00 per click in Adwords and expect to make a positive ROI

    My post here goes into more detail about it:

  • e commerce web solution
    e commerce web solution
    March 13 2013, 01:23AM

    Thanks for the idea. For making ecommerce successful, keeping this key performance indicators in mind is important.

  • ABC's of Ecommerce
    ABC's of Ecommerce
    March 16 2013, 09:24AM

    Good list but you have forgotten one very important performance indicator – the refund rate. If you have many sales but your refund rate is high, then there is nothing good about those sales… only loses.

    You can read more about this and how to lower your refund rate and increase your conversion rate in the 6th chapter of my ebook, available at http://www.abc-of-ecommerce.com

  •  Bernie Smith
    Bernie Smith
    March 18 2013, 03:24AM

    Key Performance Indicator’s are most important factor of online business and play most important role in decision making process for increasing market strategy and performance.

  • suhana
    April 09 2013, 07:12AM

    Today i came across this amazing new website named nupinch.com…i really think you guys should check it out..
    Link: http://bit.ly/XczfI3

  • shazzid
    June 06 2013, 01:25AM

    i want to know some KPI examples for Accounts department. can anybody provide me that?

  • Eco
    September 19 2013, 06:12PM

    Just starting my goals for my business and putting together my vision for the next 5 years and your post was very informative. Thank you.

  • Oluwatosin
    September 26 2013, 08:43AM

    Quite educating. Please can i have the KPIs in a Consruction Company?

  • Apalife.com
    September 29 2013, 11:56AM

    Can someone help me ? What formula is caculating the KPI of Ecommerce. Or What formula does I got a KPI ‘s Ecommerce.

  • Debashish Gupta
    Debashish Gupta
    October 18 2013, 03:45AM

    Very valuable information in this blog. Thank you very much.

  • Meena
    October 25 2013, 09:11AM

    Very informative blog.Thank you for listing KPIs for Digital commerce

  • Sreeram
    December 18 2013, 07:14AM

    Hi Wes, you can also check out http://ubiq.co to track Ecommerce metrics

  • Daniel
    February 09 2014, 03:53PM

    I am a very small inbound marketing agency and measurement plus analysis seems so critical for all my clients but it’s my job to show them why and how. I often have to use the phrase, “If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it”. You were very clear in this post how important it is to pay attention to analytics. I am learning how to separate the key KPIs from more useless reports which seems to be expanding all the time. If I had one item of value that I could offer to your readers, it’s to learn which are the 5 to 10 reports and key performance indicators that make their decision making process smoother. Your blog posts seem to be, and should be of great help in this area. Education is everything.

  • ashraf siddiqui
    ashraf siddiqui
    February 10 2014, 07:06AM

    i would like to know about Logistics supply chain distribution and transport KPI

  • RLS-911
    March 29 2014, 07:56PM

    Great blog with good, clear information. I am just starting out researching how to effectively and successfully conduct eCommerce. Within the past 2-weeks I registered a domain name and secured a website host. I have a marketing and business degree and am looking towards online eCommerce as a way expand business and revenue. Thanks to those who included informational links in their posts. I’ve looked at them and they are helpful. Glad I happened upon this blog.

  • Yatin Bhatia
    Yatin Bhatia
    May 29 2014, 01:02PM

    I just saw this conversation.. great list of KPI.. But if we look at all of them, these are high frequency and impact decisions and needs a system that embed properly in the decision cycle. Systems that can engineer decisions not just share the numbers and leave us alone in the last mile..

    I know some systems that do it very well.. Anyone interested can call me at (510) 517-3347. I’ll be happy to help..

  • Mark D
    Mark D
    June 22 2014, 06:21PM

    Are there ecommerce & retail industry benchmarks so compare the KPIs for my company against? Where can we find them?

  • Grant Crowell
    Grant Crowell
    July 16 2014, 05:11PM

    Great list, although what’s missing are video KPIs! Online video has some distinctive KPIs of it’s own — both for YouTube and professional online video players.

  • Carlo Alberto Dall'Amico
    Carlo Alberto Dall'Amico
    July 22 2014, 06:00AM

    In reply to Wes, let me suggest our eCommerce analytics platform: Wunderdata.com

    We provide you with a cloud BI solution to track and analyze nearly everything mentioned in the above list.

    In reply to Mark D: along the line of this post we recently researched on what are the essential KPIs for online shops / eCommerce. We provide a framework to choose which KPIs to track, define the KPIs themselves, and give benchmarks (when data is available and when it make sense)

    here’s the full article: http://wunderdata.com/key-performance-indicators-kpi-ecommerce/

  • anuj veer
    anuj veer
    July 26 2014, 08:11AM

    quite informative …nice blog.

    August 31 2014, 08:57PM

    this is an illuminating lecture.however,it would more gladdening if u can come up with KIPs in PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION IN THE DEVELOPING COUNTRIES OF AFRICA.THANKS.

  • Sean
    October 27 2014, 02:48PM

    Wes and others—I’m late to the party, but you could check out Spring Metrics. (www.springmetrics.com). They have an easy to read analytics dashboard which covers the most important KPIs.

    The important thing is to identify the KPIs which are central to your unique business. Conversion rate might not be high on the list, but AOV might be.

  • Isha Sharma
    Isha Sharma
    September 13 2015, 01:34AM

    Great article and advice from everyone. I am in the process of staring my e commerce business and wondering what should be my Goal for 1st year or which KPI I should be focussing on(if any in particular). Would love to hear some thoughts from the personal experiences. Thanks.

  • J.Nuno
    November 15 2015, 01:55PM

    Been using Cyfe and realy its all-in-one sollution!!!


