Essential Data for E-Commerce Merchants: A Guide to Informed Decision-Making

In today’s digital age, data is often referred to as the “new oil” – a valuable resource that fuels business growth and innovation. For e-commerce merchants, data is the key to understanding customer behavior, optimizing operations, and making informed decisions. But what kind of data should e-commerce merchants always have at their fingertips? In this blog post, we will explore the essential data that every e-commerce merchant should collect and analyze to thrive in a competitive online marketplace.

Sales Data

Sales data is the lifeblood of any e-commerce business. It provides insights into your revenue, product performance, and customer purchasing behavior. Here are some key sales metrics that merchants should track:


Monitor your daily, weekly, and monthly revenue to assess the overall health of your business.

Conversion Rate

Understand the percentage of visitors who make a purchase on your website. This metric helps identify opportunities for improving your website’s user experience and checkout process, or where there might be fraudulent charges happening.

Average Order Value (AOV)

AOV reveals the average amount customers spend per transaction. Increasing AOV can boost your profitability.

Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC)

Calculate how much it costs to acquire each new customer. This data helps evaluate the efficiency of your marketing campaigns.

Customer Data

Understanding your customers is crucial for tailoring your marketing strategies and enhancing the customer experience. Collect and analyze the following customer data:


Know the age, gender, location, and interests of your customers. This information can guide your marketing efforts and product offerings, and again help you understand if a purchase is potentially fraudulent.

Purchase History

Keep track of what customers have bought in the past. This data informs personalized product recommendations and cross-selling opportunities.

Customer Lifetime Value (CLV)

CLV measures the long-term value of a customer. It helps you identify high-value customers and allocate resources accordingly.

Churn Rate

Track the rate at which customers stop purchasing from your store. Reducing churn is often more cost-effective than acquiring new customers.

Website Analytics

Website analytics tools provide valuable insights into user behavior on your e-commerce site. Key website metrics include:

Traffic Sources

Understand where your website visitors come from – whether it’s organic search, paid advertising, social media, or referrals.

Bounce Rate

Bounce rate indicates the percentage of visitors who leave your website after viewing only one page. A high bounce rate may signal issues with site navigation or content.

Page Views and Time on Page

Analyze which pages are popular and how long visitors spend on them. This information helps optimize content and user experience.

Cart Abandonment Rate

Track how often shoppers add items to their cart but do not complete the purchase. Reducing cart abandonment is a prime opportunity to recover potential sales.

Inventory and Product Data

Efficient inventory management is essential for e-commerce success. Collect data on your product inventory, including:

Stock Levels

Ensure you have real-time data on product availability to prevent overselling or stock outs.

Product Performance

Identify your best-selling products, slow movers, and items with high return rates.

Supplier and Shipping Data

Keep track of supplier lead times, shipping costs, and delivery times to optimize your supply chain.

Product Reviews and Ratings

Monitor customer reviews and ratings to improve product quality and gather valuable feedback.

Marketing and Advertising Metrics

To maximize the ROI of your marketing efforts, e-commerce merchants should gather data related to their advertising campaigns:

Click-Through Rate (CTR)

CTR measures the effectiveness of your ads by tracking the percentage of people who click on them.

Cost Per Click (CPC) and Return on Ad Spend (ROAS)

Evaluate the cost-effectiveness of your advertising campaigns.

Email Marketing Performance

Track open rates, click rates, and conversion rates for your email marketing campaigns to refine your messaging and segmentation.

Social Media Engagement

Measure likes, shares, comments, and follower growth to assess the impact of your social media marketing.

Customer Support and Feedback

Customer feedback is a goldmine of insights for e-commerce businesses. Collect and analyze data related to customer support and feedback:

Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) Score

Survey customers to gauge their satisfaction levels and identify areas for improvement.

Net Promoter Score (NPS)

Measure customer loyalty by asking how likely customers are to recommend your store to others.

Customer Support Tickets

Monitor the volume and resolution times of customer support inquiries.

Product Returns and Refunds

Analyze the reasons behind product returns to identify quality or sizing issues.

Security and Fraud Data

Protecting your e-commerce business from fraud is essential. Collect data on security-related incidents, such as:

Fraud Attempts

Track fraudulent orders and attempts to protect your revenue and reputation.

Chargeback Rates

Monitor chargebacks to identify potential fraud or disputes with customers.

Cybersecurity Threats

Stay vigilant against data breaches and security threats that could compromise customer information. In conclusion, the success of e-commerce merchants hinges on their ability to collect, analyze, and leverage data effectively. By maintaining a robust data infrastructure and regularly reviewing the essential data mentioned above, e-commerce businesses can make informed decisions, enhance the customer experience, optimize operations, and ultimately thrive in the competitive online marketplace. Remember, in the world of e-commerce, data is not just a resource; it’s the key to sustained growth and success.

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