There are many roads to Rome. Just like there are hundreds of tools that can help you in defining clear and concise e-commerce goals for your online business.
But if you feel overwhelmed by the number of tasks piling up in order to achieve your goals, you may need some help clarifying your business objectives.
We recommend using the SMART methodology. We use this method within our e-commerce success track and have seen firsthand how it can help e-commerce businesses like yours set goals that are realistic and achievable.
What is the SMART method?
The SMART Method helps you plan and define your goals and how to achieve them. This can be applied to both personal and professional objectives.
By creating goals using this framework, you will be able to achieve your goals in a more effective and intelligent way.
What does the acronym SMART stand for?
The word SMART is an acronym that brings together 5 key objectives. In order to set a goal, it must be considered SMART:
- S – Specific.
- M – Measurable.
- A – Achievable
- R – Relevant:
- T – Time-bound
How can you use the SMART method to set e-commerce goals?
This goal-setting process is used to help you define what e-commerce goals you want to achieve and how you are going to do it. An example of this in your business goals could be increasing conversion rates or improving customer service on your web store.
Using this process to set goals helps create a roadmap with steps to succeed and avoid losing focus. By having clear objectives for your online store, you can create a north star for both you and your teams to have direction and motivation towards.
You can also use SMART goals to improve productivity internally and create higher customer satisfaction.
How to practically implement the SMART method in e-commerce?
Step 1: Be specific
The first step in setting SMART goals is to make your goal specific. Since your overall idea should be clear and concise, exclude factors that could detract from the main aim. The less ambiguous it is, the better.
To help be specific, answer the following questions:
- What exactly do you hope to achieve?
- How exactly do you want to achieve it?
- Why do you want it?
Step 2: Make it measurable
Whatever the objective, it must be measurable. To be able to analyze the results over time, we use these metrics. This metric determines if the goal is reached or not
Questions to ask yourself in this phase:
- What factor(s) will indicate the success of my goal?
- Which metrics would be most appropriate?
Step 3: Make it achievable
For an objective to be achieved in the long term, it must be realistic. Take the weaknesses and strengths of your online business into account using a SWOT analysis to acknowledge all necessary factors.
The fact that the objective is realistic does not mean that it does not have to be ambitious. But it means that you have to determine if you have the necessary tools to achieve it.
To help analyze if your goals are achievable, you can answer the following questions:
- Is my goal realistic in my current situation?
- Do I have the necessary tools or resources to achieve it?
- Have I created a specific and measurable objective to be able to evaluate it?
Step 4: Prioritize relevancy
The time you have is limited and valuable. You should ask yourself if what you want to achieve is worth working on and if it is in line with the vision and mission of your company.
To assess whether a desired outcome is valuable or not in determining SMART objectives, you can ask yourself the following questions:
- Is it necessary?
- Is it worth doing?
- Is it the right time to carry out this project?
Step 5: Timing is everything
Every SMART strategy must have an end date. In this way, you need to achieve your goal within a set period.
Questions you can ask yourself to make sure goals are timely:
- What is the deadline to achieve the goal?
- Is the allocated time being used effectively?
- Are the processes meeting milestones to the project finish on time?
Examples using the SMART method to set your e-commerce goals
Now that you know what the SMART method is and how it can be used to set your e-commerce goals, here are some examples to give you an idea as to how you can apply this concept in your own organization.
E-commerce goal: Increase customer adoption of the web store
Let’s give an example of a SMART goal for an online perfume store.
The web store wants to get 500 customers to create accounts within the next 6 months, implementing a paid social media strategy on Instagram and LinkedIn. They will use a 50% discount via a one-time coupon code to incentivize customers to create accounts.
Breaking down this objective we see:
- Specific: Get 500 new customer accounts within the web store.
- Measurable: Number of accounts created, or the amount of coupon codes redeemed.
- Achievable: 500 accounts in six months are feasible due to company resources.
- Relevant: Creating accounts is one of the key ways to increase sales and upsell.
- Timely: A period of 6 months is established, having previously analyzed the situation and resources of the company.
Perhaps this example is a reality to your business, and you can’t seem to get your B2B buyers online. Read The Essential B2B E-Commerce Adoption Guide to get more of your B2B customers to use your web store.
E-commerce goal: Increase online sales
In this example, a company sets a goal to improve web store sales by 25% in the next 12 months.
They want to do this by implementing an online marketing strategy on the web store and a offering money-back guarantee to new customers to earn their trust.
They would also like to create a loyalty program for regular customers and offer a 5% discount on their purchases over 50 euros.
In this SMART method example, we see the following:
- Specific: Increase sales by 25% with a clear return program to help drive purchases to potential customers and a discount for regular customers to encourage them to reach the minimum.
- Measurable: Use Google Analytics or Sana Commerce Insights to track metrics like traffic, conversions and discount codes redeemed.
- Achievable: Increasing sales by 25% in 12 months is achievable because they are a business with an established reputation and brand identity.
- Relevant: The increase in sales will help to balance the increase in expenses due to inflation.
- Timely: 12 months to achieve the goal.
These are just some examples of how you can skyrocket efficiency within your B2B organization. For more insights on how to improve your B2B web store in 2023/2024, check out our B2B Buyer Report below!
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