  • Romain Caisse
    Romain Caisse
    February 05 2016, 04:14AM

    Great article. Thanks for putting this together.Looking forward to more of this. I found an interesting article regarding ecommerce here you can find it http://goo.gl/kmhLsm

  • Melvin Finner
    Melvin Finner
    March 16 2016, 05:17PM

    Hell Web developers,designers and fellow Entrepreneurs

    I’d like to get some input on my new shopify website www.r3sportsapparel.com and see what your thoughts may be as far as any advice you can offer. I’m new to the whole ecommerce thing and would really love to get some input from anyone that’s willing to give it.


  • Khalid Ahmad Shah
    Khalid Ahmad Shah
    April 04 2016, 04:52AM

    Hi Team ,
    I’m planning to start my online shopping portal.and I’m alone who will be doing it.
    Is it possible for a single person to start at the starting phase.
    And I’m on a very tight budget, so if you guys can suggest an estimated budget plan.
    Thank you

  • michael vadini
    michael vadini
    May 23 2016, 06:03PM

    Check out Glew. www.glew.io All the KPI’s/Insights are all there but it also does everything else you need in one place for building revenue, profitability, merchandising and loyalty. I just saw the current release and its powerful

  • Coach Alexander
    Coach Alexander
    September 20 2016, 05:57AM

    I think the pitfal that many face is making KPIs too complex its very important to keep them clear and simple. I think making them SMART helps


  • Armando Aguilar
    Armando Aguilar
    October 01 2016, 08:11PM

    This is indeed a comprehensive list of KPIs, though I would add in some on order delivery and content publishing as thay are paramount to the customer experience. Perfect orders (on-time, in full, and withou damage for the former, and product / service published without mistakes for the later).

  • Venkat Ramakrishnan
    Venkat Ramakrishnan
    October 04 2016, 08:31AM

    I wonder why logistics & operational KPIs are not considered. In e-commerce, the delivery companies, sellers and website functionality, usability and performance are key to customer satisfaction, and hence KPIs related to them are essential.

    Thank you!

  • nazim
    October 15 2016, 09:57PM

    I can’t thank you enough. The ideas you have shared here are really quite thought-provoking.
    Both your article and comments have generated some great discussions in my classroom.
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  • Oskar Kleine-Kalmer
    Oskar Kleine-Kalmer
    October 30 2016, 07:45AM

    I agree – a good start of a list for eCommerce KPIs in general. I’d recommend to include supply chain metrics into any dashboard /KPI sets, that should help you building your business. This will provide you with a clearer picture of were you stsnd any which actions to take…

  • Luiz Centenaro
    Luiz Centenaro
    February 21 2017, 03:01PM

    Thanks for sharing this article Mark. Something we often neglect to do is measure market size and making this a KPI is a great strategy.

    “Total available market relative to a retailer’s share of market”

    I’ll be using this as a KPI moving forward! I also like the customer service metrics like chat count.

  • Vlad
    March 08 2017, 01:44AM

    Wow! Thank you. Just started moving forward to all this metrics for my store $) What about tools to use? Found some simple messenger bot:

    Who used and some another tools?

  •  Shopping mall center
    Shopping mall center
    March 19 2017, 07:13AM

    Shopping mall center is the best place to buy needs items. It is the best way to get needs items from one place. Now it is my favorite site. Sometimes I go to the place and buy everything from here. Lastly it is more helpful for me.

  • Mirela
    March 26 2017, 06:14AM

    A nice dashboard for metrics and kpis in WooCommerce is WooReports – https://woo.report/

  • Tursunai
    April 02 2017, 03:05PM

    Thanks for such a useful information. Do these indicators work well also for wholesalers?

  • cee
    May 22 2017, 08:14AM

    Great article for someone starting out. But what I really dont understand about ecomm is why there are such huge fluctuations, one day my campaigns will give me an ROI of 100% and the exact same campaigns next day will give me an ROI of 5%. How do I maintain the ROI?

  • Bram
    June 16 2017, 08:27AM

    This is very practical, very important aca spot on guys! With your permission I will write a blog on www.bramdenbieman.nl about this mentioning you guys and your url of course, ok? Keep on doing the good work!

  • Duke bazon
    Duke bazon
    July 23 2017, 02:17AM

    Very educative article. From my experience, e-commerce is all about the customer. Setting KPI’ should be in regards to the business objectives which was clearly stated in this article.

  • Joseph Hsieh
    Joseph Hsieh
    August 11 2017, 03:41PM

    These are a good list of KPIs, but I also think a few should be added:

    1. Avg. Lifetime Value Per User (over 12 months). This helps you understand how much a user is worth over time so you can make better CPA/CAC estimates.

    2. Time to 1st Purchase. This helps you understand the time it takes from getting a prospect/lead to a conversion. Are you following up or nurturing customers well enough to get them to convert? Are they just window shopping too long?

    3. Repurchase Latency. This helps you know how “loyal” your customers are to buy from you again. In some industries, this is super important (any consumable product like razorblades, etc) and maybe less important for more durable goods (e.g. Mattresses).

    4. Cost Per Acquisition (aka Customer Acquisition Cost). CPA/CAC is probably one of the most important metrics to make sure you know if your marketing cost is under control. A little surprised this didn’t make the list!

    If anyone is interested in talking more about KPIs, feel free to hit me up at retetioncommerce.com.

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    <h1 style="color:blue;">harisbaig010@gmail.com</h1>
    November 24 2017, 04:24AM
  • @Shopify Joseph Hsieh
    Joseph Hsieh
    November 24 2017, 04:31AM


  • chris patrick
    chris patrick
    March 19 2018, 05:34PM

    Hey Guys !
    I’m a new Shopify Ecom-er. I’d like to locate a one-on-one mentor to help me
    speed up the learning process. Any ideas or suggestions on how to find a reliable mentor.
    Thanks Chris

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