How to Measure and Maximize Your Data with Chris Mercer of

Google Podcast

Chris “Mercer” Mercer, Co-founder of, is an in-demand measurement marketing expert. Mercer and his team have been helping marketers, marketing teams, and agencies evaluate their work, so they know how to adapt and improve. They create practical dashboards and pull actionable insights to begin forecasting and optimizing future results. In short, Mercer helps marketers measure their marketing, so they know what’s working and what’s not.

Mercer spends countless hours reading, practicing, adjusting, and innovating to improve his skill set. He has a knack for teaching and is known for simplifying even the most complex ideas for his audience. He can be found speaking at conferences and events such as Traffic & Conversion, Social Media Marketing World, and TravelCon.

Chris Mercer

Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

  • How Chris “Mercer” Mercer of became an expert in marketing
  • The three key steps for measuring your marketing
  • What are the frequent mistakes you should avoid in marketing?
  • Knowing how to read and use your data properly
  • Effectively forecasting sales a year in the future
  • Small adjustments that make huge improvements in your marketing
  • How many customers should be following through with their purchases?
  • Advice on product details pages for new e-commerce brands
  • Which tools are best for collecting data and tracking behavior?
  • The key metrics to measure for e-commerce stores

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In this episode of the Ecommerce Wizards Podcast

It’s hard enough to collect data accurately, but how do you read it once you have it? E-commerce businesses are fully reliant on this feedback to make educated decisions in their marketing. Being able to measure it and utilize it is what separates successful businesses from struggling ones. Using services for this process can give your brand a leg up, but which services are worth the investment? works hard to earn the trust of its clients. The team is made up of professionals who know how to make sense of all the numbers and deliver the powerful information you need to move forward. Their Co-founder, Chris Mercer, started the company in 2011 and has accumulated a decade’s worth of knowledge from his hands-on consulting. He has developed a unique approach to marketing, which he’s happy to explain for those who truly want to know their numbers.

Guillaume Le Tual interviews Chris “Mercer” Mercer, the Co-founder of, to find out his steps to measuring and understanding data in e-commerce. Together, they go through the three core principles for marketing and how to apply them to your business. Mercer also goes over the common mistakes he sees in the field, the most important metrics to follow, and how to properly forecast sales. Find out more by checking out this episode of the Ecommerce Wizards Podcast.

Resources Mentioned in this episode

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This episode is brought to you by MageMontreal.

MageMontreal is a Magento-certified ecommerce agency based in Montreal, Canada. MageMontreal specializes in and works exclusively with the Adobe Magento ecommerce platform, and is among only a handful of certified Adobe Magento companies in Canada.

Why Magento? Mage Montreal whole-heartedly believes that Magento is the best open source ecommerce platform on the market–whether you are looking to tweak your current website or build an entirely new website from scratch.

MageMontreal offers a wide range of services, including Magento website design and development, Magento maintenance and support, integration of Magento with third party softwares, and so much more! They have been creating and maintaining top-notch ecommerce stores for over a decade–so you know you can trust their robust expertise, involved support, and efficient methodology.

So, if your business wants to create a powerful ecommerce store that will boost sales, move dormant inventory to free up cash reserves, or automate business processes to gain efficiency and reduce human processing errors, MageMontreal is here to help!

What are you waiting for? Contact MageMontreal today! Visit or call 450.628.0690 to chat with the MageMontreal team about creating your dream ecommerce store and transforming your business.

Episode Transcript

Guillaume: Hello everyone. Guillaume Le Tual here, host of the E-commerce Wizards Podcast, where I feature leaders in e-commerce and business. Today’s guest is Chris Mercer, he prefers to go by the name Mercer. He’s a co-founder of He’s a marketing expert and as you may guess by the company name he is an expert in measurement marketing. So today we’ll be talking about what we should measure in an e-commerce store to be more successful? Mercer has the framework that he’ll be presenting us today.

So, before we get started, our sponsorship message, this episode is brought to you by MageMontreal. If a business wants a powerful e-commerce online store that will increase their sales or to move piled up dormant inventory to free up cash reserves or to automate business processes to gain efficiency and reduce human processing errors, our company MageMontreal can do that. We’ve been helping e-commerce stores for over a decade. Here is the catch, we are specialized and only work on the Adobe Magento e-commerce platform. We do everything Magento. If you know someone who needs design development, maintenance, new site, we’ve got their back. Email our support team or go to Alright, Mercer, happy to have you here today.

Mercer: Thanks Guillaume, pleasure being here. Thanks for having me.

Guillaume: Can you please tell the audience a bit more about your background and your expertise?

Mercer: Yeah, absolutely. So, we actually started in the whole online adventure, but my background primarily is sales and marketing. I’ve really just done a lot of sales management. That’s sort of my main background in the offline analogue world. We moved online, like a lot of people do to sort of create an online business. We started with WordPress training and helping people who want to have WordPress sites that led us very quickly, as you know, being an agency yourself into like hey, can you just build this for us because it’s a little bit harder for us to do it. So we started building out websites, and we wanted to get into CRO, because CRO then back in the day was kind of new.

Guillaume: Conversion Rate Optimization.

Mercer: Exactly, conversion optimization, and we wanted to differentiate ourselves. And so we’re like, we’re going to build the site and we’re going to help you optimize it. Very similar to what your agency does. And then it was a matter of well, in order to optimize you must first measure. So of course that meant setting up the analytics, etc. So what we realized very quickly, years ago, was we would present these sites to clients, and we were like look here’s the site blah blah blah. Then here’s Google Analytics on how you can tell how many leads you’re getting or what traffic sources are causing which sale or which stage the customer is joining, all the stuff that we just thought everybody did.

Turns out very few people do that, because they get confused by these tools, they can be a little overwhelming. And so we had clients almost overnight, when we started doing that. Instead of recommending other clients to do websites, we were getting things like, we already have a site but so and so told us that you sent their analytics, could you do that for our site? And then we realized that’s the pivot. People don’t know how to use these tools, they don’t know how to think about measurement. There’s a lot of overwhelm out there, there’s a lot of data and information, and we certainly don’t need more of that, we need more storage. That’s why we created measurement marketing dial to help marketers figure out how to use all these cool tools. That’s really not that hard but you do need a framework. You need a step by step system to go through this.

Guillaume: Exactly. Your framework has those three steps here, and each of the three steps subdivided into three more. So it’s a nine step system. Can you tell us about that?

Mercer: Yeah, absolutely. The measurement marketing framework really is three key steps. The first is the plan, the thing that everybody skips, actually in most cases. Then we’ll come into the individual components, each one just a second. So first, you plan things out. Then, and only then you build things out. And then normally, when people start, they start and they build. They turn on Google Analytics, or they turn on an integration somewhere. And all of a sudden, there’s information in Google Analytics, and they start playing around with it. And it’s not at all ready yet, they haven’t really planned for it.

