The holiday season is usually the busiest and most important for most retailers, and Black Friday is the event that kicks it all off. As such, companies devote immense resources and efforts to ensure the Friday after Thanksgiving is a major shopping success. This includes expanded social media and ad campaign budgets, higher email traffic and newsletter activity, and more interactions with consumers.
Measuring how well you did, then, represents a vital concern for any business. To successfully track your Black Friday and Cyber Monday statistics, you need to understand both what you’re looking for and which data will give you the best answers. These are some of the key metrics in e-commerce analytics to track to determine just how well your e-commerce store performs on Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
The Best Success Metrics for Black Friday
- Uptime and page loading times – Online retailers and e-commerce websites are valuable to consumers because they’re available around the clock. However, for most of the year traffic remains consistent, with a few seasonal spikes. Black Friday can bring a significant burden for a website as users rush to be the first to get their orders filled. Your uptime—how reliable your website’s performance is—should remain consistently high despite an increase in traffic, while your page load times should be short enough to make shopping convenient. Tracking these metrics shows you what resources to dedicate to your infrastructure to ensure Black Friday is a smooth shopping experience.
- Rate of returns – Black Friday can give cause for celebration when you see a massive spike in your sales and orders fulfilled, but it is not always the most indicative trend. To see the real number of sales and satisfied orders, you should track the rate at which your orders are being returned. This includes measuring not just the number of orders returned, but also the reason why packages were sent back. Rate of returns can help you comprehend your supply chain, and peak seasons such as Black Friday are ideal because of the large sample sizes they create.
- Average order value (AOV) – More than just the number of sales, you should track the dollar value of each order as it passes through your store. Retail analytics gives you a clear idea of how much you earn from each sale, and it is a great indicator of purchasing behavior. During Black Friday and Cyber Monday, AOV can fall significantly due to the heavy discounting and sales. This is a problem because the higher volume of items being sold may seem like a positive, but if your AOV dips heavily, your sales are working against you.
- Conversion Rate – This is one of the most common metrics to track, but it becomes doubly important during the peak holiday season because it demonstrates how your marketing and sales strategies performed. Offering discounts and promotions may bring traffic to your website, but it doesn’t guarantee they’ll be converted into paying customers. Your Black Friday data is valuable because it highlights exactly how well your promotions are working to attract new sales. A successful strategy means you should have high conversion rates that turn into large sales. Low conversion means your strategy, or your existing products, may need to be improved before the next Black Friday.
How to Prepare to Capture Black Friday Data
Knowing what data to track is the first step, but it’s also important to make sure you’re ready to capture and analyze all the Black Friday and Cyber Monday data you need. These are some strategies to help you be ready for the inflow of data:
- Clearly assign roles – During a hectic period, it’s important to know who needs to do what, and especially when it comes to analytics. Make sure each team knows what data they’re responsible for collecting, and they have the right setup to accomplish this task.
- Set the right goals – Clearly establish what you’re trying to achieve with data to make the building process easier. This includes setting goals for specific events and other alerts for metrics that give you valuable insights.
- Build a clear dashboard – Most importantly, make sure your Black Friday analytics are ready to be collected and displayed easily. With such a crazy time, it’s vital to make sure you can always see data as soon as it arrives in an easily digestible format.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday remain two of the most important days on any e-retailer’s calendar. Make sure you are prepared and can make the most of your limited window by having the right infrastructure in place to understand and track your success. The right tools and data will give you the insights you need to constantly refine and improve.