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ECommerce Goals: 4 Objectives + Concrete Metrics for Enhancing Performance

min read

published on

May 29, 2024

Are you leveraging the full potential of your B2B eCommerce strategy? Or are you at risk of falling behind in an increasingly digital marketplace?

Companies that misalign their focus or pursue broad goals put their growth at risk and may lose their competitive edge — resulting in diminished market share and slow-growing revenue. 

It is a daunting prospect, but one you can avoid with the right approach. 

In this article, we delve into four goals of B2B eCommerce, sharing critical metrics and actionable insights to ensure your digital commerce strategies are fully optimized.

Short on time? Here are the key takeaways

B2B eCommerce companies should focus on these four data-driven goals to ensure success:

  • Regain control over your sales by investing in a unified Commerce platform that gives you detailed insights into customer behavior. This helps you refine your sales approach.
  • Collect and analyze data from customer touchpoints across all your sales channels to understand and anticipate customer needs. This way, you can tailor your offerings and predict future buying behaviors.
  • Predict future needs by adopting predictive analytics and AI to forecast trends and customer behaviors. This will help you make proactive adjustments and improve customer satisfaction.
  • Finally, balance ambition and pragmatism. Aim for innovation but stay grounded in practicality to make the most of your resources and achieve a strong ROI (return on investment).

ECommerce goal #1: Regain control over your sales

In B2B eCommerce, the complexity of transactions and the huge amount of data generated can be overwhelming.

New entrants to the market often struggle to capture and organize this data effectively. And even for those who do, interpreting data from all the necessary angles can be difficult — leading to overlooked insights and misinterpretations.

This puts companies at risk of losing control over their sales processes.

Fortunately, investing in a robust eCommerce platform (we recommend SaaS over on-premise solutions) can significantly alleviate these challenges by allowing you to understand transactions from every angle. This makes it easier to provide self-service solutions for customers and empowers sales teams to place orders on their behalf — both of which significantly reduce friction. 

There are a few important metrics to help you measure this online sales goal: 

ECommerce sales vs. overall sales

This metric shows how effective your online channels are in your overall sales strategy.

Understanding this ratio helps you gauge the impact of your digital presence and refine your approach to capture more market share online. This way, you can ensure your investments in eCommerce yield tangible results.

Expert advice: You can boost your percentage of eCommerce sales by making your eCommerce site user-friendly. Improve its navigation and interface design so customers can find products easily. Also, regularly review your sales data to spot trends and adjust your promotions to boost online sales even more.

Customer retention rate

This metric tracks how many customers return to make additional purchases and is crucial because it typically costs less to retain existing customers than to acquire new ones.

A high retention rate indicates customer satisfaction and loyalty, which can drive consistent revenue and provide a stable foundation for growth.

You can improve your customer retention rate by implementing personalized customer service, such as through a dedicated account manager. Additionally, customize your email marketing efforts based on customers’ past purchases and preferences to keep them engaged and encourage repeat visits. 

Finally, carefully consider your customers’ values and how you can engage with them. For example, many companies are trying to reduce their carbon footprint and environmental impact, so a focus on sustainable eCommerce practices could help make you a more appealing option. 

Number of unique visitors

Knowing the number of unique visitors to your site gives you insights into your brand’s reach and the effectiveness of your marketing efforts in attracting potential new customers.

This metric is a vital indicator of your site’s visibility and is key in converting initial interest into engaged customers.

If you have a B2B site that is open to the public, there are a few ways you can attract visitors. First, focus on SEO by optimizing your site’s content for relevant search terms. Additionally, engage on social media to create compelling content that drives traffic to your site. You can also consider targeted pay-per-click (PPC) advertising to draw additional traffic.

Cost of acquisition

In any B2B eCommerce company — from B2B retail to B2B construction — understanding the cost of acquiring a new customer helps you assess the effectiveness of your marketing and sales strategies.

To ensure your customer acquisition cost (CAC) is low and your spending is effective, consider refining your lead qualification process to focus on high-potential prospects. You might also try leveraging existing customer relationships and incentivizing new client referrals. 

Alternatively, explore strategic partnerships with businesses whose products complement yours. You can cross-promote each other’s offerings and tap into new customer bases!

ECommerce goal #2: Understand & anticipate

Companies that struggle to collect data from transactions and customer interactions will have trouble understanding their customers and anticipating their needs. As a result, they will be less able to adjust their offering to meet specific needs or to predict future buying partners. 