So you first plan, then you build, then you use Google Analytics and things like that, then you act upon what you’ve built. That’s where you finally start looking at the reports to figure out information. So that’s really the three simple steps, there is plan, build, and then you act. So in the planning stage, you mentioned, there’s three components to each one of these core components. First, you have to list out what questions that you were trying to get answers to. So you just list them out. Think about these three columns if you want. First column lists out all the different questions that you’re trying to get answers to. The second column right next to that is, what information will I need to collect in order to get those answers? And you’re thinking about what you’re going to have to measure for in order to get those answers or what somebody in your team is going to have to do. Then next to that, and this is the most important step of all of these, is actions. So first you think about questions you are going to answer, then you think about how you’re going to answer, about what information you need. Then you’re going to think about what actions I will take based upon the answers I get? And this is kind of a formula based on that. So if my opt in rate is less than 25% I’ll do this, if they’re more than 35%, I’m going to do that. Something along those lines.

So that’s the planning stage, as you think about the questions, as you think about the information, then you think about what actions you’re going to take based on the answers you get. I emphasize how important that action step is. We’ll come back to this just a little bit here. So once you’ve got your plan in place, you now have a measurement plan in place, then you go build. That’s where you’re using a tool like Google Tag Manager, Google Analytics, or Google Data Studio, Adobe to get in there and build out the measurement to make sure that now you’re collecting information, so that you can get answers to the questions that you were planning to get answers to. So that’s what that is. It starts with first identifying the traffic and making sure that whatever the measurement platform is that you’re using. Know the who and why of your traffic. So who’s sending you the traffic? What type of traffic are they sending you? Why are they sending the traffic in the first place? What are you trying to accomplish? Then right next to that is the result. And you think about making sure that the measurement platform understands what results you’re trying to achieve.

So first is traffic, then its results and finally you structure in a way so that it tells a story. And that’s the sort of technical stuff that will come in a little bit and it depends upon the platform itself. But this is where you when you properly use these platforms, it will tell a story of which traffic, sources, are causing which results. Now you’ve got something that’s a story, not a bunch of information, not a bunch of data. And if anyone’s ever jumped into a report, and they go, I have no idea what this means, what happened is that there was probably no plan in the first place. They just started building without a plan and that’s why it wasn’t used properly, and that’s why it looks like that much information.

Guillaume: Yeah. And that’s the step where stuff starts to be exciting because then you can see my Google Ads gives me that much traffic and it costs me that much per sale. And you can see next to my Facebook ad, it’s different. Sometimes it changes from business to business, which one will work better. My Facebook ad may have cost me a little bit more but actually, the conversion is better and it’s more profitable for that specific market.

Mercer: Yes, 100%.

Guillaume: Stuff starts to be interesting there.

Mercer: That’s exactly right. Because there’s a story and that brings us to that third step which is the act. So first, we do planning, then you do the build out, then you act. That’s where you actually now look at the reports because they do tell you a story. They make more sense. Maybe it’s a report in Google Analytics, or Adobe, maybe it’s a reported Data Studio or some other platform that’s out there for dashboarding. Tableau is the one I was thinking of. So you have all of these different options now. So to read a story, to actually sit back there and read it, like I liken it to a kid’s book, your reports should be that easy to read, though it’s just obvious what’s happening.

Now, once you’ve got your benchmarks, because you’ve got that story in hand, you then move to forecasts. This is the other thing a lot of businesses skip, which is a shame. I think a lot of times because they don’t realize they can’t. But you can forecast based on trends and patterns that are happening, you can then forecast based on your recent past, what the near future is going to look like. So you know what to expect for the opt-in rates. Instead of saying what just happened to all that money we spent on Facebook, you start saying, here’s what’s going to happen with that 100 grand we’re going to spend next week on Facebook, here’s how many impressions we’re going to get, here’s what the click through rate it’s going to be, here’s what the pages are going to be, here’s how many people are going to opt in, here’s all those that are going to buy within seven days at X amount to create the money that we’re going to create an attribute back to Facebook.

So it’s another way of planning it. Of course you’re planning for the future now, the forecast is all about. At that point, all you need to do is just measure against your forecasts, because you’ve already got the measurement system built. Now it’s just using your forecast and measuring against it. And very quickly, you will see that very important step that everybody tries to raise to which is optimized. What do I need to adjust? What action should I be taking to make things better? The optimization step becomes so apparent and so obvious because you measure against and you’ll see that the 10 grand we spent on Facebook that we thought was going to give us 100,000 impressions only gave us 10,000 impressions. So clearly, that’s where it went wrong, or everything worked well through the opt-in rate, but the email didn’t perform the way it was supposed to perform. So our sales weren’t there for whatever reason. But you will clearly see where the conversation sort of dropped off and that will tell you as a marketer, here’s what I need to do to actually fix it.

Guillaume: Yeah, I agree with this. If someone’s not an experienced senior web marketer and he just jumps in, typically, it’ll go and jump into the bill. Make sure the Google Analytics is integrated, and then right away just looking at the results and trying to optimize immediately sort of skipping all those steps.

Mercer: Exactly right.

Guillaume: It gives you the structure there. But then you look at it and say, well I had 10,000 visitors a day from Google, cool, and another 10,000 from my ads, cool. Conversion rate was not too bad and the bounce rate was not too bad. What do I do with that?

Mercer: That’s exactly right. It’s 100% right. You’re splashing around in a bunch of data and information. You’re not quite sure what it’s telling you. But you write a blog post and say bounce rate should be this and you’re like, well, I guess we do that. But there was no plan.

Guillaume: Yeah, there’s a difference between having data and having insight from that data, what you should do with it.

Mercer: Right. And stories will give you insight just like every story’s got a moral. Like you want to latch on to three bears you read that story, you learned something about not breaking in other people’s zones. And it’s the same thing with data, it can absolutely tell you a story.

Guillaume: Alright. So we covered the base of the framework here, the nine steps to that framework. Now, let’s say, what are the most frequent mistakes, we partially covered this, but I’m sure you have more than you’ve seen e-commerce store owners do when it comes to measurement and marketing?

Mercer: Definitely in the planning. That’s where everything goes wrong. Number one, skipping it. It is the biggest mistake, no matter what it is. If you do not have a plan for something, you immediately stop, do not jump into Google Analytics, do not look at Facebook ads manager. Don’t do anything until you have a plan for what you’re about to do. So that’s the very first one. In planning though, there’s a series of missteps that can happen. So things to watch out for is when you think about questions as a popular thing that we get asked all the time is like what questions should I be asking? You know as well as I do that you can Google for this and say, what are the important questions that an e-commerce store owner should be asking? And you will have like 27 million blog posts with the seven questions that everything or the three questions or the 15 questions that the 27 questions you should be asking. At the end of the day, you have hundreds and hundreds of possible questions, all of which somebody else asked and they seem to be contradictory. At the end of the day, I am not a fan of that.

So when it comes to questions, I am a big fan of frameworks and keeping things as simple as possible. Simple is where the solution is, it almost always is. Solutions are not a complexity. So when you think about the questions, there are only two types of questions you need to ask. It’s a question either around what results you’re getting, or it’s a question around how you’re getting those results. And if you just do that, and you start with where you are, I know that sounds a little too simple but it’s important. There’re a lot of things that as your company grows, you start joining other groups and other masterminds, and you hang out with other business owners or other CMOs. And they’re all saying, we do this, or we do that. And you think I must have to do that now. Just because they can doesn’t mean you can. Their measurement system might be better, so they can ask bigger questions and you can’t right now based on your system.

