Can today’s commerce companies succeed without delivering a digital experience? Even the smallest local businesses in the U.S. have some form of digital presence, usually starting with a website. But that’s not enough. You need a digital experience that stands out – across channels. That’s when you’ll see the highest returns on experience (ROX). And ROX drives gains in many of the metrics you follow most closely.
Getting an experience advantage
ROX captures the outcomes of your investment in creating better digital experiences. A connected digital experience across all touchpoints helps your company win, keep, and grow customer relationships. From ecommerce to in-store, the metrics behind ROX show whether your experience delivers or needs improvement.
Here’s an example of how the experience edge works: your next customer could be exploring your ecommerce site right now – while waiting in line for help at a competitor’s retail store. Your great digital experience lets her check your offer and get fast answers to her product questions. She can browse and buy from you while she’s walking out of your rival’s store. And it’s so fast and easy to buy from your company she becomes a return customer.
Well-designed digital experiences remove friction and bring personalization to digital commerce. From cart abandonment and sales conversion rates to average order value (AOV) and customer acquisition costs, the impact of bad, better, and best digital commerce experiences show up everywhere.
Read Calculating ROX for an overview of how you can use common metrics to measure ROX. There are a few commerce metrics to choose from. The lists below divide commerce ROX metrics into two categories: those directly related to the shopping experience (including the first shopping experience), and those that capture more of the lifecycle of customer relationships.
Shopping experience metrics
There’s a first for everything: first purchase, first page view, first conversion. With digital experiences, firsts that aren’t great become lasts. To measure ROX, look for these key shopping metrics to improve:
Sales conversion rate: This core commerce metric measures the percentage of visitors to your experience who purchase something. To find your conversion rate, divide the number of sales by the number of shoppers and multiply by 100%. It’s a formula you can apply to any timeframe. If you have 100 sales and 1000 visitors in a day, your conversion rate for that day is 10%. Digital experience improvements that can enhance your conversion rate include personalized promotions and product suggestions, engaging imagery, and targeted how-to content.
Bounce: When a person visits your experience and leaves after viewing a single page, that’s a bounce. Your bounce rate is the percentage of visitors who bounce. The lower that number the better. An engaging digital experience draws people to stay on your site longer. People who don’t bounce consume content, browse, and many of them convert too.
Abandoned carts: Divide the number of sales by the number of carts created. Multiply the result by 100%. That’s your abandoned cart rate. A potential customer liked your products enough to put something in their cart. Then they left. Why? It could have been something unrelated to the digital experience, like fulfillment time. But often the digital experience contributes by both making the transaction smooth and by providing an easy way to address issues.
Customer acquisition costs (CAC): To calculate CAC, divide your marketing spend by the number of customers for a given period. A great digital experience helps win customers thanks to all of the above: lower bounce, fewer abandoned carts, and more conversions. That adds up to a lower CAC per customer.
Customer lifecycle metrics
Effective commerce experiences are built on two foundations: lower transaction friction and personalization. People find the products they want and need faster, and they can buy – again and again – without hassle. It’s a winning combo for metrics that improve with longer, stronger relationships, including:
Repeat purchase rate: The calculation here is simple, divide the number of customers who’ve bought more than once by the total number of customers for a given period. A climbing repeat rate says customers like your digital experience enough to come again. When you invest in digital experiences, look for this rate to rise. Customer retention should rise too, but that number is usually calculated using much larger time scales, such as a year or a quarter. Repeat purchase rates, on the other hand, can measure an experience difference much more quickly than retention.
Average order value (AOV): This is the average value of all orders over a defined time period, such as a day, week, or month. Just divide your commerce revenue by the number of orders. That’s your AOV. Higher is better, and many things can impact AOV, such as changes to your product mix, promotions, and the digital experience. More personalized experiences connect people with products they’re more likely to want, increasing AOV thanks to effective cross-selling, upselling, and bundling. AI-powered experiences can help match customers with can’t-miss options based on past shopping and/or on what’s in their cart.
Returns: Great experiences deliver the right content, the right products, and the right answers to customers – at the right time. That should result in fewer returns. Look at return rates as you create and refine experiences. If return rates don’t decline (or increase), look for the reason.
Customer lifetime value (CLTV): Many commerce leaders consider CLTV a guiding light. It’s easy to understand why: it’s the average value of a customer over time. Look at all the metrics listed above. A shift in any one increases CLTV. The more metrics your commerce experience improves, the more likely you’ll see a dramatic rise in CLTV. How do you calculate CLTV? Multiply the average purchase value by the average purchase rate (that’s the number of purchases for a time period). Multiply the result by the average lifespan of customer relationships, and then subtract customer acquisition costs.
Digital experience wins add up fast in commerce. Consider sports equipment maker POC. After POC reworked its digital shopping experience, the company increased AOV by 18% and orders per session rose by 20%. Shoemaker Wolverine Worldwide focused its efforts on converting mobile visitors to its commerce experience. The result? A 19% increase in total mobile conversions accompanied by a drop in cart abandonment rate. And reducing friction in your checkout flow can deliver meaningful results, as these examples show.
Would you like to turn every visitor to your commerce experience into a customer? That’s an ambitious quest. Get there and you’ll have the most successful digital commerce offering ever. Take the first step today. Explore ways to transform checkout. Go big by rethinking how content, products, and check outcomes together for each customer.
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