Last updated on January 13th, 2023
In recent years, e-commerce has really become popular with consumers.
It’s estimated that in 2023, there will be 218.8 million US online shoppers alone – that’s 65% of the population who will buy their goods and services online!
It’s also estimated that e-commerce sales will account for 20.8% of retail sales around the world in 2023 and so, a lot of businesses are introducing e-commerce elements to their businesses’ websites to help boost sales.
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However, running an e-commerce business can take a lot of time and effort. As a result, I often get questions from e-commerce businesses for advice on how to improve their business. One of my top recommendations is to start implementing monitoring tools – but why and which ones?
Here is my in-depth guide into e-commerce monitoring and all the best tools you can use to help develop your online business. I hope you find it insightful and informative!
What Is E-Commerce Monitoring?
First, let me define what exactly e-commerce monitoring is.
The term is so broad that I’ve seen quite a few e-commerce business owners miss out on tools or data because they assumed that e-commerce monitoring only applied to one process or another. The truth is that e-commerce monitoring can affect multiple areas of your business.
E-commerce monitoring involves tracking different metrics of your e-commerce business to see how it is performing.
A lot of e-commerce business owners assume that this refers to if your business’s website is up and running, or if it’s facing technical issues.
For example, they believe that e-commerce monitoring is all about monitoring your website so if it suddenly goes down or is facing issues, you can step in and get your business up and running again.
This is partly true – e-commerce monitoring does include tracking how your e-commerce business is functioning and even how fast it is operating, but there’s more to it than that.
E-commerce monitoring also includes tracking other metrics like how many visitors your website gets, what the bounce rates are for certain pages, and how many of your website’s visitors actually convert into customers by making a purchase.
It also covers monitoring online reviews and ratings, social media sharing, and other important metrics that can affect your brand and marketing.
So, despite many business owner’s assumptions, e-commerce monitoring is not purely about the technical side of running an e-commerce website. It covers a lot of metrics that can affect your sales, marketing, and development decisions.
Why Is Monitoring Your E-Commerce Store So Important?
There are a lot of very important benefits to implementing a monitoring tool to track your e-commerce store, and some of them I would say are actually vital for your business’s success.
Helps E-Commerce Businesses Identify And Fix Technical Issues
The first benefit is that some monitoring tools monitor the overall performance of your e-commerce website. This means that if your website suddenly crashes or slows down, you will be directly informed so you can make fixes and changes.
E-commerce businesses on average lose 10% of their revenue due to downtime and other website performance issues, which means that every second your e-commerce business is down, you are losing a lot of revenue.
Slow-loading websites can increase cart abandonment by up to 75% so it’s vitally important that you identify slow loading pages and take steps to resolve this.
Every single second in load delays accounts for a 4.42% drop in conversation rates, plus your website’s speed also has a direct impact on your SEO and SERP rankings – so it’s important to stay on top of your e-commerce website’s performance by using a monitoring tool.
Google has over 200 ranking factors it considers when deciding which e-commerce websites to offer to its users, and ensuring that your website is up and functional is vital to get into those top rankings.
As the top ranking page gets on average 49% of most search traffic, using monitoring tools to ensure your e-commerce site is running to help boost your SEO can in turn improve your reach and boost your revenue.
Protects Your Data
Some monitoring tools can also inform you of any cyber attacks, and this active monitoring works as a great safeguard to keep both your business and your customers’ data safe.
Cybercrime cost businesses around $6 trillion in global damages in 2021 and that number is projected to rise annually in the future.
This is also felt by businesses as 68% agree that cybersecurity risks are increasing and so, more businesses (including e-commerce) are looking for ways to protect their business’s data.
Monitoring tools can help with this – although you need to find the right tool that offers additional cybersecurity protection.
Offers Valuable And Insightful Data For Analytics
A lot of monitoring tools also offer insightful data that e-commerce businesses can use for business analysis and informative decision making.
Data analytics makes decision making 5 times faster for all kinds of businesses, and 85% of businesses agree that data can significantly change how a business runs.
This is because data can help businesses see what works and what doesn’t work – once it has been cleaned up and reported.
A lot of monitoring tools offer valuable data in the form of clear reports, so e-commerce businesses can see at a glance how certain aspects of their business is performing.