So when you think about results and how the questions are, you start with where you are. So it might just be like, we don’t know, how many are not the case? But let’s pretend we don’t know how many sales we’re making. Well, then that’s what we need to do. We need to figure out how many sales we’re actually selling, how many products with the average product rate is, and what the average cart value is. Get the basics. But immediately after the results are things like what’s the end result of all of this marketing we’re doing? How did we get that result, should be the immediate next style question. You start asking, what does that mean? Well, that means, how many people started the checkout to actually finish the checkout? How many people actually added to cart in order to get to the checkout?
How many people actually saw product views?

Guillaume: I believe the important discussion about what you’re saying is that a lot of store owners especially say, I have my data that has 1000 people who started the checkout, 100 finished, what do I do with that information?

Mercer: That’s exactly right. That’s where the story is and this results in house style questions. That’s where you start figuring out the story. Because imagine if you knew X amount of people that come to a product detail page view, there’s going to be X amount of people that are going to add to cart. There’s going to be X percentage of those that are going to go to the checkout, X percentage of those make it through for an average order cart value of. Now you can start predicting what your revenues are going to be. You start forecasting trends and patterns, which is a very important phrase. So the truth is a trend that powers the pattern. I think people get caught up in the numbers too much and they miss out on trends and patterns. So that’s the difference and an important thing. So going through those results and how, when you think about your questions, if you’re just starting out, get the basics in place and don’t worry about anything else. At a certain point, you will start asking bigger questions because you can.

An example of a bigger question might be, we’ve got people coming into our store, we want to know what a new contact is, or new customers’ worth on day zero when they first purchase seven days later, 14 days later, 30 days later, 60 days, or 90 days later? Yes, you can get answers to that. Yes, it is possible to measure that, to get that sort of velocity of return when it comes to maybe, a particular people coming in from Facebook or from Google ads or something else. But it’s more complicated. Your measurement system has to be improved dramatically sometimes to get those sorts of answers. And that’s where if your measurement system isn’t built to answer the questions that you’re planning for, you’re just going to get frustrated. You’re not going to actually have answers and you’re going to feel like you have no idea what’s going on. So you start with where you are the results and how and then you’ll get better and better naturally as you go through these steps. These steps that we talked about in this framework, it’s not a one and done thing. You go through it over and over again. Because your questions are going to evolve, your company’s going to evolve, your business is going to grow.

Guillaume: Yeah, and we can talk about the example you just gave here. So that is, why would someone care about that? What’s the value of the zero, the 30, 60 and 90? Most likely it’s because that company is trying to grow aggressively and wants to invest as much as they can in a proven ad campaign that has a proven return on investment. And they need to know how many days until they make their money back.

Mercer: Exactly right.

Guillaume: So that they can reinvest again.

Mercer: 100%, right. Yeah, that’s exactly right.

Guillaume: And knowing that you spend that 100 grand or 10 grand, whatever it is in that month, how fast can you get that money back or having the confidence that you will get that money back and more within 90 days, let’s say?

Mercer: 100% yes. I mean, we probably have been boasting companies that scale themselves out of business because they didn’t measure for that sort of when the money was coming back, and they kept going too much into, for example, LTV is a poison metric. I hate LTV as a metric. What I know is strong to say because everyone’s like you got to know your LTV. But LTV by the base definition of lifetime value, which is what this metric is, changes every day. So any metric that changes all the time and is based upon whatever definition you’re using. There’s a great blog post out there about how Starbucks can calculate LTV, it’s like, 18 different ways you can calculate it. It makes it useless. Any metric that you can change the definition and get a different result is not a metric.

Math is a thing, two plus two is always four. The reason LTV doesn’t work is because if I said my lifetime value is 10,000 dollars on a customer, and I’m like great, then I’m going to spend 3500 dollars in this advertising campaign to get my 10,000 dollars customer. And then I find out that 10,000 dollars was over three years, that’s a problem. Because I just paid 3500 bucks, I’m not going to get my money back in time. I now can’t scale, I can’t grow because I didn’t measure time. And that’s why we always call it velocity return, which is LTV over time. It’s like, what is my value as a customer at this point, at this point and at this point. These are important questions to eventually ask.

Again, I hesitate to mention some of these because it’s like some people might not be having the basics in place. If you don’t have basics in place, if you don’t know how people are moving through your e-commerce store, if you don’t know that conversation that’s going on between the users and your website. Don’t even worry about loss of return because you’re just not ready for that yet. Get the basics in place first then you can start.

Guillaume: Thisis slightly more advanced finances and it works particularly great for a subscription based type of company. Either it’s a service company, it could be a managed service plan sort of the break-fix model if you’ve never heard of that, where to Google search, or just be any kind of normal subscription. Then you can forecast your revenue over a year or two years and monthly, what’s your cash flow? And then you can say I’m willing to spend, let’s say, six months of revenue for that customer to acquire it. It’s okay if I don’t make any money before six months but you’ve made your calculation and your number that you say it’s okay, six months. Maybe you have venture capital backing you or whatever you had, right?

Mercer: And you’re measuring to make sure that you were right about that six months.

Guillaume: Exactly, so there are lots of examples like this. For example, in publicly traded companies like Lightspeed, people are saying that company is not even profitable. So deficit in this and that, this is not true. When you have more advanced finance and knowledge, I know the guys who were working on this, because I’ve seen their presentation there in this market and all that. They say it is proven as profitable per cohort. So let’s say the 2018 cohort is fully profitable, the 2019 cohort is fully profitable, like that. This year, it’s not making any money just because they’re reinvesting more than they’re making, because they want a future return.

Mercer: It’s like building on a stable foundation that they know…

Guillaume: They are proving each year is profitable, that cohort of customers is profitable. And now we’re going to invest an extra 100 million versus what we’re actually making this year, because we want to make so much more in two years.

Mercer: That’s exactly right. And when you’re thinking about your original questions, what are some of the mistakes with people. So for questions, I think that’s one of them. They asked maybe two advanced questions when they don’t have a system that can actually give them those answers. So you start with where you are. But the second thing we talked about in this planning sort of step, there were the three components of that which are questions, information and the actions. Information, I think, is a big deal too. Because when you think about what am I going to need in order to collect, let’s say something simple like average cart value? It’s like well, I need to know the number of sales and the number of total revenue and I can divide those things out and mentally figure out average cart value, pretty simple. But what will happen is, when you get the basics in place, you start asking again bigger questions. And then you start flipping information, instead of just the traditional information that you’re probably used to thinking about, you realize that you’re really collecting his behaviors on the site. That’s where the real magic is.

