Leading Indicators: What Are They & How Can They Improve Your Business?

Beth Perry

As retail becomes increasingly competitive, commerce marketers – particularly those in the enterprise space – are under constant pressure to come up with new ways to generate revenue. Many are looking to big data, which is promising – but it can also present problems.

Whenever a consumer interacts with your brand, a numerical footprint is created. When thousands of shoppers are creating those footprints at various stages of the funnel, it can be easy to become overwhelmed by the flood of metrics: click-to-open rates, conversions, number of email sign-ups, cart sizes. And it hardly stops there.

Fortunately, you can use a number of strategies and tactics to sift through these metrics. Our latest white paper, in collaboration with Shopify Plus, Leading Indicators: KPIs for Ecommerce and Tactics to Move the Needle, outlines a few of them and reviews how to determine which ones are most valuable for your brand.

Focus on Leading Indicators

Identifying the data with the biggest influence on your brand and revenue can certainly be challenging. Which metrics really matter? Where should you apply your energy? How can you find your focus?

It all depends on your business goals or key performance indicators (KPIs). KPIs are either leading or lagging, and because they’re easier to measure, many businesses tend to focus on lagging indicators, such as revenue, profit and costs, to track performance. But these companies are missing out: If you’re not concentrating on leading indicators, you risk losing your edge as the market continues to evolve.

Leading indicators are imperative to your brand’s success. By measuring them, you can predict possible future outcomes and make adjustments to save time, resources and revenue.

Let the Data Direct Your Strategy

Deciding what leading indicators matter for your company is essential. To find the answer, you’ll need to test out different tactics and track what’s working – and what’s not. As you fine-tune your strategies, adjust as needed based on the data you’re receiving. Identify the key metrics that matter for your brand, create and implement a plan, then start measuring and tweaking as you go – and remember to maintain consistency in your reporting.

Your shoppers are constantly providing you with the data you need to convert them into loyal and satisfied customers, but it’s up to you to skillfully apply it to your business strategy and create a unified, creative and effective modern retail experience. The mystery of converting customers can become a straightforward map – and you get to decide its coordinates. You decide how to navigate it – and the possibilities are endless.

To learn more, download Leading Indicators: KPIs for Ecommerce and Tactics to Move the Needle.

One Response to “Leading Indicators: What Are They & How Can They Improve Your Business?”

  1. Len Dubois

    Superb article. I have been preaching marketing leading indicators for years. KPI’s are not the same as LI’s, nor are sales metrics. Great article Beth.

    Reply

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