This leads to missed opportunities, inefficiencies in inventory and supply chain management, and ultimately, lower customer satisfaction and reduced growth. 

A data-driven approach within the right SaaS, PaaS, or IaaS infrastructure can help businesses avoid these challenges and meet this eCommerce goal. With the right platform, companies can aggregate and analyze data from customer touchpoints and get a full picture of customer behavior and preferences.

Once you have a solid B2B eCommerce platform in place, there are a few key metrics to watch: 

Conversion rate

This is the percentage of visitors to your eCommerce site who take a desired action, such as completing a purchase.

A high conversion rate means your site is effective at encouraging visitors to act, which is key for getting the most out of your web traffic.

To boost your conversion rate, you must first understand your target audience and ensure they have all the information they need to make a purchase — e.g., by providing informative product descriptions and clear pricing (especially if you use a tiered or volume-based pricing model). 

It is also important to make it easy for customers to buy from you. Clear and compelling calls to action (CTAs) and a straightforward checkout process with multiple payment options can help remove friction that might prevent a visitor from completing a purchase.

Additionally, consider running A/B tests on different page layouts or promotionals, tweaking your eCommerce copywriting to see what clicks with your audience. Plus, remember that even small incentives — such as a 10% discount on orders of 50-75 units versus no discount on orders of 1-49 units — can make a big difference in boosting conversions.

Average Order Value

Average Order Value (AOV) measures the typical amount a customer spends when placing an order. 

Increasing your AOV is a direct way to increase your revenue without proportionally bumping up your marketing costs. There are a couple of ways to do this.

For starters, enhance your product suggestions with high-quality eCommerce product photography that complements what your customer is already purchasing. This could be through pop-up recommendations or at checkout — think of it as helping them find the perfect accessories for their purchase. 

In addition, bundling products for a special price can encourage customers to buy more in one go.

Gross Merchandise Value

Gross Merchandise Value (GMV) represents the total sales dollar value for merchandise sold through your platform over a specific time, not accounting for returns.

GMV is an important indicator of the scalability and performance of your eCommerce business and the overall success of your sales strategies.

To improve GMV, look into adding more variety to your product offerings to attract a wider audience or tapping into new market segments. Running targeted marketing campaigns to raise awareness about your products can also help increase your GMV by driving more sales.

Average Basket Value

This is the average total of each transaction completed by a customer at checkout. Knowing this figure is key to shaping your pricing and product placement strategies.

To improve this metric, take a closer look at which products customers frequently buy together and make sure they are easy to find and buy together on your site. Also, providing a slight discount when customers reach a certain basket value can motivate them to add more items to their purchases.

ECommerce goal #3: Predict future needs

Many businesses struggle to anticipate future needs and manage unexpected events effectively.

Unfortunately, traditional methods, such as manual data analysis and simple historical trend extrapolation, often fall short in accurately forecasting customer behavior and market trends.

This gap leads to reactive rather than proactive strategies, adding undue pressure on customer success teams. Likewise, it endangers customer satisfaction, as businesses are unprepared for sudden changes in demand or customer issues.

To navigate these challenges, businesses should fully embrace predictive analytics and artificial intelligence (AI). These technologies can transform vast amounts of data into actionable insights and accurate forecasts, allowing you to: 

  • Automatically detect patterns and predict trends that human analysts might miss.
  • Quickly adjust to changes in customer behavior or market conditions before they impact your business.
  • Empower your customer success teams with real-time data and predictive insights, enabling them to offer proactive support and solve potential issues before they escalate.

A few key metrics to watch include:

Bounce rate

This is the percentage of visitors who leave your site — or “bounce” — after viewing only one page.

It is a good indicator of whether your content and user experience are meeting visitors’ expectations. (The lower your bounce rate, the more engaged and interested visitors are in exploring further content and offerings on your site.)

To lower your bounce rate, ensure your landing pages are engaging and relevant to your audience. Consider using eye-catching visuals, clear CTAs, and interactive elements that encourage visitors to explore more of your site.

NPS Score

NPS Score, or Net Promoter Score, measures customer satisfaction and loyalty. It is calculated after asking customers to rate (from 1-10) how likely they are to recommend your business to others.

This metric is an excellent predictor of growth potential and customer loyalty.