So for example, on an e-commerce store, as an engagement you could measure for engagement of a product detail page. So are people hovering over the product images? Are they clicking on the product images? Are they watching your video? Did they look at your review section for more than 10 seconds? These are all very specific behaviors that are very good signals that show interest and that the users are moving through the customer journey a little further and that they are having a conversation with that page. If you think about the page being a remote salesperson basically is what it is. So you can see that they are engaging, they are having a conversation with the page, and the page is giving them what they need. You can measure that sort of level of behaviors. And when you see that, more and more importantly, if you don’t see that, now you know that people are not integrated. They hover over the images but they’re not spending the most time on a product in a day on those images that aren’t product B, maybe we need to improve the product image.

Guillaume: So maybe lead scoring here?

Mercer: That’s exactly right.

Guillaume: Say each of those behaviors is worth five points, or 10 points, whatever. And whichever lead has the highest score, because they watch more video, download more white papers, more case studies, then maybe it’s time for your sales team to do some outreach with some big ticket item that is being sold by a sales rep.

Mercer: 100% right. And you can start to forecast. You can say, anybody with a lead score over five or 50 or whatever the metric is, you can say we know they’re going on average, they’re worth 5X. So they need to get that phone call from that salesperson versus just retargeting from a Facebook ad.

Guillaume: Yeah, to be automated.

Mercer: Yeah, that’s exactly right. So that’s the other thing. So planning is the question. Remember, it just results in in-house kind of the secret sauce there. Information is
remembering that don’t just think about the numbers, think about behaviors, because that’s really what you can measure for. It’s not hard to do that. And it’s great with a platform like Magento that you guys said you work with because it’s so customizable. You can measure practically anything.

And then there’s that action step. That third little part of planning is actions, like what actions will I take? Again the biggest mistake is people don’t think that through first. But it’s very important to do that. So what actions to take when you think about the actions ahead of time, this is before you open up Google Analytics, before you look at a dashboard or anything like that. You think about, what would this report look like when I magically get it? And then how would I use it? What actions would I actually take based upon the answers the report gets? And say, well the report for some people might be a spreadsheet, because it numbers people and they naturally integrate with that because that’s sort of comfortable for them. So they want a spreadsheet that shows data tables. And if this number does this, then they would say, [00:22:12]-Oh, well, again, Boolean operators example or something. If the opt-in rate is less than 25%, I know that if this is cold traffic, that something’s off either with the targeting or they’re above the fold, let’s say we can make some choices on that. If it’s above 35, or 40%, let’s look at the targetings because maybe we’re not scaling out enough, because there’s such a thing as too good of a conversion rate. And so maybe we can expand that out a little bit, we might have some opportunities there.

So you’re thinking about all of this and maybe it’s a pie-chart, or maybe it’s a thumbs up and thumbs down, there’s lots of different things, you can do anything. So you can make it. A friend of mine calls it ‘stick figures simple’ when it comes to reports. That’s what he wants, he’s got the dashboard. It’s like, up or down, like I need to know, what do I need to do? It doesn’t have to be a data table. But when you think about the actions, the other thing that’s important about that is, not only does it help you to plan out the report especially if you’re in a larger organization, and it’s your job to create the reports. The marketing department keeps telling you what they want and you gave them the reports and the marketers don’t use it because they’re like I don’t know what this means. So this happens a lot.

The reason that’s happening is because there was no plan. There was no plan of what to do with it. So how do you think that through? And you say for example, we had a company that was learning all about Google Analytics and measuring email. And they were using UTMs to do this. It’s a super easy thing, anybody can Google for Google Analytics, UTMs, and you’ll see what I’m talking about. But it helps you to identify the traffic coming into the platform, like analytics knows about it. So they were setting this whole thing up. And they always have to come up with a plan first before they actually do the build course. And they had planned out so that in their emails they would know which paragraph numbers, paragraphs 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 or whatever, that the email that the link was on, that that person clicked on when they came through. And so I said, I get what you did here.

So let’s think this through. In six months when you look at this report or dashboard, or whatever and it says, of all the emails you’ve sent over six months, paragraph number three is amazing. What do you do with that? And they instantly realized they got caught up in measuring for measuring sake, which happens a lot when you realize what you can measure, like, let’s measure all! Which is not what you want to do.

Guillaume: Big brother can do that.

Mercer: It’s exactly right. Let’s get it all, we figured out to do with it later! It is not at all useful to do that. So what they realized was, we don’t know what paragraph number three would mean. I was like exactly you won’t know what it means. Because does that happen to be because it was a shorter paragraph, or was a bit longer paragraph or some of the emails that have a paragraph number three were included and like catchy. So actually, we shouldn’t even measure for paragraph number three. Where are our paragraph numbers? You can’t you can’t use that. So instead, what they did is they said well, instead we want to know, there are PS links, are people clicking in PS links or something like? That as I get find makes sense? Because that’s something replicable, that’s something you can do something with. And say well if they click on the body copy link, versus the image link, versus the PDF Link, is there a difference in who’s doing what? So do we do PS links or not? That’s the action? I guess we do and we’re like no, we don’t. That makes sense. But now they’re measuring for a specific action that they want to take based upon the answer, they get to the question they’re asking. And that’s a very important step.

So when you go through planning, it takes time. It’s not a five minute conversation and you do get better at it the more you practice it. But it eliminates so many of the typical problems that we see, or challenges, that you’d say we see when it comes to measurement of results. And the reason that people don’t know what’s working and what’s not, is because of that laptop. So if there’s one piece of advice I would give to anybody, it would be focused on the planning and get really good at planning, because the build becomes a lot easier when you’ve got a good plan. And then when you do that build properly because of the plan, the actual using of the stuff, the acting, when you read the reports, and you’ve got stories and you can forecast not by that, that becomes just natural to natural extension of a really good plan.

Guillaume: And what you’re saying also, from a business point of view, totally makes sense as part of documenting your processes and structuring your company so that you can scale it. And then you can hire a new person, let’s say your marketing person leaves or whatever, that you have your procedures written down. Like if your marketing report says this, what are the possible causes? And what should you do? And this was all document that makes the life of your staff so much easier, and it doesn’t change once they’ve the mastered the topic, they can add more of those conditions and add more subtleties to it. But it’s very important, otherwise you get the report and say, what the heck do I do with that report? Nice report.

Mercer: Yes, exactly. Thank you, I guess, right?

Guillaume: If we get anything or whatever, by the way.

Mercer: Exactly, andit ends up being somebody who’s like, I send it to you it’s up to you or whatever.

 Guillaume: Then the expenses, users.

Mercer: 100%. And so what we do, like we just did, just to emphasize the point, that this is a skill, like anything else. So in the beginning, it’s unknown, you don’t know what’s even possible, then you know what’s possible, but you don’t know how to do it. So you got to learn some skills. So on that one definitely, there’s some skill there. But the last three years with our own company, we have reliably predicted out what our results need to be what our results and how need to be.

