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Goals, KPI’s and Segments – Web Analytics Traits Every eCommerce Manager Should Know

When you open Google Analytics, or any other analytics tool, it is easy to get overwhelmed with information. Reports, dashboards, metrics and dimensions – where should one start? So you begin looking at revenue, bounce rate and sessions but soon you realize that the insights you get from these metrics are very limited. We can not blame the data though, the data is doing its job – “It’s not you, it’s me”.


To step up the web analysis game we need to bring context to the data. % of New visits does not provide a lot of information by itself – but along with goals, KPI’s and segmentation we get a whole new perspective. If our goal would be to recruit leads, useful KPI’s would be Cost Per Acquisition and % New visits. The data can be segmented into traffic source so we understand which ones are the most profitable for this goal.

Goals are the foundation of our analysis. They guide us through the jungle of data and customize the analysis for our business. We can go further and add value to the goals.

Many eCommerce businesses today send out newsletters which can be a good micro conversion. The customer consumes content which generates value apart from your products and drives users to your site. But how much is it worth? And now we are talking revenue – which it all eventually comes down to. By knowing how much it is worth we also know how much we can spend. In this case – how many buyers were newsletter subscribers? Calculate total revenue from newsletter subscribers and divide it by the total number of subscribers you have. There you have the goal value!

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KPI’s, Key Performance Indicators, are based on the goals and help us measure them. They are always metrics and will reflect success or the opposite. If our goal is to collect leads a good KPI would be Cost Per Acquisition. Is this campaign profitable for its purpose? Now, instead of just randomly look at numbers we have a destination with our work and we know what to measure to see if we are getting there or not. Goals and KPI’s should be defined before you even open your analysis tool otherwise you will get lost in there.


Segments isolate traffic and filter the data. Our job is to make sense out of the aggregated data that the analysis tools provides us with. Again, we want to customize the reports for our business. Predefined segments are great, such as Country, Gender and Device – but we can dig deeper than that.

For our eCommerce agency we can segment users who added to cart or users who purchased. We can segment users who visited the “About Us” page or users who did steps A+B+A+D.

For example, we can look into the path of our eCommerce converters. How do they navigate through our site and does it differ from the rest of the crowd? Is there a page that frequently appears in sessions that resulted in a purchase? Do users skip steps that we thought were essential? Let’s find out!

In Google Analytics you can create Advanced Segments in almost every report. In the right corner of the report you click “Add Segment” and “New Segment”. Now only your creativity is the limit. For our specific case we would go to Behaviour, and there choose Transactions ≥ 1. You can define the segment either per User or Session. Now apply it on the report of choice and start to analyze.

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Goals, KPI’s and Segments are really essential when working with Web Analytics. Collect all these in a measurement plan where you first setup your goals and then apply the KPI’s and segments upon them.

If you know what to ask – Google Analytics has the answer!


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