Using this data, e-commerce businesses can make changes to better suit the needs of their customers to boost their business.
For example, monitoring your e-commerce business can also help improve your customer’s experience and drive sales.
50% of online shoppers prefer personalized experiences, and monitoring your e-commerce website can help collect the necessary data to lay the groundwork for personalization.
Tracking your website’s metrics also allows businesses to see which landing pages have the highest bounce rate (these are visitors who have clicked on a link but leave without continuing to any other pages).
This can help businesses work out which marketing campaigns worked or didn’t work, what kind of content their audience is interested in, and look for ways to reduce bounce rates by directing customers to additional pages on your website.
So, e-commerce monitoring can provide businesses with key insights used for content marketing, email marketing, and even social media marketing.
Best E-Commerce Monitoring Tools
So, by now you should understand what e-commerce monitoring is and why it’s so important for e-commerce businesses to introduce multiple monitoring tools. The next question now is – which ones should you try out?
Ultimately, each e-commerce business is different and will want their monitoring tools to have different features for various purposes.
This means that there is no ‘one fits all’ when it comes to e-commerce monitoring tools and you need to carefully evaluate what you want from your monitoring tools to help you choose the best one.
To help you out, I’ve covered some of my favorite e-commerce monitoring tools below. I have tested them out personally and researched others’ opinions online, all to help you decide if my recommendations are the right fit for your e-commerce business!
When it comes to website monitoring tools, there is one that is the top recommendation from all kinds of e-commerce businesses and websites – Google Analytics.
Google is the largest search engine in the world with a grip over 91.9% of the market share, with 46% of product searches all beginning with Google. As a result, a lot of e-commerce businesses want to measure their e-commerce metrics through Google – over 28 million websites, in fact.
It’s free to use (although there is a paid version known as Google Analytics 360) and offers in-depth analytics and visualization for both websites and apps.
It also offers a range of integration features with Google’s other marketing platforms, all which help e-commerce businesses control their business’s online metrics and data from one easy to use platform.
Google Analytics offers e-commerce businesses the ability to track their website’s traffic, revenue, orders, conversion rates, and product best sellers all on one dashboard – and for free!
Google has an incredibly high reputation all around the world, which is partly why it is one of the most trusted and widely used search engines. As a result, a lot of e-commerce businesses automatically try out and recommend Google Analytics.
Some of the best advantages of using Google Analytics (according to my online research) is its affordability, scalability to help all e-commerce businesses big and small, and the range of metrics it allows businesses to track and monitor.
However, nothing is perfect, and there are a few disadvantages to using Google Analytics that I discovered online. Quite a few users have mentioned that Google Analytics can be difficult to get used to.
It’s a steep learning curve, especially if you are not already familiar with using monitoring tools.
While I understand that a few e-commerce business owners may struggle to work and understand Google Analytics at first, I find that this is a common ‘teething’ problem no matter what kind of software you are using.
As a result, I personally think that Google Analytics is the easiest tool to start out with purely because it’s free, it’s from a trustworthy company, and it offers you so much in terms of features and tracking.
I have found it to be a great monitoring tool for user activity which provided me with important insights I used to not only drive my business’s revenue growth, but also improve my customer service and relations.
For e-commerce businesses, there are some enhanced monitoring tools for product conversions, average amount of transactions per visitor, average order value, and more – so it’s definitely a tool that can be used by regular websites and e-commerce businesses alike.
Customer experience is incredibly valuable for e-commerce businesses and one way to monitor your website’s performance is to use a tool like Pingdom.
Pingdom is one of the most popular website monitoring tools in the world and it offers a robust monitoring system which can check your e-commerce website every single minute.
This can catch issues the minute your website goes down, saving you precious time and money so you don’t lose any orders or revenue. Any false reports are filtered out so you only get notifications for real issues – a great way to save time and keep working efficiently.
Not only does Pingdom offer uptime monitoring but also response and load times so you can monitor your website’s performance even when it’s up and running.
This can provide valuable insights into your website’s optimization for search engines and highlight any performance issues which could be damaging your sales.
Pingdom also offers other monitoring options including A/B testing and other pre-publishing performance testing features so you can start optimizing your e-commerce website before it’s even public.