For our products, let’s say for example, our flagship training program is called The Merchant Marketing Academy. We teach people how to do all this. We have by week, a year in advance by week, how many people should be seeing the page? How many of those should be going to the cart? How many of those will complete the cart at what average rate? So we have in there, price increases planned out for six months from now, we have all this stuff in there. It’s a very in depth forecast. But remember, that’s just another way of planning. So we’ve got our plan set out. And every week our marketing team goes in there and they hit the numbers they need to hit. And then if not, why? We happen to be pretty good at measurement. So we take another level. So if they’re not hitting the numbers they need to hit they can diagnose why. They go to the page and it was a slightly different model. Not e-commerce with more direct response in that case. But they need to go to the offer page and they can look at the report. It will be called the eyes on the journey report. But it basically shows them, here’s how many people loaded an impression of the page. Of those, here are some people that were introduced, which again, think about behaviors. We define that as ‘10 seconds later’, 10 seconds later this is how many people who were still there. So, we’re now we’re looking at ‘measures above the fold performance’ of the page, how it’s doing.

Then we measure for interest, the next eye in our journeys interest. So how many of those were stuck around in this particular page? It’s a very customizable page, we have a longer form, sales copy. So we’re measuring for are they there for 45 seconds and did they scroll at least halfway through? That shows interest in the message that we’re doing. Then we measure for, did they investigate the offer? The other is that they investigate it. Did the pricing tables show up for at least five seconds where people were considering which option they might want to do, potentially investigating a purchase. And then finally, the final eyes initiate, they initiate to go to the cart. If the offer page for whatever reason isn’t working or that final customer journey doesn’t work in the efficiencies that marketing expected it to work in, based on traffic source, whatever else, they can go into the eyes and the journey report, look at a very specific traffic source, maybe an email or Facebook or whatever it was, and see exactly what was the conversation that those users were having with the page. And they might find like, ‘wow, nobody stuck around, we expect 90% to be introduced but only 70% were introduced’.

That means it was a clear above the fold issue, it was a mismatch on the expectation that the ad set probably coming into the page paid to match it and they left, that’s the fix, there’s nothing else to worry about. Don’t worry about the offer, don’t worry about changing the copy, don’t worry about changing the designs listed above the fold. Marketing knows exactly what to do. And there’s no drama, there’s no guessing and that’s what the best part about measurement for me is, it’s that it eliminates the drama. There’s just ‘Oh, just flip that switch, and it’ll all come back’. And then you flip the switch and it all comes back.

Guillaume: It is powerful because on a very basic level, you just do your Google Ads, let’s say you connect your Google ads so then you know your conversion, you set your conversion simply being to submit the form or something like that. But then if you don’t do that more advanced tracking, you’ll just be like, ‘Okay, my conversion rate sucks, it’s 0.5%’. And you have no clue why. Do I need to trash the whole copy? Do I need to trash the whole design, do I need to move everything? What you’re saying is did they even scroll down to read the copy? Yes or no. And that changes, ‘Okay, I’m going to choose the header section’, and you know where to focus. I’ve seen also lots of marketers test the pricing. If the pricing is an issue, they have the price hidden, it’s on page two. So, you have to click view offer or whatever brings you to page two, then you see the price. You can measure if it’s the price that made people bounce back or whatever and that’s a separate the measure again, but what you’re saying here is very interesting because it allows you to fix your conversion rate, your Google ads, and so on.

Chris: Exactly. I love thinking about this sort of stuff in an offline world. I’m a believer of if whatever you’re doing digitally works offline, it’s probably a decent thing to build on. But if it doesn’t work offline, it’s probably just a fad. In the offline world, if I had a shoe store, you walked in my shoe store, and I was like, ‘Hey, what can help you find?’ And you’re like ‘Oh, sorry, I was looking for shirts’. And I was like, ‘Okay, it’s next door, the shirt place is next door you go there’.

In the digital world, what I would then do is follow you into the shirt store and then ask you to buy shoes over and over again for at least three or four days, because you showed interest in coming into my shoe store, which is not at all what happened. You just accidentally came into the wrong door. But with measurement marketing you say ‘Well, let’s make sure they were there at least 10 seconds before we start going crazy retargeting.’ So we wait 10 seconds, make sure that you’re at least familiar and you go ‘Yeah, I’m in the shoe store, I’m looking for sneakers’. I go, ‘Great. Let’s go get some sneakers’. And then we have a conversation, what type of sneakers are you looking for, what are you going to use them for? We got this buy one, get one if you want to do this, and I’ll try to upsell but it’s a natural conversation in the transaction between you and I. It’s a natural conversation that happens between two people online, that same conversation happens except the salesperson isn’t there. It’s the website and in particular, to your point, it’s the step that they’re on, specific steps in the customer journey, that’s having a conversation to try to get them from one step to the next step. And then that step gets them to the next step. And then that step is supposed to get them to the next step. If you measure for that, you will very, very clearly see where the conversation fell off. In my head, I think about I trained my website, I will go to the offer page and be like, ‘Okay, you clearly are kicking people out for a reason, let’s figure out what’s going on and change the script a little bit’.

As an example for that, I mentioned marketing academies. Years ago, this happened when we were measuring we of course have our forecast, X amount of people are going to go from the offer page to the cart, typically for us 8% to 12% go from the offer to the cart. It’s been like that for years. So that’s the number we look for and our cart was 40% cart through rate. So about 60% of annual rate, 35% to 45% cart through rate. We would always measure for this. There were some changes that were made to the page. We look at the numbers within a couple of days of traffic and we go okay, something’s really off. And the problem was, we saw it wasn’t 8% to 12% of the people going to the cart page. It was something like 30% to 40% going to the cart.

At the same time cart abandonment skyrocketed. Like 90% of people are leaving the cart, 10% are actually making it through. So now we go okay, this is clearly odd, unexpected it’s not matching what our forecasts are. But we know the conversation that’s happening with the user is the user’s going to the cart, without the intention to buy. Because if they were going for the intention to buy, we know it’s going to be 35% to 45% are going to make it through. Why would they go to the cart without the intention to buy? We now know that the offer page is creating a problem, the offer page’s script is off that sales conversation that’s happening with users is not correct. So we go and we look, why is the sales page causing people to go to the cart, but not to buy? And it is what reminded me to tell the story, I forgot to put the price. The only way they could find the price was to go to the cart. And then they went to the cart and then they went back to the sales page to see if it was worth it now. Because everybody knows why you scroll to the bottom and see how much it is and then you go back up and say let me go justify now. And that’s what was happening but there was no price.

So they had to go to the cart, not with the intention to buy, but the cart is not there to build value, the cart is there to collect the payments, the cart’s like what are you doing here? And they’re like, it’s 97 bucks and they’re like well, I guess I’ll go back to the sales page and figure out because sales pages there to actually educate them on build value and that was a huge problem. So we immediately saw this in the numbers, it was a simple mistake and we put processes in place. So please make sure that doesn’t happen again. But it was like, Okay, let’s put the price back where the price needs to be because that got hidden accidentally. And then bam, everything came back in line 8% to 12% divided 35% to 45% at the right volume that we wanted for revenue, and we hit exactly the way we wanted it to work. And we did because of numbers.

Guillaume: And this is your own personal number, which is great. Thanks for sharing. With your customers, what have you seen as like typical numbers roughly ranges for an e-commerce store in terms of how many people should go to the cart? And how many people should actually follow through with the purchase?

