There are many forums online where E-Commerce is discussed. While most have a large presence from suppliers who wish to promote their service, there will be many interesting discussions. Included in these will be discussions on measurement.
Your hosting service should provide you with statistics to see how many people visit, where they come from, what proportion immediately leave (bounce rates), what country they are browsing from and more. This information may also be available through an analytics packages.
Google analytics is a free service from Google that allows you to analyse where prospects have come from and what they do when they arrive on your web site. A good E-Commerce service will already have set this up and will make it available free of charge.
Using the analysis tools mentioned above it’s possible to see where your traffic is originating. This enables you to understand which aspect of your marketing is yielding the most results and to then concentrate your firepower in that area. You can also look at the cost of activities in each area to determine which is the most effective.
Google website optimizer is another free service from Google which allows you to test changes to the site and see what produces the best results. It’s worth implementing this so you can test changes made to your site.
With Google Optimizer in place, you can now start conducting testing. This is usually known as A/B testing. You have two ways of presenting yours site, for instance A has a discount voucher field and B doesn’t. You now compare results to see which results in the most orders. It’s not at all unusual for people to be shocked by the results and to be able to substantially improve site sales as a consequence.
The ultimate objective in measuring marketing spend is to see how many sales of what products result from each amount spent. This should be possible using Google Analytics. You then ramp up spend on the things that are working and focus improvements in the areas that aren’t.