An Overly Analytical Approach to Optimizing Your Ecommerce Store

Written by
Published on
September 23, 2020

Updated: September 23, 2020

So - you sell things online. You have a product that a lot of people really want. You’ve taken the time to develop or manufacture your idea, hire employees to scale it, and most importantly, you're ready to take the next step and grow your business. But where do you start? In a multichannel world, where there are more places than ever before to interact with potential customers, promote your products and make sales, it's hard to know where to focus your efforts. That's why we like to break it down in terms of the four components that make up your ecommerce strategy:

  1. Your customers
  2. The products they purchase
  3. The channels they prefer to interact with you through and
  4. Timing

When these four variables align, you make a sale. Think about it like this: the right person, who finds the right product, through the right channel and campaign, at the right time, is more likely to buy. The more products you sell and the larger and more diverse your customer base, the more you'll find different combinations of these variables - but the same principle remains true. If you meet your customers where they are, with products they want, when they're ready to purchase, you'll grow your business. Here's a useful shorthand:

1. Customers = C 2. Products = P 3. Channel preferences = Cp 4. Timing = T S = Customers who purchase based on the right alignment of 1-4

C x P x Cp x T = S

The more “S”’s you can find, the more your store will grow. So - how do you optimize for these four components?


Your customer profile is the variable you should be the most familiar with, since your customers are the people that you set out to sell to in the first place. However, as your business grows you might be surprised to find that there's hidden demand for products in areas and demographics you didn't expect, too. To oversimplify the "customers" variable, think about demographics, behavior and demand. Do you sell upscale apparel to affluent women? Are targeting middle-aged fitness enthusiasts? This knowledge is your secret sauce, and your edge over the competition. Customer analysis, as well as granular customer segmentation, can help you identify exactly who your ideal customer base is and what you can do to reach more people like them.

Customer segmentation in Glew

Products and orders

Product data can be more concrete and more easily accessible, since it's based on your SKUs and store order history. Think about how you can use your products in the most profitable ways possible, and what data you need in order to do that. The first question to ask yourself is, “What product that I sell gets my customers to buy the most in the long term?” For example, a men's clothing brand might discover that a certain type of shirt drives more purchases in the long run than a pair of pants or a belt. The easiest way to find this? Look at the products that your highest-LTV customers have purchased. Second, you need to understand what products are most profitable when bundled together. Knowing to promote certain products over others and when, and how to upsell your customer base with the right products, makes the difference between a store with linear growth and a store with exponential growth.

Product segments in Glew


When it comes to channels and developing a successful advertising strategy, think about the variable in this question: “Where do my most profitable customers spend their time online?” With access to the right performance data, it's easy to not only see what channels and campaigns help you acquire the most customers, but also the most valuable ones, and it's those channels you should focus your efforts on. Identify the channels that help you boost your average order value and lifetime value. The easiest way to do this is to rank your online advertising channels by those metrics in Glew. If a channel has a higher LTV but relatively low customer acquisition, go ahead and move budget away from a lower LTV channel, and use it to acquire more profitable customers from the channels you know will benefit you more in the long-term.

Lifetime value metrics by channel in Glew


The last variable? Timing. You can have the most loyal customer base, the best product strategy and the most creative ads, but if your message doesn't reach your customer at the right time, it won't count for much. To optimize this fourth variable, you need to find your business’s Lapse Point. Lapse Point is average number of days you have for a customer to make a repeat purchase, before they're likely to never purchase again. It also tells you which of your customers are active, at-risk and lost. For example, someone selling skis is going to have a much longer Lapse Point than someone selling snacks. Understanding the window of time you have to win back a repeat customer helps you balance customer retention with customer acquisition, and reach your customers at the right time, when they're most likely to buy.

Customer status in Glew, powered by Lapse Point

Access these insights with Glew Glew’s out-of-the-box reporting and analytics help ecommerce merchants understand their buyers and their purchasing behavior, for smarter and more profitable customer acquisition and retention. Start a free trial to get insights that drive growth today:

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