Welcome to the final - and for digital marketers, perhaps the most exciting - installment of our e-commerce series: measuring the success of a digital campaign.
In Part 1 of our E-commerce Series, we talked about why the fourth quarter presents the biggest online shopping opportunity of the year for brands and how advertisers can use specific data to build attractive campaigns.
In Part 2, we delved into how you can leverage the data and insights to push awareness into consideration and ultimately have a consumer buy your product or service.
Now in Part 3, we hone in on measurement.
In a study Google commissioned from Econsultancy in 2016, we found top performing brands, - those significantly exceeding their business goals - are 75% more likely to have moved to a more holistic model of measurement in the last two years. Doing this leads to results. Organizations that tie marketing metrics directly to business objectives are three times more likely to hit their goal, according to Google research.
With measurement, we must define initial objectives and the right KPI’s associated with these objectives. This allows us to align business objectives with marketing KPI’s.
This case study on Toyota ALJ After Sales addresses this beautifully; the main challenge was that people perceived Toyota service – which operates under the brand Abdul Latif Jameel (ALJ) in KSA – as high quality but unfortunately too expensive. To tackle this clearly stated objective, ALJ created a fun animated series, Khebayyes & AbuHurayyes, on YouTube. The main goal was to change perceptions about ALJ’s value for money proposition by educating customers in an engaging way about the differences between using genuine and non-genuine parts and services. The success of Khebayyes & AbuHurayyes was exceptional, achieving massive reach and gaining vast popularity in KSA. It led to 11.8 million people reached and 202,500 new subscriptions to the YouTube channel, making Toyota Service Saudi the #1 Toyota channel globally.
By clearing defining their marketing goal and aligning it with their business goal, Toyota ALJ were able to measure the success at the end with clarity.
Measurement: A Closer Look
We can drill a little deeper into measuring success of efforts made at each stage of the marketing funnel.
As discussed in part 2, raising awareness deals with announcements: a new phone, new fashion collection, new way to navigate an online shopping site.
Measuring success of efforts made at the awareness stage is all about unique reach, brand awareness, ad recall. Here, you can assess factors including percentage of unique reach and whether or not you were able to create top of mind awareness. The Toyota ALJ case study mentioned above is a great example of this.
At this stage, consumers are searching more specifically for something they want and are seriously considering your product. One way to measure this via paid search is that higher click through rates are an indication of higher engagement with your ad. From a site perspective, this could be measured through time on site and number of pageviews per session
When the purchase moment arrives, brands need to be able to quickly shift from fostering customer connections to enabling smooth conversions. But how do they do it? That's the puzzle that faced Wayfair and Sephora, two leading companies in the home goods and beauty spaces, respectively. In this case-study, we illustrate how to measure success at the consideration stage. Sephora created “How-To” makeup tutorials on YouTube as TrueView pre-rolls that performed remarkably well; viewers could have skipped after five seconds, but instead chose to watch the how-tos for an average of nearly two minutes.
At each stage, there are factors to potentially measure. At the purchase stage, when a consumer is ready to press the ‘buy’ button, the main KPI’s traditionally include conversion rate, cost per transaction and return on ad spend. In the aforementioned case study of Wayfair and Sephora, the two brands wanted their YouTube content to drive sales, so they used TrueView for shopping to engage new customers. This approach provided an essential e-commerce layer, delivering a 3X increase in revenue performance for Wayfair.
Another strong example from a local case study comes from major Saudi retailer eXtra. The company’s integrated strategy has made the most of the opportunity to drive online sales through search. Year over year, the company has seen search ads deliver a 129% increase in return on investment and we make the link on eXtra clickable.
Then there are additional ways to assess measurement in Google’s suite of products.
Google Analytics, the most widely used free tool on the Internet used to track and report website traffic, lets you monitor your entire e-commerce journey.
For an e-commerce player, you must have the right Google Analytics setup to allow them to measure the entire consumer journey from moment a customer enters a site for the first time until they actually click ‘buy’. By enabling this measurement tool, you can explore detailed ways of looking at data:
- Audience: Tells us where a user is coming from, new or returning visitor, kind of device used (mobile vs desktop vs tablet), and additional demographics. When you understand more about who is coming to your site, you can cater to them. For example, if people are viewing your site mainly on mobile, but you have a high mobile bounce rate, you can turn your attention to fixing that.
- Acquisition: Understand the people you are bringing to your site - which traffic source are they coming from? Paid Google channels? Organic ones? Social media? Any other referral? This is important in order to measure the performance of each channel when it comes to bounce rate, paid views per session, and conversion rates. A digital marketer will enjoy this to determine which channel is performing better than the other.
- Behavior: What are these users doing on the site? At this stage, there is less focus on who they are and how they came to your site, but rather on understanding the user journey flow. This is the content driven part of the site. You can assess whether some pages are more popular than others. The most important part is measuring consumer journey of checkout funnel. Did they purchase or abandon the cart
- Conversion: Enhanced E-commerce. This will help you measure consumers who add products to an online shopping cart, who go through the checkout funnel, the ones who abandon and those who ultimately purchase. It’s a powerful tool to familiarize you with your customers.
In this global case study, Texas-based Brian Gavin Diamonds used Google Analytics to determine that the jewelry company had over $500K in lost revenue due to high cart abandonment rate. They were able to increase checkout to payment page by 60% and made improvements to site features for improved customer experience and conversions.
This local case study on regional e-commerce site Mumzworld shows a remarkable 300% increase on return on ad spend using Enhanced E-commerce feature and data imports on Google Analytics.
If you are a developer interested in implementing Enhanced E-commerce it to your site, details and dev link can be found here.
Spotlight on YouTube Analytics
For brand specific metrics, refer to brand lift survey. Google's Brand Lift solution measures the moments that matter—from initial impression to final conversion—with the metrics that matter, like brand awareness, ad recall, and consideration. You'll glean insights within a matter of a few days, so you can adjust your YouTube campaigns according to what's working in near real time.
When it comes to YouTube, there’s a powerful free tool called YouTube Analytics. It gives you the ability to analyze factors including audience, demographic, acquisition, behavior.
Video Engagement Metrics are available to you, such as percentage of video watched, where a did a viewer drop off. Also, you may be seeing views as a rising number, but are people actually engaging with your ad?
Studying YouTube analytics is particularly useful in the awareness stage.
When we think about measurement when it comes to e-commerce success, it’s not just about clicks or impressions, but measuring specific action or engagement that we want the user to take. Then we know the end result should be an increase in sales, but we can’t just measure that as in number of people who purchased online, but also key success metrics across the funnel.