Data-Driven Marketing 101: How to Use Metrics to Drive Sales


We’ve all heard the popular phrase: “data-driven marketing.”

But for as many times as we’ve read that phrase in white papers or heard it mentioned in keynote addresses, do we actually know how to leverage it?

Let’s discuss a few ways to promote eCommerce marketing efforts using data.

Why It Matters

The knowledge and insights gathered from customer behavior can help retailers create better experiences and ultimately increase revenues. From analyzing page clicks to comparing inventory levels, assessing data is key.

And this is crucial for online retailers that don’t necessarily know their customers from in-person interactions or sales.

Plus, while this data can help drive future sales, it can also help retain your current customer base.

What Data to Collect

First and foremost, retailers need to start by identifying goals and objectives. As a retailer, are you looking to gauge the success of your website and ultimately make updates to ensure a better user experience? Or are you looking at your online product selection to potentially add or tweak available items?

The good news is that there are companies that can guide retailers through this tricky maze of data-driven marketing. GroupBy Inc., a leader in creating better eCommerce user experiences by leveraging a suite of cloud-based tools, recommends looking at a few key metrics to start, including the add-to-cart rate and page views.

By looking at the add-to-cart rate, you can determine the percentage of visitors that are placing one (or more) items in their cart during their time on your platform. This is imperative when trying to track the success of your site.

And on the flip side, you can also look at your cart abandonment rate to identify the percent of shoppers that are leaving your platform before making a final purchase. This metric is key when trying to determine where customers are walking away during the buying experience process. It may be because they just aren’t ready to make the final purchase, or they may not be able to pay at that time. And while those factors aren’t necessarily controllable, retailers do need to ensure that customers aren’t walking away because of a negative experience with the site itself, like slow load times, search results that lack relevancy, or a cumbersome check-out.

But, there are other metrics to consider.

You can also use different metrics to determine any “red flags” with your customer experience.

For example, you’ll want to know your site’s null-result rate. A null result is when a result lacks the expected content on your site. Site visitors who encounter null results are likely to leave your site and often never return. You’ll want to try and keep your site’s null-result rate below 5 percent. 

If you use your null-result keyword list to reduce or eliminate keywords, you’ll be able to ensure site visitors come back. 

The easiest way to identify your null-result keyword list is to send an event to an analytics tool, like Google Analytics. Addressing this issue helps prevent you from losing customers and sales. 

What to Do with the Data

Don’t just look at the problems. eCommerce success isn’t only about addressing potential issues, but following up with customers and continuing to engage them. 

That allows you to support your customers, which will improve their likelihood of returning to your site. Happy customers will share their positive experiences with others and broaden the audience for your products and services.

But keep in mind that data is just one piece of the puzzle.  Merchandising, machine learning, personalization, and recommendations are also all key to ensuring you continue to drive online sales, while attracting new customers and retaining your current customers.

Happy analyzing!