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Leah Faul4/9/15 9:24 AM3 min read

5 Ways to Measure The Real ROI of E-Commerce Marketing


ROI for internet marketing is notoriously difficult to calculate.

Most SEO companies will offer vague explanations of intangibles, like the customer who sees your ad for three months on Facebook, doesn’t click, but recommends you to a friend who does. Honestly, there are a lot of variables, but when it comes to measuring the real-world success of your internet marketing efforts, it is possible.

Here are the five primary success markers to look for – and why they’ll result in real revenue. 

1.  Stickiness: How Long Do Visitors Stick Around?

When potential customers land on your page, how long do they stick around? Do they come back? This is what is referred to as “stickiness,” and “stickiness” is very valuable. Stickiness is how engaged your audience is, and how well your SEO is working to bring the right people together with the products or services want.

In practical terms, stickiness is measured in Unique Visitors, Pageviews, Visit Duration, Return Visits, and Bounce Rate – all easy numbers to find with any website analytics tool.

2.  Virulence

How fast are you spreading over the internet? When people like what you do, they’ll spread the word faster than chicken-pox in a kindergarten class. Okay, that’s a bad example, but you get the idea. You’ll be shared on Facebook, Tweeted and re-Tweeted on Twitter, posted on Pinterest, Liked and Favorited.

How do you get all of this attention? 

A few parts of your business and marketing need to work together:

  • First, you need great customer service (otherwise, your reputation will spread online, but not in the way you want it to!).
  • Second, you need a product or service people want and need.
  • Third, you need consistently moving content on your site to keep bringing in Unique Visitors and Pageviews – ie. a blog.
  • Fourth, you need to make your Social Media presence a priority.
You can easily measure your social media reach by using each Social Media’s metrics, like Facebook Insights.

3.  Lead Quantity & Quality

This is where you start to see money come in. Your goal is to generate leads for your sales team through your website. That’s what e-commerce is all about, after all. While you’re doing this, it’s important to start recording the number of leads, and their quality (ie. who makes the first purchase, and who comes back for more), and calculating how much you think each lead is worth. From there, you can tailor your marketing efforts to your top clients. A recent statistic reported by Hubspot showed that the “best customers” spend around 30-times more than average customers, so they’re well worth recognizing and pursuing!

4.  The “R” in ROI: Revenue

To find our real, dollar-amount ROI, you need to combine your web analytics with your order data. The numbers in your order processing data will help you find not only the revenue generated by first-time buyers, but the even more important dollars generated by repeat customers. This leads to determining Customer Lifetime Value.  

5.  Customer Lifetime Value

Here’s the kicker – you spend most of your time and money on generating good leads, but you reap the benefits here, with Customer Lifetime Value. You’ve already spent money telling them you exist and giving them reasons to like you, and with just a little occasional effort on your part, these happy customers will keep coming back. The more “Lifers” you collect, the higher your profit margin.

All of these success markers lead new customers through the conversion funnel, from first-time viewers to return clients willing to sing your praises to everyone they know. And, of course, they lead to more revenue for you, which is what we consider real ROI. 

Click the link below to learn more about S.M.A.R.T. Marketing Goals and begin reaching the ROI goals you have for your E-Commerce website today.

SMART Marketing Goals Worksheet Download


Leah Faul

Leah has a passion for marketing, design, and business development. She harnessed her creativity as an intern at various marketing firms while attending Memphis College of Art on a merit based scholarship. No stranger to wearing multiple hats or managing a variety of projects, Leah has spearheaded growth at previous companies to impressive heights while serving as Marketing Director and resident SEO expert. Leah frequents marketing conferences such as Hubspot’s Inbound, MozCon, and Digital Summit where she can tease out cutting edge digital marketing strategies for clients. Joining the team in 2015, Leah brings a creative, refined approach to learning client needs, delivering beyond expectation, and an unwavering desire to continue to grow and excel. Leah believes in thinking outside the box and spends a majority of her free time adding to her personal art portfolio. At work she uses that innovative approach to create, problem solve, and strategically position clients to dominate in their industry.