Chris: It’s a really good question. I don’t want to answer it with ‘it depends’. It kind of does, based upon the model of an e-commerce store. Because with direct response marketing, you have the offer, you have a cart, you have this, maybe there’s some upsells or order bumps, and it’s a finite system. With an e-commerce store, you might have 3000 products, or you might have 30, or you might have four. It’s going to be a little different based upon how many products you have, it’s kind of the key differentiator there. Or maybe you’ve got jewelry, but it’s all rings. But there’s 47 variations of rings that you do. Each sort of model has its own little metrics. But to your point, again, going back to that phrase we talked about earlier, the truth is in the trend, the power is in the pattern. My favorite part about measurement is the biggest lesson I’ve learned is that I love how predictable people are, it is insane how predictable people are. This is how I know that if you were going to do an opt in rate, cold traffic is going to be 25% to 35%. There are rare exceptions I get. But generally speaking, 25% to 35% of cold traffic. If you’re doing warm traffic, whether it’s an email, or affiliates, or some retargeting stuff, 45% to 65% is going to be your opt in rates and it’s how it’s going to be, people are, again, with rare exceptions.

But the webinars have a similar framework. If you ever do webinars, you just know what the show up rates going to be, what the purchase rates going to be. With e-commerce stores, add to carts again, that is truly the thing, you sort of measure for a little bit, and then you measure by your product detail pages, what your Add To Cart rates are typically 35% to 40%, depending upon the product and how much shopping experience there is. Because again, if you’re coming in to buy a ring, and you’ve got 4 million variations of just the ring, your Add to Cart is going to be substantially lower than that. But if you have a choice between a ring and a necklace, your add to carts will be higher on that particular product. That’s the only metric that’s a little harder to pin down to a specific trend is the add to carts. But once they’re in Checkout, and now you’re back to a finite system. So your checkout process is going to be your typical kind of annual rates probably 35% to 45%. Depending upon again, the audience, how hot they are, what the offer is, etc, because people that are coming back or recurring customer will have a higher percentage making the checkout than a new customer. But those are the numbers that you can reliably predict and you won’t have to measure very long. Measure it for a few weeks, depending on your traffic.

But you can you can measure for these and you can start to forecast and say, well, for our product, for every 100 page views of the product detail page, 15 of them, let’s say added to cart. I’d say 12% to 20% or 15% to 20% Add To Cart. So then you can start to say if that’s what’s been happening, it’s probably what will continue to happen next week. And you can predict that. Now the marketing team’s job is get 200 page views to this product detail page. And then we should see 40% to 50% add to carts or whatever the percentages work out to. Then from there, how many of those add to carts actually start the checkout process? How many of those actually finish? Add to carts will be uniquely different probably to the product pages depending upon the store and how it’s built. But everything else, you can start to see reliable, predictable patterns when it comes to that.

Guillaume: So you’re expecting most sites should have been somewhere in the 35% to 45% of people who added to cart should complete the transaction. Anywhere between 1/3 to a little less than half of the people should follow through. You can have 1/3 follow through and two thirds cart.

Chris: People that are starting checkout exactly. And if they’re not starting Checkout, that’s a different problem. But you can measure for that. How many people added to cart and had no interest in going to checkout our view in the cart? That’s an interesting thing. Why did they do that? Because it’s an unexpected behavior. It’s important to think about the customer journey, and not just in terms of like, oh, they’re aware of our brand. No, this is important, they are aware of the brand, engage with the brand, and purchasing the brand, but how specifically, should they journey through your store? Going through our shoe store example before, I expect you to walk through the front door, not the back door, where I’m loading stuff, I expect you to walk through the front door. I expect you to know what you’re looking for, I expect to that I’m going to have probably a few variations of that. I’m probably going to have it in your size, I expect all of these different things that have to happen in order for you to buy shoes and leave and hopefully come back and buy shoes later.

So the same thing online, you have to have these expectations of what is the customer journey and get specific. So they want product detail page view. Okay, but what does that mean? Are they supposed to come in there and just click the button add to cart? Well, no, they need to look at the product. What does that mean? Well, if you look at the images, okay, now we’ve got something to start measuring for, did they look at the images? Did they look at reviews? Did they investigate, actually, virtually trying on the product, whatever the product is. Then did they add to cart and did those people actually view the cart or start the checkout, whatever that process is to start the checkout? The beauty of a platform like Magento, highly customized, you’re not locked into everybody does their checkout process, you can create your own. And that’s what’s good about that.

Guillaume: It allows you to differentiate yourself, especially if you’re a retailer, so you don’t offer the same shopping experience, as everybody else who is also selling the same product, because they’re retailers.

Chris: And I’ll tell you the other benefit, not to oversell Magento because I know I don’t have to do that for you. But branding, if you look like every other e-commerce store, just because you sell pencils, the other guy sells shoes, the other person sells rings, you still are kind of just a generic e-commerce store, if the checkout process is the same over and over again. But when you’ve got something you can customized, you get the ability to brand your specific Checkout. It has its own look and feel, which is super important. And a good measure for that to make sure it’s working the way you want it to work.

Guillaume: In Magento, we can see abandoned cart. I can say from experience, those who are in the startup kind of phase, typically, because Magento is more for the mid mid-size market or the larger of the small businesses. It’s typically more a conversion of a brick and mortar store deciding to start to sell online, and those who are struggling to become successful. It’s more a question of the add to cart step that is not happening. Because if the people do add to cart, then in the event that we have the cart report, you can follow up with these guys on email and say I’m trying to reactivate those carts but that’s what’s missing. What would you give as an advice to those stores when from brick and mortar to online? And they have some traffic, they have a Google ad campaign, let’s say 5000 or 10,000 visitors a month. They’re just starting out. But they’re not getting much add to cart, what should they check?

Chris: First, the assumption is that the product detail page views are happening. Let’s assume that’s happening.

Guillaume: Yeah, that’s happening.

Chris: If they’re not getting add to carts, the way that I would have it set up would be I would measure for the interactions, the engagement of the product detail pages. Because otherwise, we don’t know why. We have to guess. And I’m not a fan of guessing, not a fan of like oh my thinking is this or somebody coming in looking at a thing and be like, Oh, just change the button, and then it’s going to fix everything. Maybe, I don’t know. But we want to measure the behaviors that are happening on the page. In that product detail page, a) measure them all separately, because you might find one particular product that you’re really good at selling has a really good Add To Cart rate. It’s hard to answer this question because it’s so generic.

Guillaume: It’s very wide.

Chris: It’s very wide but let’s say it’s like a supplement store or something. And you realize Oh, we got 15 products and as a company, we’re having 2% add to carts really low. We should definitely have more of that. And then you break it out by product detail page and you go Oh, everybody’s kind of 1% or 2% or 3% but this one’s like 40%. You’re like, Okay, let’s go look at that product detail page. What are those users doing on that page that is different? A different customer journey, different behavior than what’s happening in other pages. And you might find like, Oh, well. Maybe you’re not even measuring the behavior. In a perfect world, you are measuring behavior let’s pretend you’re not. And all you have is just page loaded and they didn’t click a button.

Guillaume: Yeah and they install Google Analytics and don’t know what to do with it, basic installation.

