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Prioritizing Goals & Events

 

In GA, and in your testing framework, you have a specific set of goals and events that you can configure.

Goals correspond to significant metrics in your store, including subscription to your mailing list and placed orders.

Events correspond to everything that happens in-between that is more indicative of customer behavior, such as adds to cart, upsell takes, configuration of a product, quantity changes in cart, and tabbing through checkout flows.

Both goals and events are trackers of things the customer does. To a device, placing an order involves a tap, just as adding to cart involves a tap. One of them involves you actually getting money, making it rather more important.

How do you prioritize metrics within your analytics, and how do you act on each group of metrics?

Primary & secondary metrics

In business parlance, metrics are either primary (mapping to revenue) or secondary (mapping to behavior). Connecting metrics to goals, you have the following:

Primary metrics

  • Placed an order, and for what and how much

Secondary metrics

  • Navigated away from the home page
  • Navigated away from the landing page
  • Visited a product
  • Subscribed to the mailing list
  • Used filtering
  • Used sorting
  • Took a discount code (in, say, a modal popover)
  • Configured a product
  • Added to cart
  • Removed from cart
  • Changed quantity in cart
  • Initiated checkout
  • Bounced from landing page
  • Bounced from product page
  • Bounced from cart
  • Bounced from checkout
  • Completed billing info in checkout
  • Selected third-party payment provider
  • Took in-cart upsell
  • Took post-purchase upsell
  • Provided any login information, if a guest
  • Used express checkout (Shopify Pay, for example)

Categorizing secondary metrics

In short, when you’re running a store, all that really matters is that someone placed an order and gave you money. But you still want to prioritize and correlate secondary behaviors with the act of giving you money, so you’ll know how to run tests in the future. Let’s separate these secondary metrics out and make sense of them, so we know how to prioritize everything:

Customer navigation

  • Navigated away from the home page
  • Navigated away from the landing page
  • Visited a product

Non-customers

  • Bounced from landing page
  • Bounced from product page
  • Bounced from cart
  • Bounced from checkout

Product browsing

  • Used filtering
  • Used sorting
  • Configured a product

The primary funnel

  • Added to cart
  • Initiated checkout
  • Completed billing info in checkout
  • Selected third-party payment provider

Changes to the order

  • Took in-cart upsell
  • Took post-purchase upsell
  • Took a discount code (in, say, a modal popover)

Cart behavior

  • Removed from cart
  • Changed quantity in cart

Checkout behavior

  • Provided any login information, if a guest
  • Used express checkout (Shopify Pay, for example)

Long-term engagement

  • Subscribed to the mailing list

Prioritizing each category

Placed orders is the most important goal that you have. Every store gets it for free as part of their advanced ecommerce tracking.

The primary funnel is the most important series of events that you have. Every store should configure it and pay careful attention to it.

Beyond that, upsell takes is currently the most important set of primary metrics for most stores. It’s a huge goal for stores to increase AOV. Upsells increase AOV. So it stands to reason that you’re going to want to increase your store’s upsell take rate – by providing different sorts of upsells, updating the enticement, and potentially even offering discounts.

Next comes bounces. A reduced bounce rate generally maps to an increase in conversion rate, so it stands to reason that bounce-related metrics matter quite a bit.

After that comes most other secondary behaviors, including browsing, filtering, and sorting. These are important, of course, but they usually matter for specific tests or usability improvements. They exist downstream from more symptomatic behaviors like bouncing or taking an upsell, and usually involve further investigation in your research.

For your own store, you should take the above list of events, create any additional events & goals that matter for your particular store, and prioritize them in descending order. Re-evaluate this list twice a year, so you keep it fresh – and keep paying attention to specific customer behaviors within each event.

Wrapping up

It’s important to have clarity in what events & goals really matter to your store, and ordering isn’t the begin-all and end-all.

Sophisticated stores are digging deeper into the story and figuring out what customers – and non-customers – are really doing. By prioritizing what goals matter for your store, you’ll get a better read on customer behavior.

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