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We’ve talked at length in many of previous our blog pieces about the benefits of moving business online and switching to a b2b ecommerce sales model. But how do you accurately measure the positive impact of changing the way you work?

There are of course a number of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that can be used to assess how well you’re doing in areas like quality, service and operations. But if you adopt the right approach to b2b ecommerce, improvements in two important metrics in particular should stand out – Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) and Visit to Order Time.

CLV measures the total value a customer will bring to your business over the period of time that they buy from you, and it’s obviously a figure you want to optimise for everyone you trade with. CLV should increase when you start selling online because you’ll be making it easier for customers to search for products and simplifying the order process. So they’ll be more likely to buy from you again in the future, and you’ll be more likely to keep them as customers.

In fact, according to a 2015 survey by Accenture, 64% of companies saw an increase in customer retention after moving their business online. What’s more, around 80% said that customer awareness of new products improved, reflecting an increase in the frequency of their visits. And, perhaps most importantly, nearly 50% reported a rise in revenue from each customer.

With Visit to Order Time, or the time from when a customer first thinks about placing an order to the time the order gets to your fulfilment centre, a smart ecommerce platform will automate and speed-up processes. And this means more opportunities to improve the customer experience, drive CLV and increase profitability.

A best-in-class ecommerce platform that’s fully integrated with your business and accounting systems will give you access to all the important, up-to-date metrics quickly and efficiently. So as well as being able to provide your customers with a streamlined buying experience that delivers greater loyalty, more sales and higher margins, you’ll also find it much easier to track their buying behaviour and make informed decisions about product, pricing and promotional strategies.

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