Pingdom has a really good online reputation, with star ratings in the high 4s and 5s, and scores averaging around 8.7 out of 10.
There are plenty of positive reviews which praise the amazing monitoring features for website and webpage uptimes, speed performance, and even page rankings.
One of the most popular features is the useful filtering for false reports and the notification features which means that no matter where you are, you can be informed the minute there is an issue with your e-commerce website’s performance.
As for complaints, one reoccurring issue I noticed was a lack of functionality with the iOS app.
As Pingdom is a cloud-based platform, you can access it from lots of different devices but those who use the app have reported a slow interface and generally being difficult to use.
This is a bit disappointing but it’s also a common issue seen across all kinds of tools and softwares.
Opting for a monitoring tool for your e-commerce website like Pingdom is a big recommendation you will get from lots of business owners, including myself.
This is because if your website goes down or your pages are suddenly taking too long to load, you could miss out on a lot of incredibly important purchases.
So, Pingdom brings a peace of mind to e-commerce business owners as it has a really robust notification system to make you aware of any technical issues with your website, along with a bunch of other useful monitoring tools that provide valuable data for your analysis.
In my opinion, having a software that monitors the actual performance of your e-commerce website is a must – and Pingdom is one of the best.
Another great monitoring tool for e-commerce websites is Uptime.
Uptime offers both website monitoring and testing which e-commerce businesses can use to check their website’s live performance and availability.
In the event of any downtime, you can receive alerts to help get your website back up as soon as possible, plus you can track how often your website experiences downtime.
It also offers load speed metrics to help e-commerce businesses reduce their page load speeds which can have a huge impact on your sales and revenue.
So, Uptime offers some great website monitoring features for its users. E-commerce businesses can choose between two paid packages, or make their own custom plan.
This means that there’s also great scalability with Uptime so every kind of e-commerce business (big and small) can afford to sign up to Uptime.
Online, Uptime has an incredible reputation with lots of positive reviews and an average 4.67 star rating.
Some of the main highlights from these reviews include praise for how easy and reliable the software is, which is a great sign for e-commerce businesses who are looking to implement a monitoring tool for the first time.
A lot of users talk highly about the notification feature which is incredibly handy for solo admins and e-commerce business owners who don’t have others to rely on in the event of an outage.
Plus, the real-time monitoring features are described as accurate and reliable, even with comparisons to other providers. So it’s clear that a lot of people are incredibly happy with Uptime and the quality of their monitoring tools.
When researching complaints, I found a few users who expressed their wishes that Uptime had a bigger footprint for places like Africa, so if your business or most of your clients are based there, you may not be able to get clear data as most of Uptime’s servers are US or Europe based.
A great feature of Uptime that I really appreciate is the ability to set scheduled reports, so e-commerce businesses can automatically receive all their vital data ready for analysis.
This means that there’s no waiting around for reports to be drawn up – all the data can be sent to you all ready to go.
This means e-commerce businesses can save a lot of time on repetitive tasks. 90% of employees say that they are burdened by repetitive tasks and simply trying to find the right data can cause each employee to waste 1.8 hours per working day.
So, a feature like this can greatly improve your employee productivity and save you a lot of time and money!
Overall, I really enjoyed using Uptime. It was very easy to use with a great user interface, easy to read reporting, and a very thorough notification system which made me aware of even minor outages or problems.
Datadog is another monitoring software that offers a ton of monitoring tools that e-commerce businesses can benefit from.
One of their most interesting monitoring features is its security monitoring, which aims to identify any potential threats to your e-commerce business’s systems in real time.
This means that you can keep both your business’s data and your customer’s data safe from cybersecurity threats – a massive advantage in this modern world.
Not only that but DataDog also offers up time monitoring, response time monitoring, and uses user-journey modeling to check for all kinds of errors, mistakes,and even poor website designs that can all impact your SEO and customer’s user experience.
All this is done through using artificial intelligence, an innovative tool which is already driving up productivity by 61% and driving down costs by 44% for so many businesses around the world.
DataDog is also great for scalability as you can build your own plan, adding the features you want and discarding the ones you won’t have any use for. This means that in terms of affordability, you only pay for what your business will use, making this monitoring worth its money.
This also means that e-commerce businesses big and small can find a plan that suits them in terms of features and price at DataDog. As your business grows and you decide to try out more monitoring features, you can easily add them on thanks to DataDog’s flexible payment plans.
