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December 8, 2017

5 effective goal setting tactics for ecommerce projects

Before embarking on a new ecommerce project or campaign, you need to create strategic goals and realistic targets to set you on the path to success.

Space 48’s Head of Insight, Oliver Lees, is an expert in ecommerce strategy and measurement. Here he outlines 5 key tactics for setting effective ecommerce goals:

1. Establish a clear purpose for your project

Before you even begin to look at setting your goals, make sure you establish the true purpose of your project or campaign. If you don’t know actually what you want to achieve, you’re heading for failure!

Consider these 3 questions before starting your goal setting:

  •   What are you looking to achieve with your project and why?
  •   How will this project help your customers?
  •   What are the key benefits for the business?

Put the customer at the heart of your project, consider “the why” behind the strategy, but don’t make too many assumptions. This is where benchmarking comes in…

Check out our free step-by-step guide to creating an RFP for ecommerce projects.

2. Carry out extensive benchmarking


Benchmarking helps to give you a true reflection of where your business sits in the market, how your ecommerce website is currently performing, and where you want to get to.

Here’s our top benchmarking recommendations:

  •      Do your own website benchmarking
  •      Carry out competitor analysis and industry benchmarking
  •      Utilise your data and customer insights
  •      Take into account your offline and online activities

Competitor analysis helps brands to understand what targets are realistic, compared to your competition and the systems, solutions and resources available to them.

Using data from your CRM and from previous campaigns gives you an idea of the improvements you can make and the levels you can aim to reach.

Reach out to your customers, through digital and offline communications, and carry out testing and monitoring before getting too far down the line with your project planning.

Check out our blog on the top 5 ecommerce metrics to benchmark against competitors.

3. Make sure you implement SMART goals

Most businesses will be fully aware of SMART goals, but how many action them properly for planning campaigns and setting project goals and targets?

Here’s a quick reminder of the 5 key elements to SMART goals:

  •      Specific
  •      Measureable
  •      Attainable
  •      Relevant
  •      Timely

These factors help to structure your goals and enable you to track, monitor and report meaningful results from campaigns. This provides business owners with visibility of ecommerce KPIs.

4. Take an agile approach to ecommerce campaigns

Brands are increasingly employing an agile approach, as the digital landscape is so fast moving and technological advances can quickly change the game for retailers and marketers. You must be able to react effectively to industry change and performance fluctuation.

Don’t be afraid to reassess your project goals and targets during their progress. You can tweak targets to make them more realistic, according to changes that occur or if it becomes clear that your forecasting was over-ambitious or even too cautious.

5. Consider project risks and mitigating factors

There will always be mitigating factors, both internal and external, and these can affect your projects. So, although it’s important to be agile, you need to prepare for risks and predict potential spanners in the works.

Consider your answers to the following questions:

  •      What third-party factors and responsibilities may affect progress?
  •      What seasonal events or timing issues might impact performance?
  •      Does our ecommerce website have the required flexibility and scalability?
  •      What systems and processes are in place to monitor and evaluate results?

Get your key stakeholders involved in the goal setting process to cover the foreseeable eventualities and risks, so you’re confident all the variables have been taken into account.


We hope these ecommerce goal setting tactics and recommendations prove useful. By following these steps and going through this strategic planning process for goal setting, you’ll be on the right track for goal setting success!

Are you’re looking to hit the ground running in 2018? If so, grab our super-handy Guide to Creating an Ecommerce Roadmap and get our step-by-step approach to creating an effective roadmap for the year ahead. Download the free guide now and get fully prepped!


Space 48 is a leading UK ecommerce consultancy, based in Manchester. Specialising in Magento website development, we create award-winning omnichannel strategies for top brands. Why not get in touch with our ecommerce experts and see how we can help improve your ecommerce strategy?