As an online seller running an online business you know that before you do anything else you have to make sure you’ve got lots to sell.
Once you’ve determined that you have enough merchandise, it’s time to get online and sell. I’ve already discussed lead generation (see Lead Generation Ideas for Online Sellers) which will help generate more sales. But how do you know which lead generation activities have been most effective?
You’re going to have to measure
In order to succeed in the online selling world you’re going to have to be proactive and become well informed about your business and the effectiveness of your efforts.
SMART metrics measure specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-based targets.
At the beginning of developing your online business, you may find it difficult to set SMART metrics. But like everything in life, it’s a matter of practice, setting benchmarks and learning from trial and error.
Right now, you may not have any idea about how many social media followers or shares you can expect; no benchmark for the number of leads your e-commerce platforms will produce ; neither do you know how many leads a single online advertisement will create. But by the end of your first year in business (if not before), you’ll be able to look back on each of your activities and be able to measure your impact on social media as well as your conversion rates - that is how many and which activities have helped turn interested prospects into buying clients. These numbers, the ones that your activities generate, will give you an indication of how you’re doing and what changes need to be made in your plan.
They will also provide you with a benchmark by which to measure your future efforts and goals. And they are crucial for your success as an online seller. Because not measuring your efforts will cost you. Time and money. And without figuring out what doesn’t work, you’ll continue to waste time and money and risk finding yourself in a perpetual cycle of loss.
What this means is that everything must be recorded. It’s important to measure activities that have an impact on sales. Social media followers, for example, is an important metric because it gives you an indication of how many people have looked at your wares. However, it’s true significance lies with regard to how many purchases were made through social media.
You also may want to measure how much traffic was driven to your site, what specific activity drove the traffic to your site, customer reviews et al. You can never measure too much.
Be diligent in recording the different aspects of your business. It will pay off.
Measure the effectiveness of your business.
Make sure your metrics follow SMART criteria.
Record all actions related to your goals. After your first year in business go back and measure. How did you fare? What worked? What didn’t? Where should you invest more time and money? Where should you invest less?
Make an action plan for your next year based on the metrics of the previous year. This time don’t wait an entire year to measure. Measure at every quarter or six months. How did you fare? Repeat as above.
Buffer will help you schedule content and automatically post it to the channels you select. Its helpful dashboard will enable you to view what posts are getting the most attention.
Google Analytics is a powerful service that can generate detailed statistics about your site’s traffic and its conversion rate to sales.
Written by Liat Behr
Liat is a content wordsmith at WiseStamp and copywriter at Ink of Imagination. She delights in creating and sharing valuable tips and helping businesses craft effective content.
When she’s not writing content, she can be found in the world of fiction, embarking on adventures with her characters.