Chris: In that case, you are kind of forced to guess a little bit. But if you break it out by product detail page, so you know what specific products are getting what specific add to carts you’re looking for. Remember, truth is on the trend, power’s in the pattern. In this case, you’re looking for something that breaks the pattern that says, Oh, one of these products is getting really good add to carts and why is that? You might say let’s look at the differences. This one’s got four images, this one only has one image, this one maybe had an ingredients snapshot of the bottle for the supplement that we were selling. This one didn’t have that, we forgot to put that in there. Okay, maybe that’s what it is.

Again, you don’t know that for a fact, you’d have to essentially guess or split test your way into it but you can absolutely set up your measurements. So you would know very specifically on even clicking on those images or not. That’s my uncomfortability, I wouldn’t necessarily switch images out right away unless something obvious like that, where it’s like, one has five images and one has one, then you’re like, Okay, let’s do more images that’s probably good. There are standard best practices.

The other thing to look at is the reviews of the page. You can set up some easier measurements like scroll, they’re not that hard to set up. Where you can just see how people even scroll down below the fold and they investigate it all? The other thing I would say is break it down by traffic source, because the traffic coming in has a different intention. If I’m advertising to a cold audience, that I know wear shoes, so I’m going to advertise my shoe store on Facebook, and I’ve got some deal. They were looking at cat pictures or whatever else, they’re a distracted bunch, it’s probably unlikely they’re going to come in and buy shoes from me, from a brand they’ve never heard of. That’s probably unlikely. So they’re going to have a lower Add To Cart than an email that’s retargeting me that says, ‘Hey, we’ve got 20% off and you bought from us three months ago and so we’re giving you 20% off coupon that sends them to a product page. I would expect that email, I would forecast that email would have a higher cart.

Guillaume: Yeah, for sure because your ad was not even on topic. They’re looking at financials and cataracts or whatever. You’re just interrupting them.

Chris: They’re not in the journey.

Guillaume: It’s not even the right market group to send that.

Chris: But that’s how we do it. First I would break it down and maybe that’s probably the simplest advice to give somebody. You don’t look at your entire store and go like, well, I guess the store is broken. Because the answer isn’t in that aggregate, it’s in the details. You have to break it down in specifics. Sort it out by product detail pages and see what the add to cards are for each one of those, and then sort it out by traffic source, and then look for something where there’s a pattern break where it’s like, oh, the add to cart was really good. What are the conditions? Oh, it was email traffic to these specific products that was really good. Well, let’s go look at the products and let’s think about what was the email message? What was the expectation? So that we call the expectation engine, but it’s like, what was the expectation that that email set? Or what was the expectation that the Google Ads retargeting message set? What that Facebook ad set prior to them making the click? What they expect was going to happen prior to them making the click on the ad to come into the site and then did that page match the expectation?

As an example, it might be something simple, like you’re advertising sweaters, retargeting sweaters on Facebook, because they bought clothes from your store, then they land on a page where it talks all about the above the fold is a thing that talks about pants. That’s going to hurt conversions, because it’s not matching the expectation that you set with the ad, there’s conversions there. They have to think their way into it a little. And so you can look for things like that. The absolute best answer is you get good at measurement and then you can take out the guessing part of this. Because right now you are kind of guessing, but you’re looking at basic patterns to see that. I wear contacts, right? So, if I have my contacts out, I can’t see a ton. If I see some reading glasses that are not the right prescription, but they’re better than what I am right now, I will use them. That’s what you should do in measurement. Get at least good at breaking down things if that’s all you have. But eventually, you’re going to want to get a better prescription for your glasses. You’re going to go to an eye doctor and improve things. Eventually, you’re going to want to prove your measurement, because it’s a very comfortable feeling when you know what the answer is, and you’re not like, well, it could be this or this, let’s try. That’s what most people live in. They live in the world of tried and guessing, you don’t have to if you can measure.

Guillaume: That’s a good analogy. Which tool do you use to do all that tracking like the scroll to the add to cart?

Chris: For us it’s pretty simple, it’s all the Google stuff. It’s Google Analytics. With any platform, the platform needs to collect the information. It needs to store that information, remember information being behavior. So, it collects the behaviors happening on the site, stores those behaviors, and then it builds reports based on those behaviors. That’s what your measurement system should do. A platform like Google Analytics does all three where it collects information, the behaviors that happen like pageviews, it can then store those in its database and then builds the reports, which reports people are probably trying to use now. But eventually, and that’s a good place to start. Eventually, you will want to add on things like Google Tag Manager, because Google Tag Manager is built to do one thing, which is collect behaviors, it doesn’t store them, it doesn’t build reports, it just collects behaviors. But Tag Manager is what I would use to say, they go into my product detail view and if they click on three different images in my product images for that product, I want you to tell Google Analytics that they now have an engagement score of 10. And I want you to go tell Facebook to put them in this retargeting group so that Facebook can start retargeting. And that’s what Tag Manager does, it collects the behaviors, and then it tells other platforms, what to do based on that.

That’s where we add in Tag Manager. And then we add in Data Studio for reporting, because Google Analytics is good for reports but it is kind of geeky and it’s a lot of stuff. A lot of times the answer you’re looking for is in the middle of a bunch of other stuff and it’s hard to get the answer sometimes. With Data Studio, it is built to do one thing, which is report, it doesn’t collect, and it doesn’t store the information. You connect Data Studio into other things like Google Analytics, and then it builds the reports that display the answers that you want to see so you can take the actions you want to take.

That’s how we tie all three of those together. We use Tag Manager to collect the behaviors, we use Google Analytics to store those behaviors. We use Google Data Studio to build reports, that kind of work like a car dashboard. When you look at your car, and you see your speedometer, you know immediately do I hit the gas? Or do I hit the brake? You don’t have to think about it, you don’t have to analyze it, you don’t have to have a committee to figure out what this means. You don’t need to do regression analysis, you just look at it, you go cool, I hit the gas or hit the brake based on the information. Marketers’ dashboards need to be that simple and you can absolutely do that with a platform like Data Studio. So, you see, oh, my opt in rate is off on Facebook, I need to go adjust this piece of it and then you adjust the piece of it. And then you see the opt in rate comes back, like great. It can really be that boring, which is what I like about it, it takes all the drama.

Guillaume: Really good. Let’s say you’re going a bit against the conventional wisdom to sort of take a stance against the customer average lifetime value. Because that’s one of the big one, ‘measure your customer lifetime value’. For e-commerce, it’s typically part of the key KPIs Key Performance Indicator, along with the average order value, and then you may have a few other of your choice, of course, the top line like the sales per month, you may have a few more like your conversion rate then your return on ad spend. How much does it cost you to acquire one customer and so on? What are your key metrics that you would measure for an e-commerce store?