DataDog has a very high online reputation and you can easily find hundreds of very positive reviews of their monitoring tools online.
A lot of these reviews praise the tracing capabilities of some of the tools on offer, others love the ease of use when it comes to integrating with other softwares and tools for other purposes.
Some users are split on the user interface. Some love the way the graphs and metrics are displayed for analytics, while others find them a little confusing – so this seems to come down to a preference of taste.
This could also be linked to the learning curve that comes with using such an in-depth software like DataDog, as a lot of beginners will definitely feel overwhelmed by the sheer amount of features on offer, even for free!
Overall, DataDog has a great reputation across all of its products so this makes it a highly recommended monitoring tool for e-commerce businesses.
If you are concerned about security and you want a monitoring tool that can help you keep your data safe, then DataDog is definitely a great software to choose.
You can adjust the security features as you desire in your paid plan, so you only need to pay for the security features that are applicable to your e-commerce business.
I’m also really impressed with DataDog’s use of AI and how it can use this to test websites as though they were a real user accessing the website.
This is also important for checking performance metrics. You also have the option of customizing these tests yourself, or letting DataDog perform them automatically.
So, DataDog is one of my most highly recommended monitoring softwares. It offers great scalability so you only pay for what you use and need, it has some amazing monitoring features for key issues, and it uses AI to completely change the way monitoring tools track your website’s performance.
Shopping cart abandonment is a main concern for a lot of e-commerce businesses, as the current rate across all industries is around 69.89%. What this means is that something is happening towards the ends of customer’s journeys that is preventing them from finalizing a sale – and monitoring tools like Woopra are great for helping e-commerce businesses identify these issues and take steps to resolve them.
Woopra is a website analysis and monitoring tool that focuses on the customer’s journey. It allows you to track how each of your e-commerce businesses’ visitors interact with the website and at what steps carts are being abandoned.
Not only that but Woopra monitors the overall sales journey to provide important insights into metrics such as the success of ad campaigns, upselling, live chat sessions, and content posts.
It offers a great free plan that is rich with features and integration options, but its paid plans are extremely expensive and better suited for much larger enterprises than small online e-commerce businesses.
During my online research, I found that Woopra has a great reputation online with many of its customers and users.
Some of the main advantages of Woopra highlighted in these reviews was how interactive and easy it was to set up, making it a ‘game changer’ for many small e-commerce businesses.
However, some users did complain about a steep learning curve in order to get used to and understand all the tools available to them with the free plan.
Because it’s such a rich tool with so many different tracking and monitoring features, it can be overwhelming for some business owners.
On the other hand, those business owners with a lot more experience with monitoring and analysis tools praise Woopra for its simplicity and great capabilities in terms of insights and data. So, it’s a bit of a mixed bag in that regard.
Overall, there’s no denying that Woopra is a popular monitoring tool that e-commerce businesses can use to monitor customer journeys to help optimize their websites and boost conversion rates.
I love using Woopra because it offers so much for a free monitoring tool, plus it directly aims to help reduce cart abandonment rates – a huge thorn in every e-commerce website’s side!
This is a similar problem that Google Analytics has – mainly because it offers so much for free with a less than stellar support team for guidance – but because it’s free to use, I do recommend that e-commerce businesses try it out.
You won’t waste a cent using it and it can really help you boost your revenue by improving your customer’s journey.
Another complaint I want to voice is that automations is locked behind the paid ‘Pro’ plan which is extremely frustrating.
The jump in price from the free plan to the Pro plan is too much for a small business like mine to justify, but it’s a shame because I personally love to use automation to help reduce repetitive tasks in my work.
In the future, it would be nice to see Woopra perhaps introduce a few automation features to its free plan for an improved user experience.
Overall, Woopra is still a great tool to use to monitor your customer’s journeys and it can provide e-commerce websites with incredibly valuable insights for no cost at all.
Visual Web Optimizer
This monitoring and analysis tool may seem like an odd choice but stay with me, because the way your e-commerce website looks can have a huge impact on your sales and revenue.
According to studies, e-commerce websites can increase their conversion rates by 35% simply by optimizing their checkout design, and that’s not to mention the visual design of your product pages, landing pages, and other vital steps in your customer’s journey.