You can improve your NPS Score by closely monitoring feedback and quickly addressing any issues. Regularly updating your product offerings and customer service practices based on this feedback can also help enhance customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Customer Lifetime Value (CLV)

Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) is the total revenue you can anticipate from a customer in their relationship with your company. This metric helps you see the lasting value of your customer connections.

To bump up your CLV, focus on personalizing customer interactions and building strong relationships. Customizing your marketing and product suggestions based on individual customer data can increase satisfaction and keep customers coming back, boosting their lifetime value.

ECommerce goal #4: Balance ambition & pragmatism

We often see this at DJUST: Companies struggle to strike the right balance between ambition and pragmatism. 

On one hand, lack of ambition can result in missed opportunities and a reluctance to initiate efforts that drive growth. On the other, excessive ambition without practical considerations can result in complex, costly, and time-consuming projects. This can divert attention and resources from the more achievable and immediate goals of eCommerce.

Expert advice: To successfully balance the two, companies need to foster a culture of strategic planning and incremental innovation. Start by setting clear, achievable goals for eCommerce that also push the boundaries of current capabilities. Take a phased approach to project development where you can test ideas in scalable stages, allowing for adjustments and learning without committing excessive resources upfront. Additionally, encourage cross-departmental collaboration to ensure those big ideas have solid, practical execution plans. This approach — a key part of your eCommerce business plan — ensures your efforts remain both visionary and feasible.

To help you achieve these goals, track the following metrics: 

Project milestone completion rate

This measures how often projects meet scheduled milestones on time. It is a good indicator of whether your projects are well-planned and realistic in scope.

The easiest way to improve this metric is to monitor your project timelines and be ready to adjust them as needed. If you are hitting snags, it is a good idea to gather your team for a quick check-in. Together, you can pinpoint any bottlenecks early and keep things moving smoothly.

Resource utilization rate (RUR)

This tracks how efficiently you are using your resources compared to what you are getting out of your projects. It helps ensure you are not pouring resources into initiatives without getting the results to match.

To improve your RUR, regularly review where your resources are going and where they are making the most impact. Do not hesitate to reallocate them to areas that might need more support or are yielding higher returns. It is all about staying flexible and making adjustments to stay on track.

ROI of projects

The return on investment (ROI) for each project tells you about its profitability and value compared to its costs. This metric is key for understanding if the project's scale is justified by its benefits.

Be sure to focus on projects where you can see a clear potential for a strong ROI. If certain projects are not measuring up, it might be time to rethink their scope or execution. Starting with smaller pilot projects can help you test the waters and fine-tune your approach before going all-in.

The bottom line

Navigating the complexities of B2B eCommerce can feel overwhelming, and it can be easy to lose sight of the goals you should be focusing on. However, with the right information, tools, and strategies, you will be set up for success.

Start by investing in an eCommerce platform that offers comprehensive analytics, predictive insights, and seamless integration with your existing systems. This will enable you to regain control of your sales, understand and address current customer needs, and anticipate future trends.

Also, balance ambition and pragmatism so your projects can thrive and you avoid overextending your resources. Remember, the key to success is having not just bold ideas but also the practical means to implement them efficiently.

With these insights, you are well-equipped to enhance your sales, satisfy your customers, and drive sustainable growth.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the goal of eCommerce?

The goal of eCommerce in a B2B context is to simplify business transactions, support bulk orders, and make sales and supply chain processes more efficient. B2B eCommerce platforms are built to meet the specific needs of business clients — including handling large orders, custom products, and long-term contracts — to boost efficiency and strengthen customer relationships.

What are the strategic objectives of eCommerce?

B2B eCommerce objectives focus on enhancing client relationships, increasing sales efficiency, and expanding reach among business clients. The aim is to use digital tools for a seamless and personalized buying experience, streamline the sales process, and use data analytics to understand and anticipate client needs — ultimately leading to steady business growth.

What is a business objective in eCommerce?

In B2B eCommerce, a business objective is a specific, measurable goal a company aims to achieve to improve its operational, financial, or market performance through its online commerce activities. 

These objectives often focus on improving efficiency, strengthening customer relationships, reducing operational costs, and expanding market reach. The intent is to use digital platforms to meet these B2B eCommerce goals, keeping the company competitive and in tune with its business customers’ changing needs.

About the author
Arnaud Rihiant
Founder & CEO @ DJUST

Expert in topics on B2B, eCommerce, market trends, business strategy

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