Most people have reports for overall website traffic, total orders, and which products are selling. But how many people understand how to analyze the performance of their collection pages? There's no built in reporting to most ecommerce platforms, which leaves store owners flying blind on a surface that 80% of their store traffic interacts with. Sometimes, more people will end up visiting a collection page than visit a homepage (as a result of marketing campaigns sending traffic directly to collection pages). Can you imagine not having insight into the performance of your home page? Of course not. The same should go for collection pages. This post shows you (1) how to think about the performance of your collection pages (2) what KPIs to use and (3) benchmarks that indicate success
There are 5 essential data points you need to measure and track on a daily basis.
Most of the time, these data points will not be available in the standard reports within your ecommerce platform. As a result, you'll need to use a tracking pixel (we recommend Snowplow) to capture user level data and pageviews on your site. We'll add a guide for how to set up a tracking pixel on your site in the future.
Once you have the metrics above captured, you're ready to calculate the KPIs you'll need to measure performance.
Whenever you're using KPIs, you want to make sure each metric links to a clear business questions that allows you to take action. You can think of the metrics below as answering:
Collections live and die based on the number of people who actually visit the page for a simple reason - you can't shop from a collection if you never navigate to the page. On most stores, you'll see the top 5-10 collections recieve 50%+ of all the collection views, so understanding which collections recieve the most views is essential for figuring out how to spend your time effectively.
In general, you'll want to see at least 200 visitors per week hitting a collection page. If you see less traffic going to that page, it's probably a good indicator that you can remove the collection from your navigation and try something else.
Measuring the difference in traffic this month vs last month helps you understand seasonal trends in shopping behavior. And it also lets you pick up on site changes that may have slipped under the radar. We've seen a number of clients not realize that a high performing, high traffic collection got moved out of their top navigation. As a result, views to that collection plummeted month over month, and products that had been selling really well suddenly had a lot of unsold inventory - because they were no longer being discovered.
While traffic will tell you where your users are going, revenue generated from items in the collection page will tell you where those users are shopping. Most of the time, clicks and revenue will be correlated; however there are collections with high prices - like furniture - where revenue generated can substantially differ from traffic.
The other nuance in understanding revenue from collection pages is that you want to make sure users are buying the product after they discovered it on the collection page. This is one of the reasons why having a tracking pixel is key. If a product is high selling, you want to understand how much of its visibility is the result of listing pages rather than product promotions (i.e being featured on the homepage or in an email).
Calculated as the (# of users viewing products within a collection) / (the number of users visiting the collection page), the view through rate tells you whether or not visitors are discovering products they're interested in within the collection. The worse thing you can have happen is drive a user to a collection they're excited about and then bounce when they don't find anything worth clicking on.
Collection pages with a view through rate of > 40% indicate strong interest in the product assortment. Pages with a view through rate of < 25% indicate that the product assortment isn't lining up with users expecations.
Dollars per visitor to the collection page is the ultimate measure of collection page efficiency. It tells you whether or not visitors are actually buying the items they discover on your collection pages, and, as a result, is a good barometer for whether or not the assortment in the collection is meeting visitors' expecations.
High performing collection pages will have dollars per visitor that exceed $1.00. Low performing collection pages will dollars per visitor below $0.30.
Great - now you have the basic metrics and KPIs you need to understand collection page performance... but what do you actually do with this information? How do you efficiently synthesize these data points to make improvements to your store? That's where collection segmentation comes in. By combining the data points above, you can quickly design treatment plans to optimize each of your collections.
Take any collections that receive more than 5% of your total collection views and put them in their own segment, regardless of view through rate or dollars per user. Usually, there will be about 5-10 collections in this segment. These are the collections you should focus on optimizing first because an incremental performance improvements will get multiplied by the amount of traffic reaching the collection. Each month, you want to make sure:
Here, you're looking for collections on your site with at least 200 views per week and > 40% view through rate and > $1.00 per user. These are the collections you want to harvest insights from that you can use to
These are moderate traffic collections with low view through and low dollars per user. You want to understand why these collections are performign poorly. Typically, collections with low view through suffer from (1) not having enough products within a collection and (2) having out of stock products dominating top positions within the collection. If view through looks ok, but dollars per user is low, it means something is likely off with the product selection itself. It may be time to retire certain products (i.e. a shoe style that's no longer in vogue) for a fresher assortment.
If a collection is receiving less than 50 visits per week, it's usually a sign that one of two things is happening: (1) its a collection that's impossible to discover on your site (i.e. it's not featured in any of your top of side navigation bars) or (2) it's a collection your customers aren't interested in. If the collection isn't discoverable, the solution is easy: add it to your navigation to start driving views! If the collection is discoverable, and it's not getting clicks, then it's time to start testing new collection ideas that may generate more user interest.
There's a lot of information in this article, and, sometimes, it can be helpful to see how to use it in an example. Here's how the collection segmentation looks in the analysis we run for clients as well as a link to our Collection Analysis Template.