So, if you want to monitor and analyze how your customers are reacting to your e-commerce website’s visual design, then Visual Web Optimizer is a great tool to do just that.
It uses A/B split testing to put key elements of your website’s visual design to the test to see which option your visitors and customers prefer the most.
This helps you monitor what key elements (buttons, images, headlines) work best for visitors so you can use this information to adjust the design and layout of your e-commerce website.
Online, Visual Web Optimizer has a lot of great ratings and reviews, with users calling the tool easy to use and incredibly useful. However, there was one big complaint that came up again and again.
The thing is, the data provided by the Visual Web Optimizer tool is not stored for very long. You generally have access to that data for around one to three months – which is not great for long-term planning and testing.
If you want to keep that data for longer, you have to manually transfer it over somewhere else so you don’t lose it forever.
It’s an incredibly frustrating disadvantage that can catch a lot of users out -so you have been warned!
Visual Web Optimizer is one of the best tools in my opinion to help make e-commerce conversion optimization so much more simpler.
A/B split testing is a great way for web developers and marketers to discover which design ideas regarding colors, content, and layout work best for customers to help generate more sales. Using Visual Web Optimizer was a quick and easy process to achieve this.
Not only that, but I also loved the tracking options to help monitor where your traffic was coming from. It allows you to divide your visitors into groups based on factors like location, demographics, or how they found your website (e.g. cold traffic or through email marketing).
This can also help you monitor where your traffic is coming from to influence other marketing decisions – so it’s a pretty versatile tool too!
Frequently Asked Questions
What Should E-Commerce Businesses Monitor The Most And Why?
Because there are so many different monitoring tools available for websites and e-commerce businesses alike, it’s easy for business owners to quickly be overwhelmed and confused.
If you are on a tight budget and you can only afford a few monitoring tools, then I’d recommend that you prioritize monitoring these areas:
Uptime/Downtime – If your e-commerce website goes down, then you aren’t going to be making any sales. Monitoring how often your website is down and when can help you fix the issues to improve your e-commerce business’s uptime.
Loading speeds – A one second delay in your page loading can reduce your e-commerce website’s views by 11% and your bounce rate can increase by 32% when page load time increases from one to three seconds. So, monitoring your page load speeds is vital so you can keep them low to improve your conversion rates.
Shopping cart abandonment – Seven out of ten shopping carts are abandoned, which means that it’s likely a large portion of your visitors are not converting into paying customers. Monitoring your shopping cart abandonment rates can help you take steps to target these abandonment points and increase your sales.
What Are The Top 3 Kpis You Should Monitor When Watching The Analytics For An Ecommerce Business?
Key performance indicators (KPI) are metrics a lot of business owners love to track and monitor as they are a great indicator of how healthy a business is.
The top three KPIs for e-commerce businesses are considered to be the gross profit, conversion rate, and average order value. To work these out, e-commerce businesses can use monitoring tools to find the right data needed for the equations.
However, it’s worth noting that there are loads of KPIs and metrics e-commerce businesses can monitor and each one can help inform important business decisions to help your e-commerce business grow and develop.
So, although these are the recommended top three for e-commerce businesses to monitor, they should not be the only ones you monitor.
What Tools Are Needed For E-Commerce?
While monitoring tools are important for e-commerce businesses to develop and thrive, there are also plenty of other vital tools that can benefit e-commerce businesses.
These include website tools to host and design your website, research tools to help you find your competitors and keywords for content, marketing tools so your business can carry out important marketing campaigns like email marketing or social media marketing, and business tools to help you connect with clients and employees.
As a result, businesses have to budget for a lot of different but incredibly important tools and softwares – which is why businesses try to use free tools as much as possible!
Monitoring in e-commerce can apply to anything from how your e-commerce business’s website is performing to how effective your marketing campaigns are at drawing traffic and visitors to your website.
As a result, it’s important for e-commerce businesses to invest in the right monitoring tools so they have access to the valuable data for their analytics.
Having all this data can be incredibly beneficial for your e-commerce business as they can inform your decision to help you make the right choices.
So, I hope the guide above has helped you find the right kind of e-commerce monitoring tool for you. There are tons of other options out there so if you want to keep searching, then good luck!