Multi award-winning digital marketing agency Wolfgang Digital today launched the definitive Benchmark KPI report for E-commerce websites. The report provides industry average metrics for retail and travel websites and shares highly sensitive numbers such as conversion rate and average order value (AOV).

The report is unique in that it examines the correlations between various metrics, making it essential reading for digital marketers and in particular those seeking an online transaction.

For the study, Wolfgang Digital analysed 87 million e-commerce website sessions and €230 million online revenue for the 12 month period ending 31st of June 2016.

The key findings were:

1. Google makes the world wide web go round. Google delivers over two-thirds of website traffic (69%) and website revenue (67%).

2. Display disappoints for direct response. Despite accounting for 38% of digital marketers’ budgets, display failed to register as a top ten traffic source.

3. Bounce rate don’t mean diddly. Bounce rate has zero correlation with conversion rate. As an overall website metric, it’s a dud.

4. Facebook traffic quantity more than doubles. In two years Facebook-driven traffic has risen from 1.3% to 5%.

5. Mobile is our “decision device”. Mobile is now the largest traffic source of all devices, but seriously underperform for revenue. Its 42% share of traffic becomes a miserly 21% share of revenue, and it suffers the lowest average conversion rate and AOV. Despite these lowly conversion metrics, the report’s correlation study found websites with a larger than average portion of mobile traffic benefited from larger than average conversion rates, indicating our “PA in our pocket” is the device upon which decisions are arrived at before being completed on desktop.

6. Site speed really matters. For every 0.2 of a second a website can shave off its server response time, it can expect an 8% improvement in conversion rate.

7. Average conversion rate is 1.5%. Travel websites averaged 2%. Retail websites averaged 1.4%. Online-only websites converted almost twice as well as their multi-channel counterparts.

8. People are buying more frequently and spending more per order online. Average conversion rates have increased 10% since the last study. Retail average order value (AOV) has shot up 25% to €186. For travel websites, the AOV is €333.

9. SEO v PPC – choose one. The report’s correlation study found that a high percentage of Google organic traffic correlates strongly with a high AOV. A high percentage of Google paid traffic is the strongest correlating factor with high conversion rate. So for high AOV websites SEO will do the job, for lower AOV websites seeking a higher conversion rate PPC is your best bet.

10. Don’t discount email. Email delivers as much traffic as all social channels combined.

Commenting, study author and Wolfgang Digital founder and CEO, Alan Coleman had this to say:

“Google is maintaining its grip as our gateway to the web. And as the starting point for online purchases, it is the make or break success factor for e-commerce websites. Facebook’s mooted move into search is the most likely threat to Google’s traffic monopoly right now.”

“Because digital marketers now have so much data, they often waste time on irrelevant metrics. Our study found that the much-hyped bounce rate has zero correlation with conversion rate, while site speed – being both be a strong conversion factor and a noted SEO factor – can offer an enviable “multiplier effect” on the bottom line.

“It’s interesting that display accounts for a third of digital marketing budgets, yet doesn’t register as a top 10 traffic source. Social networks and search engines don’t pay agencies “agency rates”, display networks do. The secret agency rebates scandal hitting the headlines in the US right now could merge with this over-indexing of display story at some point in the future.”

The E-commerce KPI Benchmark report is available to download for free on the Wolfgang blog.

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