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Which Marketing Channels Drive Sales for eCommerce?


Good news! You just made a sale on your eCommerce site. It’s exciting when revenue comes in, but once the excitement dies down, you probably have some questions.

  • How did the customer find your website?
  • Which marketing channel did they use?
  • Did that marketing campaign you ran last week work?
  • Which keywords are working for PPC ads?
  • Are your SEO efforts bringing customers to your website?

To find the answers, you have to trace every sale back to the marketing source responsible.

If you’ve ever tried to measure the success of different marketing channels, you’ve probably tried to use different metrics such as:

  • Traffic/page views
  • Conversions
  • Leads
  • Transactions
  • Transaction value

The problem with the first two metrics on this list is they aren’t directly related to revenue. If you want to know which marketing channels drive sales, you need to measure each channel by the amount of revenue it generates.

In the article below, we’ll explain how to find out which marketing channels drive sales. To find the answers, you have to start by looking at the right metrics

How to Properly Track Conversions

The vast majority of people who visit your eCommerce site do not make a purchase right away, as shown by this chart from Oberlo. That means you need to track leads in other ways to find out if your marketing is effective.

Everyone knows sales are valuable in eCommerce, but what about other types of conversions? If someone signs up for your content marketing newsletter, or contacts you to get more info about your products, can you count that as a success? If marketing campaigns deliver these non-sales conversions, are the campaigns working?

The answer is, maybe.

It’s important to remember that not all conversions are leads. A lead is someone who is interested in your product and could potentially make a purchase in the future. A conversion is someone who took an action on your website.

Some conversions are spam, solicitors or otherwise non-quotable leads. Some conversions come from people who will never become customers, so there’s no point in counting all “conversions” as wins for your marketing channels.

The Importance of Qualifying Conversions

You should be qualifying conversions before counting them in your marketing data. Google Ads, for instance, generally measures success through conversions. A better system would be to use a lead tracking tool to only pass qualified conversions through to Google Ads,

That way, you aren’t including any spam or solicitation conversions in your Google Ad data; you’re only passing along real leads who are interacting with your marketing as part of their customer journey. The way to qualify conversions is by capturing the lead behind the conversion; who are they and what did they want? Lead tracking tools can help with this.

Tracking the Metrics that Matter

If you use PPC advertising or social media advertising, you should know which campaigns, ads and keywords drive sales. You can’t know what marketing channels work unless you’re capturing leads with marketing attribution data attached.

A lead tracking system can provide you with lead details, as seen below. You’ll see the landing page they used, the source, the campaign, content and keyword. In this image from WhatConverts lead tracking platform, you can see this Google CPC ad/campaign/keyword delivered $869.95 in revenue. With this data, you now know that this was an effective ad that deserves increased marketing spend.

Using Lead Tracking with other eCommerce Tools

Does your business ever receive inquiries or orders via phone call? It’s easy to track clicks from online transactions, but it’s impossible to tie marketing to phone call sales without call tracking tools.

You can use SyncSpider to integrate call tracking tools with popular eCommerce software like BigCommerce and WooCommerce. Integrating a call tracking tool like WhatConverts with your eCommerce tool reveals the source, medium, campaign content, keyword and landing page for every lead. You can also get the same marketing data when you track forms, chats and transactions.

Lead tracking tools integrate with eCommerce WordPress plug-ins to reveal which marketing channels work. Below, you’ll see an example of how you can get marketing data attached to email confirmations for new orders.

Instead of simply tracking conversions in Google Analytics, this will allow you to measure the success of marketing based on the value of transactions that happen as a result of marketing spend. WhatConverts reports like the one below can reveal how each marketing channel contributes to revenue.

Final thoughts: When conversions don’t translate to sales

Do you ever find that some marketing channels do a great job of attracting website traffic, but don’t seem to result in any conversions? You could have one of two things happening;

  1. Your marketing is attracting a lot of spam, solicitation or otherwise poorly targeted traffic
  2. You’re not able to track marketing to conversions that happen via phone call.

If you want to know which marketing channels drive lead and sales, you have to make sure you’re capturing every lead and sale and tying it back to the marketing source.

That way, every time you get a notification about a new sale, you’ll see the marketing that delivered that sale. This is helpful for marketers who may want to adjust strategies, and for CEOs who want to know what they’re getting in return for their marketing spend.

SyncSpider is the app-2-app integration tool built for eCommerce.

Grow your sales by instantly becoming a multichannel retailer, update your inventory between multiple web stores with a single click and connect your favorite eCommerce tools to work flawlessly in sync.

Start your free trial now to spend less time doing busy/boring work and more time growing your web store.

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