Why Statistics Matter
If you are new to business statistics, it would be a good idea to read Part 1 of this series, which defines many of the terms used.
Before we dig into the stats any further, let me address a critical question:
Q: Why do my statistics matter?
A: They give you two things:
- Raw information about how well your past actions are performing
- Potential ideas for future experiments
That’s all. Stats tell you if the items you posted are getting views, if those views are turning into sales, and what keywords they are getting found with.
If you are using Promoted Listings, they also tell you how many impressions you are getting, how many clicks you are getting, how much you are paying per click, and how much revenue those clicks are generating.
That’s all performance data. “How did I do?” It’s up to you to decide whether the numbers you are getting are what you wanted or not.
A single week or month of data isn’t very helpful. To be able to do anything with them, you need to track them fro several months (or if you are in business long enough, several years) to watch for changes and patterns.
That’s why longer time periods are more useful. “How is my shop doing today?” doesn’t really tell you anything about your business. It might just be a slow day. Retail can have slow weeks, so one day doesn’t really tell you much.
There are three time spans that I use the most:
- Last Month – gives you a static period to compare against.
- Last 30 Days – gives you a moving period to compare to last month
- Last 7 Days – gives you a shorter moving period to compare to both Last Month and the Last 30 Days, telling you if your stats are trending up or down
It’s easy to miss this, but there are two ways to look at your stats:
- For the entire shop (which everyone sees)
- For each individual item
To see an individual listing’s stats, go to your Listings Manager. Click on the little “Settings” icon in the lower left, which gives you a dropdown menu. Pick the “Stats” option. The individual item stats look and act almost exactly like the ones for the entire shop. You can pick whatever data range you want and they show you traffic and keyword sources.
Stats that Matter
While there are dozens of statistics mentioned in this article and the one before it, these are the ones that I recommend tracking and comparing:
- Revenue – how much money is coming into the business. While it might not go up every month due to seasonal patterns, it should be generally trending up (especially year over year)
- Conversion Rate – tells you if the traffic you are driving to your site is getting more likely to buy.
- Average Order Value – tells you if the people going to your shop are buying more at one time
- Business Bank Account Balance – whoa, where did that come from?? I never mentioned that! Still, it’s the best way to tell if your business is making a profit. If you are paying all of your business expenses from this account, putting all your revenue in it, and paying yourself on a regular basis, this account will grow if your company is actually making a profit.
There’s still a lot more to say but this is probably a good stopping point.
In the next article, I’ll dig into some of the other stats Etsy gives you that are useful.
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