Chris: For an e-commerce store, I would start with the basics, which is results in how and I would literally follow that same plan. What are the results I need to measure for? The results I’m trying to achieve would be number of sales, you do need to know average cart. The obvious ones, like you just mentioned, it’d be number of sales, average cart, how many times a buyer is coming back if they’re buying. I don’t like LTV as a metric because it’s misused. I speak a lot on stages and I speak with speakers who are talking about LTV, and I’m like do you know what your LTV is? And they’re like no. Because they don’t know, it’s so hard to figure it out, because it’s constantly changing every day. In reality, the problem is nobody ever asked, wait, what are we asking? Why? How would we use this? No one’s ever questioned it. And they just keep repeating it over and over again. That’s what I think has happened.

Guillaume: It’s often grossly just simplified and averaged out for the month and they don’t do it daily. They don’t have that fluctuation with it.

Chris: Right. The spirit of LTV is correct, you need to know how much a customer is worth. The only thing you need to make sure is that you tie it to a time. What is the customer worth here, here and here. As an example for LTV, we talked about it before, what we call velocity return. We renamed LTV to keep that coming because we don’t want to start with a misconceived notion what LTV is. People always think they know. Velocity return, Day Zero is what my LTV is here, at seven days they are worth this, at 14 days or 30 days or 60 days they are worth this. And then the same thing back to you, number of times that they’re coming back to buy depending upon the business model obviously. Some are not going to have that.

But if you have a recurring subscription, you need to know that, how many times when they buy the first time should they end up being rebuild? And did that happen? But it’d be over a shorter period of time, 90 days, six months, whatever the thing is that you measure against. But you have to associate it to time. Always make sure you have that time element, don’t trick yourself and think Oh, I got it. Because again, think about Oh, if I have a million-dollar LTV. On average, I take out all my revenue as a company. I take out all the customers in the company, I divide two numbers out, I come up with a million-dollar LTV. And I go great, now I can go spend $350,000 for every customer, that’s the logic that people use. The problem is when you go into the numbers and you realize one person bought $100 million of the stuff. So, it totally skewed everything.

Guillaume: Yeah, average is never great. You need some more fancy metrics than that that will calculate out the extremes of the bell curve.

Chris: And if you did an LTV over time, you would see that, you would never see that $100 million person purchase.

Guillaume: People often talk about medium, average. So that’s what’s simple straight in the middle. It might be far from the average. It goes straight in the middle.

Chris: That’s exactly right. But you associate the time, the most important part is tied to a time. That’s sort of the results side of things. And then it’s the how steps and it’s levels of how. In the beginning, if you’re not measuring anything at all, you’re in the cave, you’re wandering around in the dark, not quite sure what’s working, what’s not. Your job is to find a flashlight and get the heck out of the cave, just get a basic setup in place that lights up pageviews. Turn on that integration with Magento, whatever it is that lights up stuff. So, you know how many people are entering the store? Which product detail pages, are they seeing? How many people started the checkout process? How many people finished the checkout process? Those are the basic how steps.

But then as soon as you have that, you will want to get more detailed. And that’s what we call the eyes in the journey report where it might be a product detail page that you’ve created a report that shows you in this product detail page, here’s the people that actually loaded the page. That was just the first step. Here’s the people that were there 10 seconds later, here’s the people that scrolled and showed interest in the product. Here’s how many people actually investigated the offer for the product. Here’s how many people who added to cart, here’s how many people of those who view their cart and started to checkout. And now you’ve got a level of detail.

Think about prescription of glasses, a better prescription of glasses now. And then it keeps going from there, you will ask bigger questions, like when you climb a mountain, you see the next mountain top, and you’re like oh we’re going to climb that one too. That’s what will happen with questions like that. But that’ll get you started. Anybody that’s just starting out, I want to emphasize this, get good enough to get going, then you come back and make it better later. Do not try to do a measurement setup from day zero when you have nothing in place right now. Do not say well, we’re going to set our measurements so that we see. Because this image thing, that sounded great, let’s make sure we’re measuring for images, we’re measuring for button clicks and measuring for scroll and time. And did they see their reviews for 15 seconds, I want all of that. That sounds great.

Sounds great to me too. But if you try to do that, without understanding and having the foundations in place, it will take you a massive amount of time and you will get to the point where everyone would be like this is just a bunch of busy work and we’re not getting any progress, let’s scrap this. And that’s a big challenge with measurement. People will try to do too much because they hear what’s possible. They think, oh I need to build what we call the summit stop, we have three levels of measurement. There’s the cave, where your job is like I have no idea what’s going on. So I need to get out of the caves, I see some light, get some visibility to things. That’s when you’re in the valley of visibility at that point, then it’s where most people stay for a long period of time as they learn measurement and learn strategy. They learn what to do with the numbers and all of that.

Then you have this summit style. Summits like when you’re going to mountaintop to mountaintop, they are complicated setups, there’s multiple data sources coming in and you’re doing data lakes and data warehousing and things like that. It’s more complicated to get the answers. But the reason that it’s easy to get them up here is because you’ve gone through the cave, because you’ve gone through the valley. Now the mountaintops easier to scan your view.

Guillaume: You are opening up on this.

Chris: 100% right.

Guillaume: Otherwise, you’ll over build some stuff that won’t be used, you won’t understand or you build from the assumptions that were not tested so you waste a lot of work and budget. I think we’ve covered these topics pretty widely. Is there any last idea that you want to bring for the audience?

Chris: I think at the risk of overwhelming everybody, I will say just pick one thing. We do this a lot with our trainings, we focus on this one thing concept. Anything you’ve heard in this podcast, whether it was that one thing that you heard in a slightly different way when it made sense this time, or there’s one actionable step you’d like oh, we’re going to get better at our planning. Pick one thing, then come in and practice that, build it as a skill. Because right now, you’ve been exposed to a bunch of new information ideas, but you don’t have a skill yet. Practice some of this, then come back, and listen to this podcast again and rewatch it. And then you will pick up another new one thing, because you’re going to hear something else different. That’s how I would build this as opposed to Oh, here’s 14 things we’re going to do. Because it’s too much and you’ll get overwhelmed and people will start going like why are we doing this? We’re not even getting anything from it yet. We’re working on dashboards for 13 weeks now, we still don’t have a number. To avoid all that, just one thing at a time. Get good enough to keep going then come back and make it better.

Guillaume: Yeah, that’s inspiring. I feel like going to work on my marketing metrics now.

Chris: Perfect, mission accomplished.

Guillaume: If someone wants to get in touch with you, how would they do that?

Chris: Absolutely. So, is our website. We train companies how to think about measurement and how to use these different tools. is a good obvious choice. We mentioned the measurement platform, they have the MeasurementMarketing Academy that does train people how to do this. We do have a free version of that we call the toolbox that has weekly trainings, so you kind of get your feet wet a little bit and learn about some of this stuff and it’s got a ton of tools to help people with measurement including traffic tracking toolkits, there’s a dashboard planner back that help you with that, as a optimization pipeline planner for planning out split tests and measuring for all of those. There’s a lot of cool stuff that’s back there. Regardless of your skill, whether you’re just starting out or you’ve got some experience. The toolbox is what I would probably recommend to get started with. If you go to, you will see that so will take you directly to the toolbox.

Guillaume: Alright, awesome. Thank you for being here today, Mercer.

Chris: Pleasure. Thanks again Guillaume, appreciate you having me.

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