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Key E-Commerce Metrics that Don't Get Enough of the Spotlight


Key E-Commerce Metrics that Don't Get Enough of the Spotlight

Metrics are an important tool when it comes to successfully managing any business, regardless of whether you’re a sole proprietor or a Fortune 500 CEO.  When used correctly, metrics can provide the critical insights needed to inform sound business decisions.

When it comes to e-commerce businesses, it seems like there are a handful in particular that tend to get most of the attention.  You’re probably familiar with many of them, especially if you check your Google Analytics dashboard on a regular basis:  unique visitors, page views, clickthrough rates, conversion rates, and the like.  There’s no arguing that these metrics are critical; they allow you to test new ideas, understand how visitors interact with your site, and identify opportunities for improvement when it comes to conversion.

However, there are also a variety of important metrics that you won’t find in Google Analytics that are nevertheless important to review periodically.  Many of these metrics are easy enough to measure, and can provide you with a level of insight into your business that clickthrough rates simply cannot.  In a series of blog posts, we’ll do deep dives into some of our favorites.

Today, we’re going to take a look at Net Promoter Score, or NPS®.

Have you ever told your friends about buying something from a store you love, or had a terrible experience and warned your family members?  Believe it or not, not only does that phenomenon have a powerful effect on your business (which could be good or bad!), but you can measure its impact using a very straightforward technique.

To measure NPS®, all you have to do is send out a survey to your customers with one simple question:  “On a scale of 1 to 10 (with 10 being the best), how likely would you be to recommend [your company] to a friend, family member, or colleague?”

Group the responses you receive into three buckets:

  1. Promoters (9 and 10) – these are the ones that love your business, and are likely willing to say great things about it to all of their friends!
  2. Passives (7 and 8) – this group doesn’t dislike your business, but they’re not incredibly enthusiastic either. See what you can do to make them more passionate.
  3. Detractors (0 through 6) – even when a customer gives your business a score of 6, studies show that they’re still likely to speak negatively about your business to others. And unfortunately, they really like to talk; according to Adweek, dissatisfied customers are likely to tell 22 other people about their bad experience!

To calculate the NPS for your business, just take the percentage of respondents who are Promoters and subtract the percentage that are Detractors.

So what’s a good score?

As you might expect, some industries tend to have relatively poor scores (airlines, for example), while others (technology, let’s say) tend to fare better.  In general, a score above 20 or 30 means you’re doing a great job.  For fun though, here are some of the top NPS scores from companies you’ll recognize.

Next Steps:  put your score to work! 

Even a good NPS® score doesn’t mean you should sit back and relax – after all, it’s probably not how you got a good score in the first place!  Look for ways to leverage your score to grow your business; for example, you could incentivize your Promoters to share their stories with others on social media.

If you don’t get a good score the first time around, that’s ok too.  Try emailing or calling some of the customers that didn’t give you great reviews – you’ll be surprised at how willing they are to give you helpful advice!


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Josh Enzer

Josh Enzer

Co-Founder and CEO at Swell


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