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Establish KPIs to Measure Digital Success

Establish KPIs to Measure Digital Success

Many organizations are implementing digital projects such as ecommerce, mobile apps and chatbots without putting proper measurements in place according to Peter Sondergaard, Executive Vice President, Head of Research & Advisory at Gartner. He stated, “CIOs need to establish digital KPIs because you cannot measure what you have not defined.”

In addition, only about 50% of the CEOs Gartner surveyed have KPIs that measure digital success, which is much too low.

In order to better understand digital success, this post will explain what digital KPIs are; give examples of their use and the best practices for establishing them.

Digital KPIs Defined

KPIs are measurements to evaluate the performance of business initiatives such as better net profits, an increase in the number of customers or keeping within 5%, plus or minus, of your yearly budget.

However, digital KPIs are a little harder to define because they impact departments other than IT. Therefore, it is vital to create measurable initiatives that are co-created with buy-in from the departments they impact the most.

Typical areas where digital processes are being implemented:

  • Sales
  • Marketing
  • Operations
  • Supply Chain
  • Customer Service

6 Examples of Digital KPIs

Here are real-life, as well as, general examples to help cement this idea:  


  1. Starbucks and Target allow individuals to pay for their goods on their phone app via self-serving lines, thus saving on hiring cashiers. However, each company needs to assess the adoption rates on this method and make sure it does not have a negative impact on their business, as some individuals may abandon the retail operation if they do not the human interaction they desire.
  2. Proctor & Gamble acquired Dollar Shave Club allowing them to reach new customers online.
  3. Company A wants 20% of their sales to be made through the website by the end of 2019.

Secure Gateway/Chatbot

  1. Chatbots are taking orders and upselling menu items at TGI Fridays and Wingstop, thus allowing them to have fewer wait staff at each location.  
  2. 25% of insurance customers will submit their claims online and converse with a chatbot versus calling the claims center. The company will save the equivalent of 1,000 call center personnel which will save $20 million annually.

Mobile App

  1. 10% of the company’s 2018 revenue will be generated through the mobile app by offering them new audiences and sources of products.

Digital KPI Best Practices

When setting digital KPIs, Gartner recommends companies implement the following process:

  1. Work with senior management to identify which processes should be digitized and define the benefits of doing so.
  2. Set KPIs with clearly defined goals.
    These should be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely). If you can’t define the goal and benefits, don’t digitize it.
  3. Don’t over digitize.
    Sometimes forcing customers into a digital channel, without their permission, can take away the high-touch point they were used to and will poise them to move to your competitors. It is always valuable to gather feedback and make changes as your clients ask for them.

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