Live from Shop.org: Monday Morning Metrics

Oct 12, 2006 8:17 PM  By

New York—With football, almost everyone is a Monday morning quarterback. With multichannel commerce, almost everyone should be a Monday morning quarterback. In the Shop.org session “Which Numbers Do Multichannel Retailers Look At Each Monday Morning” here on Oct. 11, experts detailed some of the metrics marketers should pore over every Monday.

Panelist Al Bessin, a partner at catalog agency Lenser, said that merchants have to sift through hundreds of metrics to help them determine the source of demand, recognize trends, support stakeholder reporting for public companies, and identify problems.

Bessin noted that metrics should be actionable, be indicators of trends, and support executive reporting. “If you’re looking at numbers that you can’t do anything about, it’s not useful,” he said.

Kelley Day, senior vice president of Discovery Interactive for science products/gifts retailer The Discovery Channel Store, said that most analytic tools provide an abundance of data. The question is, Which are important? The answer, she said, is revenue by source, conversion by product, and the profitability of offers.

You have to manage the business by revenue source, Day said, noting that knowing where business is coming from is key, and establishing responsibility for revenue goals per employee is critical to managing successfully.

Conversion by product is a crucial metric, Day continued. “It’s important for Discovery Store to look at how well individual products are converting,” she said, by looking at the sales units for products that attract the most online visitors. The merchant focuses on low-performing products, to see if factors such as noncompetitive pricing are hurting sales. “We try to address that now, in the fourth quarter, rather than have a bunch of stuff we’re stuck with in January.”